More Champions Cup bemusement after stats team ridicule as five-metre effort bizarrely voted ‘try of the season’

Colin Newboult
Anthony Jelonch scores try for Toulouse in Champions Cup against Cardiff.

Anthony Jelonch scores try for Toulouse in Champions Cup against Cardiff.

Supporters have been left confused after Anthony Jelonch’s effort for Toulouse was named as the ‘try of the season’ in the Champions Cup.

Despite some of the great rugby on offer in 2023/24, it was the France back-row’s close-range set-piece score which won out.

According to EPCR, it was decided for by the fans, which suggests that there was an element of both sarcasm and sabotage from those that voted.

Somehow made it on the shortlist

It is strange how that try got on the initial Champions Cup shortlist in the first place and, as a result, it is possible that the supporters saw their opportunity to mock its selection.

While Jelonch’s try against Cardiff in the pool stages was a relatively creative pre-planned move from a five-metre tap, it should have never been in the running.

The score managed to get a staggering 72 per cent of the vote as it beat off competition from Connacht’s Sean Jansen, Northampton Saints’ George Hendy, Harlequins’ Cadan Murley and Matthis Lebel’s effort from the final.

Jansen came in second place with 12 per cent, while Hendy rounded out the top three with 11 per cent.

Staggeringly, especially considering the importance of the try, Jelonch’s Toulouse colleague, Lebel, only won three per cent of the vote after he finished their excellent team move in the final.

‘Pretty embarrassing’ – Toulouse were man-to-man better than Leinster according to Champions Cup stats XV

The reaction

It is fair to say that supporters were rather bemused by the decision to award it as the ‘try of the season’ with Seán Hanley summing up the reaction by writing on X, formerly Twitter: “Lads, that’s surely a joke.”

French fans were also surprised and it didn’t need to take a linguistic genius to translate one person’s comment after they wrote: “C’est un prank?”

Someone did ask: “Was it only French people who voted? Standards have dropped if that was the best try of the champions cup campaign.”

But as one person responded, “I promise you, not a single sane French voted for this thing above Lebel’s try in the final.”

Stats team

This latest odd selection comes after the team of the final was named, which was based on stats provided by Oval Insights.

Despite the closeness of the match and the excellent performances of several Leinster individuals, it was completely comprised of Toulouse players.

No person from the Irish province made it into the XV, which led to ridicule from observers who questioned the data.

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