Bryan Habana’s spectacular score against New Zealand in the inaugural Rugby Championship has been named Try of the Year for 2012 by the International Rugby Players’ Association.
The South Africa wing becomes the second Springbok to win the award after Jaque Fourie took the honour in 2009 for his score in the second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
Fourie, All Blacks legend Mils Muliaina, former IRB Player of the Year Shane Williams and Japan’s Daisuke Ohata, the leading try scorer in Test Rugby, formed the panel of judges who opted for Habana’s effort.
The other three shortlisted tries were scored by New Zealand duo Hosea Gear and Julian Savea and Julien Malzieu of France.
Habana, who was named IRB Player of the Year in 2007, stunned the All Blacks when he burst onto a pass from Francois Louw, chipped ahead and gathered in his stride before crashing over.
The try briefly handed the Springboks the lead seven minutes into the second half of the match in Dunedin which New Zealand went on to win 21-11.
“Scoring a try against the All Blacks is always special, but scoring against them in New Zealand, is even more special,” said Habana.
“I really enjoyed getting across the try-line in Dunedin – contributing to the success of the team and also lifting the spirits of my teammates.
“Winning this award is very special and hopefully I can continue scoring tries for the Springboks for a very long time.”