Hammer breaks down the try of the year

NRL Rd 15 -  Sharks v Dolphins
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow wrapped up the try of the year award on Thursday night with a scorching solo effort. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Wayne Bennett has seen thousands of tries scored across his decades coaching in rugby league, but he says there may only be one four-pointer that compares to the magic Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow produced for the Dolphins on Thursday night.

“The Hammer” has had a pretty good week after he bagged a hat-trick for the Maroons in the State of Origin opener, but he saved his best for the Shire with a 98m dazzler that had the most one-eyed Sharks supporters politely clapping.

Having blown a 22-0 lead, the Dolphins needed something special to spark them back to life, and with 22 minutes to go, the fastest man in footy obliged with a try that will be spoken about for years to come.

Tabuai-Fidow caught a bomb near his own 10m line, but instead of surrendering in the tackle, he noticed Braydon Trindall sprint out of the line so he retreated and ran around the five-eighth to create space.

Briton Nikora tried to get him, then Ronaldo Mulitalo and Tom Hazelton missed, before fullback Will Kennedy thought he’d done the impossible by forcing him near the sideline.

Kennedy had beaten his opposite number only moments earlier to give the Sharks the lead, but it was Hammer time in the Shire as he swerved, decelerated and then cranked it up to get around his man to score the try of the year.

NRL Rd 15 -  Sharks v Dolphins
Everyone was in awe of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’s try on Thursday night. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

“I tried to find space, got through, and I honestly don’t know what happened. I went straight through and made it to the other side of the field. I was pretty gassed, to be honest,” Tabuai-Fidow said after the 30-28 win.

“I didn’t think I was going to score. I did a little stop-start and got past him and I was over the moon to get over the try line.

“It feels pretty good. My attacking power is my speed, and to showcase it out there is pretty special.”

It’s hard to earn praise from Bennett, who offered a simple “good game” when he saw his fullback in the sheds, but the Dolphins coach couldn’t hide his glee in the press conference after the club’s first win in Sydney.

“You can’t afford to turn your TV off when the Dolphins are playing,” he said.

The master coach has seen it all in the game, but we have to go back to the 1992 grand final for a try that compares, with Broncos great Steve Renouf torching the Dragons with his own long-range effort that started with a legendary left foot step.

Steve Renouf’s try in the 1992 decider is one of the all-time greats.
Steve Renouf’s try in the 1992 decider is one of the all-time greats.

“It’s in the top two or three (tries I’ve ever seen),” Bennett said.

“Steve Renouf scored a try I’ll never forget, and I’ll never forget this one either. He’s special.

“Everyone forgets about him (Renouf), but I’d never forget about him. He was wonderful and had that special gift that only the special ones have.

“Him and Hammer would be the two players I think in my time that I’ve coached that have that absolute magic to get to the try line and create that moment.”

No other player in the NRL could’ve scored the try, with Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon lamenting the staggered defensive line that paved the way for Tabuai-Fidow to streak away.

“I thought Braydon could have made a play and gone and got him, but if you don’t get him, that’s what happens,” he said.

“There were plenty of other players coming behind that could’ve got him as well.

“He’s a terrific player and he fleeced us on it.”

NRL Rd 15 -  Sharks v Dolphins
Braydon Trindall had his chance to pin the Hammer near his own line but missed the tackle. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

A modest Tabuai-Fidow said the try was in his top three, which speaks to his flashy highlight reel, with the fullback smiling with joy as he raced away doing what he loves most just a week after his Maroons heroics.

“I don’t have too many words for it. Coming off an Origin and getting the win down here in Sydney is always good for us,” he said.

“To do it in a hostile environment at their home ground – and we know what they’re like when they play at home in front of this crowd – it was good to get the two points.”

The greats make things look effortless on the footy field, and while teammate Jake Averillo is blessed with plenty of speed, no one compares to the Hammer who simply glides in full flight.

“I try to race by myself (at training) because no one else can keep up,” he said.

“If I am running with one of the boys, I try to go as quick as them.

“It’s all natural.”