Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rob Howley's miraculous try to win the Heineken Cup 2004

Rob Howley's miraculous try to win the Heineken Cup 2004

Looking back on previous Heineken Cup Finals, the 2004 meeting between Wasps and Toulouse will forever be remembered for this moment of sheer brilliance by Rob Howley, but perhaps more significantly, the blunder by Clement Pointrenaud that ultimately divided the two best sides in Europe.

The game was heading for extra time as it came to a cliff hanging climax with the scores tied at 20 points all. Toulouse had taken a rather poor 22 drop-out and Howley was penned in close to the touchline, with little obvious room for manoeuvre.

Shrugging off his chronic wrist problem, he fielded the restart, swiveled and grubbered a teasing kick along the touchline. The kick was aimed more in hope than expectation as it bounced and bounced. Toulouse full-back Clement Poitrenaud waited and waited, clearly hoping it would end up harmlessly in touch. That final half-second of delay will trouble his sleep for many years to come.

By the time he reached to get half a hand on the ball Howley was swooping, snatching the ball from out of his grasp to touch down for what looked like a stunning try. The delirium around a packed Twickenham was put on hold for only a minute while the video referee deliberated, before giving the go ahead to award the try.

Toulouse were stunned, as well they should have been. Had their full-back not fatally dawdled in dealing with Howley's rolling kick, Toulouse might well have become the first side to win this tournament three times. Instead the ball stayed in play, Howley pounced and the rest is history.

"I wasn't sure whether he'd got a hand to it or whether I'd got downward pressure," admitted Howley. The TMO was in no doubt though.

Toulouse will be hoping this type of lack of concentration doesn't come back to haunt them when they take on Munster in Cardiff in this years Heineken Cup Final. I doubt it will, as this was a bizarre moment that will surely give Clement Poitrenaud nightmares till the day he dies.

Final Score: Wasps 27 Toulouse 20
Note: We've updated this to show the slightly longer version. Enjoy.

Posted by Rugbydump at 1:30 am | View Comments (16)

Viewing 16 comments

goodNumber10 May 24, 2008 6:51 am

Great example of always chase kicks.I remember watching this and going absolutely mental when he scored.I'm not a dancer but I certainly pranced my stuff around the living room right then :)

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Dave May 24, 2008 7:53 am

holy crap, that was unbelievable

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Anonymous May 24, 2008 8:24 am

shock he's welsh......

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Jbmass May 24, 2008 8:24 am

Remembers me the Lewsey's try against France at the RWC.Again a French fullbackAgain an Englishman who scores.Heartbreaker.

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yousef1490 May 24, 2008 8:40 am

Lol A Great Try Loved The REaction Of Poitrenaud!jbmass: Remembers me the Lewsey's try against France at the RWC.Again a French fullbackAgain an Englishman who scores.Just A Quick Point Howley Is Welsh Not English Lol

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Rawling May 24, 2008 9:14 am

I can't pretend I was a Wasps fan at this point - or even a Rugby fan - but this is still one of my favourite videos :-DIncidentally, in September 2003 the IRB issued a Law ruling that said... well, basically, if Pointrenaud had caught that ball with a foot in touch, Toulouse would've got the lineout.Sometimes players know about this (we saw Leicester get a scrum back last weekend by doing a similar thing over the dead ball line) and sometimes they apparently don't.

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bill May 24, 2008 3:43 pm

i was therewas a brilliant tryshould put the conversion up aswellvan gisbergen got it from 5 metres off the try line i thinkin off the post

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David May 24, 2008 4:45 pm

not that it proves it here,but he was the best scrum half to come out of wales since Gareth Edwards.

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Shane May 25, 2008 8:53 am

Poitrenaud is some plank, Howley is a hero though. What a player

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peppers May 25, 2008 1:12 pm

Thats what they call a potrenaud moment

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Anonymous May 25, 2008 5:53 pm


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Luke May 26, 2008 8:20 pm

If you're going to show this, why don't you show the highlights from the Wasps-Munster semi-final? Anyone remember that one? Now THAT was a game of rugby!!

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Cheyanqu May 27, 2008 11:29 pm

Should be required viewing for every schoolboy player of what:TO DOandNOT TO DO

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M-Coz June 02, 2008 6:18 pm

It was in touch, why can`t anyone see that?

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bD June 08, 2008 8:09 pm

Rawling.......that rule only applies when the ball is in the air...kicked outside of your 22m. this was a grubber so it hit the ground and poitrenaud didnt put his foot in touch as it would have been a wasps lineout on the 5m. i dont think he knew what was coming if he had risked the wasps linout though lol(but before u complain about how ur right....are you on about in the dead ball area or try line to try line??)

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James September 24, 2012 7:46 am

@M-Coz, yes that's right, the ball touch the lineout before but Poitrenaud is a crap anyway ...

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