Valuable Manly backrower Justin Horo has seemingly wrapped up ‘Falcon of the Year’ honours after copping a rocket pass from Daly Cherry-Evans straight to the noggin during the Sea Eagles’ comprehensive loss to South Sydney.
But while it was a round highlight and worthy blooper montage fodder, we at Commentary Box Sports maintain that Horo’s falcon does not necessarily go straight into the Hall of Fame in its genre.
The key to an all-time great falcon is the overwhelming incompetence of the victim; Horo was plain unlucky in this instance. Wests Tigers forward Martin Taupau met the brief superbly last Monday night, while also earning extra points for originality with this ridiculous self-falcon.
Then, of course, there’s the original: Mario ‘The Maltese Falcon’ Fenech, after whom the embarrassing occurrence is named, getting in the way of a last-tackle dummy-half pass during his dismal stint with the ill-fated South Queensland Crushers in 1995.
But the best ever has to be Matt Utai’s clanger while playing for the Tigers against the Gold Coast. Utai is a former Dally M Rookie of the Year, scored two tries in the Bulldogs’ 2004 Grand Final victory and played Test football for New Zealand – but his lasting legacy to the code is this extraordinary falcon, a falcon so exquisite in its timing and all-round comedy value that it may never be equalled.
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