In a new segment by SARugbymag.co.za, the Play of the Week award goes to Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit, for his stunning individual try against Scotland.
Once again, there were more than a single contender for this award, with England’s Jonny May pulling off a spectacular finish to dot down in the corner against Italy, Damian Penaud finishing off an excellent team effort for France’s second try against Ireland and Scotland captain Stuart Hogg bagging a brace against Wales.
But May’s try is shrouded in controversy, with top referee Nigel Owens and former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton both arguing that the try should have been disallowed and May penalised because he jumped in the air to avoid the tackler, which is against the laws of the game. Penaud’s effort was more of a team attempt than anything else and Hogg’s try-double came in a losing cause.
All things considered, the 20-year-old Rees-Zammit lived up to his nickname ‘Lightning LRZ’, as he emerged as a two-try hero in Wales’ 25-24 win over the Scots.
Wales trailed 17-3 at one point in the first half, but Rees-Zammit used his lethal step to pass a defender to score a vital try on the stroke of half time to spark his team’s comeback.
For want of a better description, the basketball term ‘dagger’ – a term used for a shot that puts the game out of reach, often in the final moments – comes to mind when categorising Rees-Zammit’s second try, which turned out to be the match winner.
With Scotland leading 24-20 heading into the final 10 minutes, Wales secured turnover possession in their own half and launch an attack from deep. The ball was swiftly spread to wider channels, with ‘Lighting Rees’ taking a pass around the halfway line.
Running on-to the ball at full pace, the speedster skinned Duhan van der Merwe on the outside, executed a perfectly weighted chip kick over the head of Scotland fullback Hogg and then used his pace to beat the aforementioned Scotland duo as well as cover defender Chris Harris to recollect the ball, which, with a kind bounce, sat up perfectly in the in-goal area for him to collect and score unopposed.
The sequence of play was a good indication of his exuberance, but also illustrated his ability to quickly sum up what is in front of him and to then perfectly use his skills to execute what he had envisioned under pressure, all within seconds and without breaking his stride.
Louis Rees-Zammit only turned 20 earlier this month… pic.twitter.com/l3YzUKbWso
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) February 13, 2021
🤞 Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones hopes this is “just the tip of the iceberg” for wing Louis Rees-Zammit after his superb performance today pic.twitter.com/qqmXE082SY
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) February 14, 2021
Photo: Getty Images