Each week day NSWRL will showcase the best tries scored in each junior representative competition this year in these five categories: don’t argue tries, through-the-hands tries, kick tries, runaway tries and individual effort tries - this week will will focus on the Andrew Johns Cup. Check back into this page for our rolling daily coverage.
Andrew Johns Cup | Best don't argues
It was a damaging run up the middle of the field from Newcastle front-rower Phil Talaileva followed by a clean offload to set up the final try in their Round 1 battle with the Greater Northern Tigers.
Panthers five-eighth Jermaine McEwem also had a day out in Round 1, leaving the opposition halfback in his wake with a big fend to score from 40 metres out in the first half, and finishing the match with 6/7 off the boot.
The Western Rams got off to a flying start against Monaro Colts at Belconnen in Round 2, as prop Manny Tobin took a charge at the line from close range and shrugged off a one-on-tackle to extend the visitors’ early lead.
Josh Tajhya produced another dominant performance when Parramatta took on the Central Coast Roosters in Round 4, highlighted by some deceptive speed to break the defensive line after scooping up a loose ball, then bumping past the fullback to score.
Andrew Johns Cup | Best through the hands tries
The Penrith Panthers looked to be caught on a last tackle play in Round 1 against the Dragons, but the football was kept alive and went through eight pairs of hands before centre David Afu scored under the posts.
The North Coast Bulldogs went wide in attack on several occasions in their season-opening win over Central Coast, with one four-pointer seeing No.3 Chris Bull muscling through a two-man tackle and coming up with a deft final pass for winger Braith Powick’s try in the corner.
Although it may not have been enough to get the victory against the Riverina Bulls in Round 4, Illawarra South Coast Dragons halfback Taj Ford showed some great awareness to spark a short-side raid finished off by Brodie Arkinstall-Brazenall in the final minutes of play.
The Western Rams secured a 10-point victory over Illawarra in their Round 5 clash, and No.17 Preston Thorpe had a memorable moment of his own when he dived over for a try with his first touch of the ball.
Andrew Johns Cup | Best kick tries
Newcastle fullback Trevor Boney opened the second half with a classy moment in Round 1 against Greater Northern Tigers, picking up the ball from dummy half before a grubber and re-gather to score from 10 metres out.
Yet another Newcastle Knights highlights finds its way onto the top tries list – this time from their Round 3 draw with the Eels, when a heavy touch saw the football all but certain to bounce dead in-goal until a miraculous put-down from winger Kai Spruce Conn.
The Titans’ Jamal Laurie timed his run perfectly to open the scoring in Round 4 against Greater Northern Tigers, sprinting down the right wing and leaping onto halfback Harvey Moase’s kick on the way to the try line.
Illawarra took a huge risk in Round 4 by letting a torpedo bomb bounce – courtesy of Riverina Bulls half Blayne Linsell, which led to a charging Solomoni Nabete snatching the ball from their grasp for the first four-pointer of the contest.
A late grubber close to the line certainly seemed out of reach for Rams winger Angus Staniforth in his Round 5 fixture against the Dragons, but with outstretched arms and little room to move the No.2 found a way to muster a brilliant try for his side.
Andrew Johns Cup | Best runaway tries
The Dragons started with a 12-6 lead in their Round 1 loss to Penrith, but the home side proved they wouldn’t take long to find their rhythm when centre David Afu, from his own 20-metre line, forced his way through a would-be tackle in what would ultimately become a major turning point in the match.
Greater Northern Tigers winger Lewis Hippi showed no signs of giving up in the final moments of his Round 2 defeat against the Roosters. With two minutes remaining, the Tigers found their No.2 in space with 60 metres in front of him, but no one would stop Hippi from getting on scoresheet.
Northern Rivers Titans winger Jamal Laurie scored a textbook intercept try to kick off the scoring in a victorious Round 3 outing against the Roosters, pushing up in defence from his own red-zone and juggling for control of the ball before getting into his stride and winning a 90-metre footrace to score.
Newcastle’s Riley Jones still had work to do after defusing a 5th-tackle kick from the Bulldogs in a narrow 22-16 loss in Round 4. The winger showed quick reactions from the moment he took possession, stepping to his left past two charging defenders, then finally drawing in the fullback to send centre Hugh Sharman on his way.
Central Coast centre Joel Kemp saved a certain try against a strong Parramatta outfit in Round 4. Not only did Kemp get the better of a cross-field kick on his own try line, but he then managed to turn his body around and run all the way to score at the other end.
Andrew Johns Cup | Best individual effort tries
David Afu was best on ground as he scored a hat-trick of tries in Penrith’s Round 2 win, but the centre saved his best for last with a 60-metre effort, fending off the first tackler, busting through another five attempts and finishing off with a left-foot step on the last of his opposition to score beneath the uprights.
North Coast winger Braith Powick surprised everyone on the field as the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 36-4 in Round 3, coming up with the ball from the lock position of a midfield scrum and bursting through the line untouched to open the scoring for the hosts.
Riverina Bulls forward Kye Wright scored arguably the best front-rower’s try of the 2020 Andrew Johns Cup season. Wright was on the back foot to start with when he caught a late offload, yet he still managed to push away from his opposing No.12, coming out the other side at speed on the 40-metre line and cutting inside on the fullback to dive over beside the sticks.
Just when the Tigers thought they had Takasima Hu’ihahau all wrapped up, the Parramatta centre had eyes for the try line. The No.3 ran onto a short ball from his five-eighth Blaize Talagi and simply left a path of destruction for the next 30 metres, muscling out of five tackles and dragging two defenders over the stripe for a superb individual try.