Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Rugby Perfection by David Clarke

Brendan Gallaher recently – and quite eloquently – described what made for “perfect” rugby, illustrating his point with Bath’s six first half tries against Saracens. In case you haven’t seen Bath’s great display of attacking rugby, here are the highlights of the game:

Gallagher also described the dazzling try the Barbarian’s scored against the All Blacks in 1973. While I enjoyed the article, it left me wondering what “perfect” rugby was.

Of course, “perfection” is subjective. For many in Wales, the Baa-Baas try wasn’t quite perfect because John Pullin, an Englishman, touched the ball during the play!

Okay, that’s facetious, but I suspect that many in New Zealand, whilst acknowledging the skill involved, might have a different perspective on the game.

Anyway, allowing him his quite parochial view on the matter, let’s use Gallagher’s top 5 moments to set the benchmark for rugby perfection:

1. Barbarians v New Zealand, 1973

Perfect setting, perfect opening to a game, perfect finish. Perfect team try.

2. All Blacks v Australia, 1996

Despite awful wet conditions the All Blacks did not spill a ball in 80 minutes, thumping Australia 43-6.

3. England v Australia, 2003

The build-up for the World Cup winning dropped goal. The Aussies (and everyone else) could see what was happening, but could do nothing about it.

4. Barbarians v NZ Barbarians, 1987

The World Cup winning squad toured the UK as the NZ Barbarians. They signed off with a brilliant 68-16 win over the Barbarians in Cardiff.

5. Munster v Toulouse, 2000

Munster outplayed mighty Toulouse at their own running game in the baking heat of Bordeaux to win the Heineken Cup semi-final 31-25.

You can post your comment or describe your own “perfect” rugby moment here, and can read Gallagher’s article in full at

Toby Cuthoys, Better Rugby Coaching publisher


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