11 - Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster) v Wasps, RDS, Pool 2 Round 2, 18 October 2008
There are a number of Brian O'Driscoll tries that could adorn this section, but this is the one that made the cut. Others were probably better in execution, such as his brilliant last minute solo effort against Bourgoin to win a tough away match in 2004, his fantastic try in THAT match versus Toulouse in 2006 after an outrageous off load from Felipe Contepomi, or even his intercept against Munster in this year's semi-final in Croke Park, which was a try that not only sealed that game but ensured things had gone full circle for Leinster as the try virtually mirrored the Trevor Halstead effort in 2006, and therefore had special significance for Leinster. No, instead we plump for his amazing individual effort against Wasps at the RDS, as it was this try that announced that he was back to his best after a frustrating couple of years. It is easy to forget that he had not scored a try at any level for Leinster or Ireland for 21 months, and then he went and scored 3 in 2 games.
A blindside move led to O'Driscoll executing a deft chip over Eoin Reddan on the right touchline but he was never going to re-gather due to the onrushing presence of Wasps full back Jeremy Staunton. Improvisation was required and the Irish captain duly obliged with an audacious first time volley chip over Staunton to which he ran on, re-gathered and plopped over the line. O'Driscoll was back. A Grand Slam or a Leinster Heineken Cup win could not have been possible without it.
10 - Yves Donguy (Toulouse) v Munster, Heineken Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, 24 May 2008
It was almost the try that won Toulouse a fourth Heineken Cup Final. Thankfully for Munster, it was not. With Munster seven points up and with Fabien Pelous in the sin bin Munster were in the ascendancy, and looked to have gained a significant foothold in French territory with a fine clearance kick from Tomás O'Leary. However, they hadn't factored in the contribution of Cedric Heymans. The mercurial winger gathered the dropping kick and immediately took a quick line out. A deft chip, chase and catch later and he had splintered the Munster cover and another quick chip had the Munster defence in disarray. Yannick Jauzion hacked on over the try-line to leave winger Yves Donguy the simple task of dotting down. Munster won in the end but it would have been a try worthy of winning any final.
9 - Barry Murphy (Munster) v Sale, 2006, Thomond Park, 21 January 2006, Pool 1 Round 6
Billed as the second Miracle Match, this was another amazing night at Thomond Park and one where the Munster backs showed that they could also shine on the big stage.
Munster coach Declan Kidney plumped for the youth of Ian Dowling and Barry Murphy, and it proved a masterstroke with the pair coming up with a try apiece.
Murphy's was that bit special though. The Munster pack were for once going backwards, and Ronan O'Gara was forced to kick. His kick was half charged down and looped up into the path of the charging Barry Murphy. He weaved and bobbed his way towards the line, seemingly hypnotizing the Sale cover as he went. By the time Daniel Larrechea and Jason Robinson were freed from his spell and decided to tackle it was too late, and Murphy had sliced his way to the line. Another supposed impossible bonus point was on the way.
8 - Tom James (Cardiff Blues) v Leicester, Millennium Stadium, Heineken Cup Semi-Final, 3 May 2009, 2009
The 2009 semi-final at the Millennium Stadium will be remembered for the 'penalty shoot out' and in particular Martyn Williams' miss, but it is worth recalling that Cardiff came back from the dead with some mesmeric rugby. Jamie Roberts had just scored a great try to give Cardiff a chance, as they had been 26-12 down with just over 6 minutes left. Straight from the kick off Cardiff worked the ball to centre Jamie Roberts almost on their own line, and again he blasts his way through the Leicester defense. He then feeds his wing Tom James who backs himself on the outside to make the corner, and he comes up trumps with a sensational try. If Cardiff had gone on to win the try would have probably been really high on this list.
7 - Vilimoni Delasau (Clermont Auvergne) v Wasps, Adams Park, 15 December 2007, Pool 5, Round 4
Just your typical run of the mill length of pitch Fijian wingers try here! Delasau had started the match on the bench, as Wasps looked like taking control of the 'Pool of Death' that also contained Munster. Wasps had scored three tries by the 31st minute and the bonus point looked a certainty. Clermont, however, rocked them with two brilliant individual tries, firstly from Aurelien Rougerie and then this one from Delasau. The flying Fijian collected the ball in his 22 and from a standing start he was soon slaloming through three Wasps players, side stepping another and then out-gassing the rest to the home side's line. There was to be no bonus point and no quarter final for Wasps.
ERC 15 (1995 - 2010)
A microsite dedicated to celebrating the 1st 15 years of European Club Rugby