Wing Duhan Scotland

Duhan van der Merwe scored a stunning try this past weekend. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL

SA-born wing Duhan van der Merwe reflects on ‘best ever’ try

Scotland’s South Africa-born wing Duhan van der Merwe says he giggles when he watches highlights of his wonder try from Saturday.

Wing Duhan Scotland

Duhan van der Merwe scored a stunning try this past weekend. Photo: EPA/NEIL HALL

Scotland made history with a third consecutive victory over England for the first time since 1972, but there was one moment in particular from the opening round of Six Nations action that really caught the eye courtesy of Duhan van der Merwe.

Van der Merwe received the ball from Kyle Steyn inside his own half, but instead of running towards his support or putting the ball into the air, Van der Merwe ran into space and immediately caused England problems. Beating Joe Marchant and Ollie Chessum, he was in behind the England defensive line, but there was still a lot of work to do, with three more men back.


Van der Merwe is known for his power more than his agility, but he proved – when stepping around first Jack van Poortvliet and then Freddie Steward – that he has plenty more strings to his bow than merely brute force.

With four England players beaten already, Van der Merwe finished off the try with a powerful hand off on England No 8 Alex Dombrandt as he dived over the line in front of a stunned Twickenham Stadium.

“I’ve obviously seen it (replays of the try) a couple of times,” he told BBC Sport. “I still can’t believe I’ve done that. I giggle when I watch it, but obviously for me personally it’s my best try I’ve ever scored. Looking back at it, just absolutely buzzing.”


Duhan at the double in memorable Six Nations win

It will go down as one of the greatest ever tries in not just Calcutta Cup history, but Six Nations history.

And incredibly he did not stop there, powering past a handful of defenders in the second half to seal an historic second Championship consecutive win for Scotland on English soil – a feat not achieved since 1909, when Twickenham Stadium was still just a cabbage patch.

Scotland have now equalled their all-time high in World Rugby’s rankings following their victory over England.

The top ten of the world rankings currently read as follows: 1 Ireland (90.70), 2 France 90.01, 3 New Zealand (88.98), 4 South Africa (88.97), 5 Scotland 83.06, 6 England 82.15, 7 Australia 81.80, 8 Argentina 80.72, 9 Wales 78.02, 10 Japan 77.39.


Van der Merwe’s 28th-minute try understandably came in for special praise from Scotland coach Gregor Townsend, who likened the score to something seen in a video game based on the exploits of late New Zealand great Jonah Lomu.

“It was incredible, wasn’t it?,” he said after Scotland’s third win in a row over England and only their sixth victory at Twickenham. “It reminded me of when, for everybody of a certain age, you played ‘Jonah Lomu Rugby’ and suddenly one person can go quicker.

“Duhan hasn’t had much rugby over the last few weeks. He’s trained really well with us but to play like he did today on the back of an injury, and not playing for Edinburgh, is real testament to how he’s got himself in this position, both mentally and physically.

“That first try was amazing, and one that gets the Scotland supporters going crazy in the stand and silences everyone else because you don’t see tries like that very often.”