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How we ranked the best solo efforts

Most of the countdowns we’ve produced to this point have involved team work. Today though, we’re counting down the 20 best solo efforts of this year’s rugby world cup. We broke this out as a distinct category, separate from the best tries to give these players their due credit. If there’s a good reception, we’ll probably do a best solo efforts of the 2016 Super Rugby season too.

#1 Who is the attacker?

Perhaps the best thing about our best solo efforts countdown is the number of unknown players who made the list. From Santiago Cordero to Beka Tsiklauri, Jack Ram and Johan Tromp, it seems like the underdogs were the most prolific at this year’s world cup. There are also more than a few forwards on the list. Whenever you see a 2nd row making a charge-down and running 30m to score, you’ve gotta hand him his credit.

#2 Who is he playing against?

Some teams are harder than others for a single player to make an amazing run against. All due respect to the Namibian squad, but they didn’t have quite the staunch defensive line that the All Blacks did at this year’s tournament. So when ranking the best solo effort according to which was the most awe-inspiring, we did have to consider whose defensive line they broke. Henry Slade in #15 makes a couple of greats plays to cross the Uruguayan line, but this isn’t quite as impressive as Ben Volavola #9 ghosting through the Wallabies. Matias Moroni #4 probably would have gotten the #1 spot if it wasn’t for the fact that he broke through the Namibians.

#3 Who else could have done the same thing?

When you get to around #15 on our best solo efforts countdown, you’ll realize that there are some moves that no other player could have pulled off. Beauden Barrett #7 comes to mind. Man that dude has some wheels! When we looked at these solo efforts, one of the ranking criteria we used was to ask “who else could have done that?!”. Santiago Cordero #2 falls into the same category, he had absolutely no right to skirt around everyone like that. Too good. Too special.

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