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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

That George Gregan tackle on Jeff Wilson 1994

This is one of the most famous try saving tackles in the history of the game. It not only robbed the All Blacks of a 1994 Bledisloe Cup win, but it turned a little known Aussie scrumhalf into an international superstar and one of the biggest names in rugby.

With full-time approaching, the All Blacks had one last throw of the dice. With a ruck forming by the left touchline, the ball came out to Zinzan Brooke who threw it to Shane Howarth.

Howarth passed it on to Jeff Wilson who was only appearing in his third Test. With the Wallabies defence tiring, Wilson accelerated from 40 metres out and beat off two defenders before coming back inside and brushing off a third. Only five meters out from the line he made his descent towards the line. The try was all but inevitable.

Out of nowhere came a young George Gregan, playing in his fourth Test and unrecognisable with a youthful afro. He dived across, jolting the ball out of Wilson's grasp and ensuring a famous victory for Australia.

That moment instantly became enshrined in rugby folklore and with it forever linking Gregan and Wilson.

The enduring image of Gregan wrapped around Wilson's body while the ball is airborne signifies what the Bledisloe Cup is all about. In the blink of an eye, someone can achieve immortality.

With thanks to David Wiseman



  • I remember the moment well...i had a deep hatred for Jeff Wilson for years afterward...its all i could think about every time he played...Yes an Immortal play... oh and a respect for gregan until the moment he said "four more years" to a defeated all blacks in a world cup a few years ago...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 16, 2007 2:37 am  

  • Is that the same game Mat Burke done his shoulder scoring?

    Remember thinking why didn't he two arm the ball on the way to the line.

    By Anonymous goodnumber10, at August 16, 2007 6:31 am  

  • yer it was the same game, however that tackle was great! not too hard to do though

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 16, 2007 12:09 pm  

  • The most overrated tackle in the history of rugby union.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 16, 2007 12:13 pm  

  • Looked like more of a piss poor handling error than a legendary tackle by Gregan. Still, did the job, did enough to make him drop it.

    By Anonymous Rich, at August 16, 2007 2:12 pm  


    i agree with the comment above

    extremely overrated tackle


    By Anonymous ellie :), at August 16, 2007 4:59 pm  

  • nah, its not the same game as Burkie's injury. This game was 1994. Burkie was injured in 1998.

    Great tackle. But he did a couple others that match including upending both Ian Jones and Richard Loe.

    Bitter kiwis.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 17, 2007 6:02 am  

  • Gregan best tackler in the game! he'll take anyone even lomu. watch a few of lomu tribute clips and gregan has him everytime they meet!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 25, 2007 12:39 am  

  • yeah he tackles lomu by tripping him up with his feet, more like judo than a rugby tackle

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 03, 2007 11:05 am  

  • How on earth was it an "overrated tackle" you fool. George Gregan,on his debut, covered an extensive piece of ground, caught the electrically fast Jeff Wilson, and managed to save a tackle.

    Don't worry, this is not biased at all, I'm from Scotland so I must say I am a neutral.

    Also, "four more years", the All Blacks deserved that for losing that match

    By Anonymous TimiRambuka, at September 11, 2007 12:25 pm  

  • non of u know shit, matt burke wasnt playing in that game. he did his shoulder in 1998. and greegan made his debut against italy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 16, 2008 11:33 am  

  • Wouldn't that be considered a penatly try according to today's standards?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 10, 2009 3:40 pm  

  • lol at all the all black supporters bagging the tackle
    if you go out and in dying minutes of the game run all that way and catch the guy in mid air while making sure he drops the ball in one of your first game of international rugby, a guy much bigger and faster then you then and only then will i listen to you
    btw im irish so no bias here

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 02, 2010 4:23 am  

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