The Roses United try that was heard around the worldOctober 24, 2018
24 October 2018 20h55
IN 1935 the golf world was stunned when Gene Sarazen hit the shot that was later dubbed the “shot heard around the world” which saw him hole his 235 yard 4 wood for an albatross 2 on the par 5 15th hole. With one miracle shot he wiped out a three shot deficit and drew level with the leader and eventually triumphed after a 36 hole play off.
Now I wasn’t around in 1935 (fortunately or unfortunately, whichever way you look at it) but I was present on Saturday 20 October 2018 at the CPUT Sport Grounds when Roses United Rugby Club scored the try that was heard around the world. Roses (the home team) was playing against Proteas from De Doorns in a Boland Top 12 quarterfinal and was leading comfortably in the second half when they were awarded a scrum on their 22m line in the middle of the field.
Their diminutive but influential scrumhalf, Percy Williams, fed the scrum which was retreating. Captain and eigthman, Thurlow Marsh, did well to make the decision of picking up and popping the ball to Williams who flung a pass to flyhalf Jacquin Jansen to his left. Jansen floated a pass over the top to Johnwen Lewis on the left wing skipping Tyrone Abelse (inside centre) and Ryan Julies (replacement fullback) in the process.
Watch the video of the try below:
TRY OF THE YEAR? Outrageous skills from @RosesUnitedRFC in their Boland Grand Challenge quarterfinal win over Protea in Wellington. If you haven’t watched a club game recently, this is what you’re missing on a weekly basis at community fields across the country! pic.twitter.com/ROiPEXOa9e
— Gold Cup Rugby (@GoldCupRugby) October 22, 2018
Lewis, who shifted from fullback to left wing after Julies replaced Denver Fortuin earlier, got the ball just inside his 22 and scampered down the left touch line with sheering pace. He looked for support on his inside and fed Julies with a beautiful pass off his left hand. Julies did well to avoid the attention of a would-be tackler before looping a lovely weighted pass to Marsh who cut back inside. It appears as though Marsh was side-stepping almost before he had the ball.
Marsh then found Abelse on his inside who showed great hands to pass back to Lewis who had stayed up in support. Lewis had little to no time to react but miraculously got a pass over his right shoulder away to a storming Oshlin Lewis (lock) who somehow was up in support after the scrum. “Ossie” than went for the line with a defender on his back before feeding Abelse who scored under the poles after doing his trademark Lionel Mapoe “rooster” hand celebration.
Roses easily won 61-36 in the end scoring 9 tries in the process. Soon thereafter, video footage of the wonder try appeared on social media. The official Gold Cup Twitter account tweeted a video of the try on Monday and immediately it spread like a wildfire. The Springboks, World Rugby and Fox Sports in Australia are just some of the high profile users that have shared the video on their social platforms which has now been dubbed by many as the try of the year.
The video has since been viewed more than 500 000 times and is still being shared far and wide. I count myself fortunate to have seen the try that was heard around the world, happen right in front of my very eyes.
* Roses United Rugby Club was established in 2000 when the Wellington based clubs, Roslins and Rosebuds amalgamated to form one united club. In 2000 and 2001 the club participated in the Boland Super League B. The club’s league success earned promotion to the prestigious Boland Premier League in 2002. “Die Rose” (The Rose), as they are affectionately known to their loyal supporters, won the Premier League in 2006 for the first time under the leadership of the then 20 year old Franzel September (he is the current Roses head coach), who would go on to captain the Boland Cavaliers in 2011. Roses have since been crowned Boland Champions on 5 more occasions in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017.
As a rugby club, Roses United has a rich tradition of excellence, having produced several players for the Boland Cavaliers in Clemen Lewis, Jansen and Brendon April (among others) and most recently, scorer of the wonder try, Tyrone Abelse. They have also produced a Springbok in the form of Cornal Hendricks, who started his rugby career at Roses United before going on to represent South Africa at international level for the Blitzboks and Springboks respectively. During his tenure as Springbok wing, Hendricks played 12 tests for the Springboks scoring five tries in the process. Roses United is also the childhood club of Garth April who is currently plying his trade at the NTT Shining Arcs in the Japanese Top League. He also has the distinction of scoring a wonder try for Roses when in 2008 as a 16 year old he stepped and ran from his own dead ball line and eventually ran through the whole Wesbank team at Pelican Park to score a miraculous try that took Roses to the then National Clubs Champs. The club has also represented the Boland at the Community Cup and the SARU Gold Cup and was rated the 12th best club in Southern Africa in 2017.
Headline picture: Francio Abrahams