Friday, February 10, 2012

John Leslie scores the fastest ever international try in 1999

Wales face Scotland on Sunday so today we look back on a previous meeting between the two, going all the way back to 1999 and the last ever Five Nations tournament. On that day Scotland got off to a start that they could only have dreamed of.

Scotland's Kiwi player John Leslie scored within 10 seconds of kick-off at Murrayfield, the fastest ever try scored from kickoff. Leslie and his brother Martin both qualified to play for them thanks to a Scottish grandfather, and made their debuts just a year before he scored this historic try.

"You can't get a better start than that," said Jim Telfer, head coach at the time.

"It's so important in international rugby, especially if things haven't been going so well, to get ahead of the game. Wales were dangerous early on but very predictable towards the end," he added, after Scotland won the game 33-20 following a resilient comeback from the Welsh.

Leslie gave them the ideal start as he competed well for the ball from the kickoff and actually ended up snatching it right from the grasp of another New Zealander, Shane Howarth.

"It was just one of those things where the ball fell into my lap," Leslie said.

Scotland won the Championship that year, thanks in part to a memorable late try against England, scored by now legendary Wales and British & Irish Lions center, Scott Gibbs.

According to some, Leslie's feat is matched only by England's Bart Price, who scored against Wales in 1923. It's difficult to know how accurate the timing was back then, so it's safe to say that Leslie's record is safe, and most likely won't be beaten anytime soon.

Check out the related posts for more incredibly quick tries from the kickoff

Posted by Rugbydump at 6:02 pm | View Comments (17)

Posted in Great Tries, See it to Believe it

Viewing 17 comments

Drinu February 10, 2012 8:34 pm

erm no it not the fastest international try ever, James O'Connor scored the fastest international try ever agains SA!

· Reply · Report

Pretzel February 11, 2012 12:11 am

Care to throw in a link to confirm your claim perhaps? I can't find a video...

· Reply · Report

FaninJapan February 11, 2012 12:33 am


Yes Bieber O'Connor's try was very quick (maybe a world record or not I'm not sure) but note that it was scored in 2010 or 2011. This John Leslie try was scored in 1999 so that would make it the World Record Fastest try for the time.

· Reply · Report

GaryIPA February 11, 2012 10:51 am

but no link

· Reply · Report

jumping04 February 11, 2012 10:59 pm

James O'Connor scored right from a restart in 2010 when Bryan Habana failed to catch the ball. However that wasn't the opening kick off, it was a restart from a previous score. Yes it was probably quicker from the time the ball was kicked to being touched down, however it was mid match; hence not being the fastest try of all time.

· Reply · Report

Drinu February 13, 2012 12:13 pm

yep thats the one, and sorry for not posting a link been busy all week with rugby!

· Reply · Report

Rugbydump February 13, 2012 6:19 pm

This is the fastest try from kick-off, not from a restart. There's been a few quick ones from restart, with JOC's possibly one of the quickest

· Reply · Report

Pretzel February 14, 2012 12:27 am

But he looks like Bieber, so we'll forgive you if you ignore that one!

· Reply · Report

stroudos February 10, 2012 9:12 pm

Ahh, the dulcet tone of the late great Bill McLaren. May he rest in peace.

Do you know what stands out? "He's a big fellow at six feet two"! Hard to believe this is not much over ten years ago, isn't it, when wings and scrum-halves are now very often that size...

· Reply · Report

Pretzel February 11, 2012 12:07 am

Agree with Stroudos (as usual 90% of the time) on this one.

Wonderful to hear Bill McLaren, I chuckled at the "barely a minute gone" :/ well if its from kick off it would be barely 10-15 seconds I'd have thought...

· Reply · Report

cheyanqui February 11, 2012 1:52 am

Interesting to see the kickoff to start a half come from the ground (vs a drop kick). If I recall, the law was changed o/a 2002?

And of course, any video with Bill McLaren is Rugbydump worthy. I could listen to him read his grocery list or the Edinburgh phone book.

· Reply · Report

Pretzel February 11, 2012 12:58 pm

"And of course, any video with Bill McLaren is Rugbydump worthy. I could listen to him read his grocery list or the Edinburgh phone book."


· Reply · Report

alasdair February 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Love the "non celebration"

· Reply · Report

Pretzel February 12, 2012 7:16 pm

Travesty today with the disallowed try... Do referees get reprimanded for mistakes like that?

· Reply · Report

muhaa February 12, 2012 8:17 pm

Wales..Gatland┬┐ perfect combo..if england dont beat them wen they meet,no1 will..good perfomance.

· Reply · Report

nhunter February 14, 2012 12:52 pm

I requested this on behalf of the independent Scottish supporters organisation -, as there were previous video's talking about the quickest try ever from a kick off. From memory, they were about 9 seconds. I requested this video as I remember watching the match, and have it on video, and it was just 7 seconds on the clock. It was confirmed later as 7 seconds in the match.

So as far as I'm aware, this is the quickest try ever in a match.

This was, of course, the year when Scotland became 5Nations champions for ever, after the final game in Paris, where there were 4 tries scored in 20 mins, so we'll ignore the following 12 years. :)

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.