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The 10 Best Try-Saving Tackles Us NRL Fans Have Ever Seen

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The 10 Best Try-Saving Tackles Us NRL Fans Have Ever Seen

By Danielle Smith

When it comes to memorable try saving tackles, they don't come much better than Scott Sattler's brilliant efforts on Todd Burns in the Panthers 2003 Grand Final victory over the Roosters. Just poetry in motion.

But seeing as Sattler's try saver made my recent list of 10 Most Memorable Grand Final Moments in NRL History, I thought I'd keep him to the side for this one and put forward 10 other miraculous try saving tackles that had us all on the edge of our seats.

1997 - Newcastle Knights vs North Sydney Bears Semi Final - Two speedsters, one winner


In a wet and muddy semi-final, North's fullback Matt Sears makes a bust up the sideline. He gets past two defenders, slips over from poor conditions, gets back to his feet and takes off.

For those too young to remember, Sears was as fast as lightning. But so was Knights winger Darren Albert, and he comes flying across from the other side of the field.

The chase is on, Albert is gaining but it seems Sears is set to score for all money. Albert somehow launches himself and wraps his arms around Sear's knees and rolls him over the touchline.

Sears cannot believe he didn't score; the Knights go on to win 17-12 and book their place in the Grand Final.


Albert thought he played a huge part in getting the Knights to the big dance, little did he know what he was going to do the following week to give his team the premiership.

1994 - North Sydney Bears vs Canberra Raiders Preliminary Final - "They couldn't possibly catch him!"

The previous tackle still to this day gives Bears fans nightmares, so here's one to make them feel better.


Raider's fullback Brett Mullins makes a break through the middle of the field. He gets past the Bears fullback - Matt Sears - and he is off.

With Mullins already streaking away, Sears turns around and begins the chase. Getting closer and closer to the try line, Ray Warren screams "They couldn't possibly catch him!", just as Sears lunges at Mullins, grabbing his ankles and stops him right before scoring.

The Raiders go on to win the game 22-9 and progress to the next game of the final series. Oh.... wait a minute... this probably didn't make the Bears fans feel any better either. Um, sorry guys.

2012 - South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Newcastle Knights - Gagai with the goods.


With the Knights tailing 12-6 in the second half, their winger Akuila Uate looks set to score as he races up the sideline.

Racing across in cover, Bunnies fullback Greg Inglis has other ideas. He absolutely crunches Uate with such force that it brings him to a complete stop. He turns him around, manages to strip the ball from his hands and flicks it back to a Souths teammate, all the while stopping a certain 4 pointer.

Another brilliant moment for the Gagai highlights reel.


2003 - State of Origin Game 1 - Lockyer stops a runaway De Vere

Blues centre Jamie Lyon gets a pass away to winger Michael De Vere just before the 20m line. He gets past his opposing winger Matt Sing and flies down the sideline.

Maroons' fullback Darren Lockyer is coming from the other side of the field trying to reach De Vere. Just before his 20m line, Lockyer manages to wrap one arm around De Vere's waist, gets the other around his right leg, picks him up and carries him over the sideline. A classic Origin moment.

The Queensland crowd goes wild, and De Vere cannot believe his Broncos teammate Lockyer stopped him from scoring. I bet they had a fun catch up at club training the next day.

2019 - St George Illawarra Dragons vs Cronulla Sharks - "This is the try saver of the year!"

10m out from the Dragons try line, Sharks halfback Chad Townsend starts drifting left. He passes on his inside to his centre Bronson Xerri who angles back infield.

He reaches the try line and is all but over when a desperate Cam McInnes wraps him up in a sensational ball-and-all tackle. He rolls him over a few times so eventually Xerri is on top of him and stops the Shark from getting the ball down.

The commentary box goes wild. Gus Gould calls it 'the try saver of the year' and Andrew Johns backs up the statement saying it was 'just incredible'.

This year Sharks fans will be happy to see McInnes pull off tackles like that, now that he is one of their own.

2021 - Canberra Raiders vs Gold Coast Titans - Big Papa brings the pace

I love a good ankle tap. This one has to be one of the best ones ever.

Titans captain Jamal Fogarty takes a catch in goal, and sprints to his 20m for a quick restart.

He taps the ball on the fly and keeps running, catching Raider's defenders off guard.

He heads straight down the middle of the field, with nothing between him and the try line than fresh air.

Fogarty is certain to score. He doesn't realise he is being chased down by big Josh Papalii - who has no right to be anywhere near the flying fullback.

He throws his 119kg frame toward Fogarty and manages to clip his ankles, knocking him to the ground and forcing the ball lose.

His Canberra teammates come rushing up to him to celebrate, but all Papalii is interested in is getting his hands on an oxygen tank.

2011 - St George Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - "That's Mal Meninga like!"

Souths Chris McQueen storms onto the ball and comes charging towards the try line. Hovering over the line, Dragon's centre Matt Cooper manages to hold McQueen in an almost horizontal position and is somehow able to drag him back away from scoring.

McQueen offloads to a teammate but he is stopped by more Dragon defence. But no one can get past over strength that Cooper just demonstrated in carrying McQueen back away from the try line and stopping him from scoring.

The commentary team likening Cooper to one of game's greats in Mal Meninga - a compliment I'm sure Cooper will hold on to forever.

2020 - Manly Sea Eagles vs Sydney Roosters - You have to hand it to Turbo

Roosters' flyer Brett Morris passes the ball on the inside to Luke Keary, who has no one in front of him and runs straight over the try line. All he has to do is put the ball down and the try is his.

That should be it. But instead of scoring the try, Keary seems to take an eternity before putting the ball down.

Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic knows to play to the whistle, and with Keary looking at everyone else on the field and not realising anyone is behind him, Turbo reaches around Keary and knocks the ball out of his hand.

A textbook coach killer. Just put the damn ball down!

2010 - Parramatta Eels vs Canterbury Bulldogs - The Hayne Plane grounds another

It's always a classic match when these two arch-rivals meet, and this game was no different.

Bulldog's David Stagg makes a storming charge for the corner, seemingly destined to score. Eels' fullback Jarryd Hayne comes over in cover defence, desperate to stop him.

Just as Stagg is about to dive over the try line, Hayne gets down low, wraps Staggs up in a bear hug, and rolls him over the sideline before Staggs gets to put the ball down.

One of the better things Hayne will be remembered for.

2021 - Brisbane Broncos vs South Sydney Rabbitohs - How did he do that?

On South's 20m line, Bronco Tesi Nui throws the ball right, but it doesn't reach its mark and is instead intercepted by South's flyer Dane Gagai.

He pins the ears back and takes off. His speedster teammate Alex Johnson is right behind, doing all he can to block Brisbane's Xavier Coates who is hot on his heels.

Coates somehow manages to get around Johnson and makes a beeline for Gagai. Just meters from the try line, Coates gets his arm over Gagai's shoulder, grabs him by the collar, turns him inside out and back to front, and throws him over the sideline.

The Broncos run down field to congratulate their teammate on stopping a certain try, and Gagai is left wondering what the hell just happened

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Ch9

Topics: Video, Rugby League, nrl, watch, Australia, top 10

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