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Watch: Taniela Tupou stuns fans with one-handed try assist

By Sam Smith
(Photos / Stan Sport)

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For the second week running, the Wallabies have defied the odds to shock the world champion Springboks with another Rugby Championship victory in Queensland.


This week, the 30-17 win came at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, the stomping ground of Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou, who produced arguably his greatest performance in Australian colours on Saturday.

The 135kg behemoth put in a enormous 78-minute shift, carrying the ball three times for 20 metres, beating four defenders and making one clean break with ball in hand, while he didn’t miss a tackle and picked up one turnover on defence.

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Arguably his best piece of play, though, was his try assist midway through the first half when the Wallabies hit the Springboks on a break down the short side.

Tupou was in the thick of the action as the ball was shifted into his hands near the left-hand touchline with no Springbok player in front of him.

The 32-test international took advantage of the open space by using his renowned athleticism to scamper upfield, which brought him into a three-on-one situation with Springboks fullback Willie le Roux.

With both Marika Koroibete and Feleti Kaitu’u outside of him, a simple draw and pass to his left would have sufficed to put the Wallabies in for their third try of the evening, but the way in which Tupou released Koroibete marvelled onlookers.


Eyeing up Le Roux, Tupou faked a fend as he hinted at going into contact with the South African, but then, without looking, lobbed the ball under his outstretched arm perfectly into the clutches of Koroibete, who easily strolled in for the first of his two tries.

Few men the size of Tupou could execute such a piece of skill so well, and it left onlookers of his pass in awe of what they had just witnessed.

Many of those onlookers took to Twitter to express how impressed they were by Tupou’s distribution skills, which were described by former Wallabies wing and Stan Sport commentator Drew Mitchell as “box-office”.

Tupou’s try assist helped the Wallabies secure the Mandela Challenge Plate for the first time since 2018 as they move to third place on the World Rugby rankings and to within one point of the Springboks on the Rugby Championship table.


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