June 4, 2023

‘Lomu-ed the England backline’: Rugby world react to Duhan van der Merwe’s 55-metre ripper

'Lomu-ed the England backline': Rugby world react to Duhan van der Merwe's 55-metre ripper

Scotland completed their third consecutive Calcutta Cup victory over England with a 29-23 victory at Twickenham that put a dampener on the first Test of the Steve Borthwick era.

England were undone by four Scotland tries, including a double to player-of-the-match Duhan van der Merwe whose first effort stunned the rugby world with a long-range burst on a kick return.

The South African-born winger drew comparisons with the late great Jonah Lomu for the way he blew past five England defenders, breaking through four low waist-high leg tackles before a final fend on No 8 Alex Dombrandt.

The try was instantly labelled an all-time classic with the ‘superhuman’ effort from Van der Merwe earning plaudits from ex-players, pundits and fans alike.

Former England flyhalf Andy Goode called it an ‘absolute worldly’ while Ugo Monye called it ‘pretty special’. Bristol Bears prop Max Lahiff said the Scotland No 11 went ‘full Homelander’.

Duhan van der Merwe’s second try of the night after some expansive team play gave Scotland the lead with six minutes remaining.

An early pass from Matt Fagerson gave the powerful wing some space before he cut back through multiple tackles to reach out and score his double.

“As a winger you don’t get a lot of opportunities to score so I needed to take them,” van der Merwe said in his post-match interview.

“I was quite surprised how I got my first but I will take that one all day long.”

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