Bryan Habana’s spectacular score against New Zealand in the inaugural Rugby Championship has been named as the International Rugby Players’ Association’s (IRPA) Try of the Year 2012.
The wing becomes the second South African to win the award after fellow Springbok Jaque Fourie was awarded the honour in 2009 for his try in the second Test against the British & Irish Lions.
Fourie, All Blacks centurion Mils Muliaina, former IRB Player of the Year Shane Williams and Japan’s Daisuke Ohata, the leading try scorer in Test Rugby, formed the panel of judges who opted for Habana’s effort ahead of the three other shortlisted tries scored by New Zealand duo Hosea Gear and Julian Savea and Julien Malzieu of France.
Consideration was also given to votes cast by rugby fans from all around the world via the IRB’s interactive platforms.
Habana, the IRB Player of the Year in 2007, stunned the All Blacks when he burst onto a pass from flanker Francois Louw at full speed, chipped ahead and gathered to score a try that briefly handed the Springboks the lead seven minutes into the second half of the contest in Dunedin. New Zealand went on to win 21-11.
“Scoring a try against the All Blacks is always special, but scoring against them in New Zealand, is even more special,” said Habana.
“I really enjoyed getting across the tryline in Dunedin – contributing to the success of the team and also lifting the spirits of my teammates.”
“Winning this award is very special and hopefully I can continue scoring tries for the Springboks for a very long time.”