Watch: Taniela Tupou stuns fans with one-handed try assist
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.
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.
Taniela Tupou is BOX OFFICE ?
— Stan Sport (@StanSportAU) September 18, 2021
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”.
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What a ball.
He joked that the Wallabies would win by 25 if they gave him the No.10 jersey.
No other tighthead prop can do what he does.
He must start for the Wallabies to be world champions.
— Christy Doran (@ChristypDoran) September 18, 2021
Angus Bell at 10, Taniela Tupou at 13.
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) September 18, 2021
Remarkable isn’t it? Loved that underarm pass from Taniela Tupou to Marika Koroibete who crossed the line. Brilliant ?
— Karina Carvalho (@karina_carv) September 18, 2021
Terrific from @wallabies – back to back wins over the World Cup holders. Terrific too from Taniela Tupou, a tighthead whose dazzling offload made the try which turned the match. Four in total from the Australian backs, four more than the best of British-Irish in 3 Tests.
— Peter Jackson (@JackoRugby) September 18, 2021
More penetration in attack from the #Wallabies, defence top notch in the tight moments, but their counter attacks lethal with Koroibete on the end of it for two tries. Taniela Tupou and Michael Hooper immense in the tight, what a pass from Tupou for Koroibete first try. #RsaVAus
— Robert Smith (@OnyaDon) September 18, 2021
— Michael Robins (@Wine_and_Rugby) September 18, 2021
@taniela_tupou out here having the Time of Life.
— Hannibal (@hanblk) September 18, 2021
Taniela Tupou is different class
— Derek Mathieson (@dingoderek) September 18, 2021
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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