Monday 11 December 2017 / 04:33 PM

JOHNSTON JOINS TRYSCORING GREATS WITH FIVE-TRY HAUL

South Sydney winger Alex Johnston joined exalted company on Sunday courtesy of his five-try haul in the big 42-14 win over Penrith, equalling the Rabbitohs club record and becoming just the fifth player to bag a handful of meat pies in the NRL era.

Johnston crossed in the 18th, 38th, 40th, 42nd and 59th minutes in a career performance, the first time since teammate Nathan Merritt torched Parramatta in 2011 that one player has scored five tries in a game.

It was the 38th occasion in premiership history five tries or more have been scored in a match, but only the 10th time in the past 50 years.

Johnston’s swag included a couple of run-of-the-mill trots to the corner, but he kicked off the day with a 90-metre runaway, showed searing pace to finish off a brilliant team try late in the first half, and produced a dazzling solo effort from halfway for his fifth.

Rugby league history buffs were left to lament what might have been, however, when Johnston had a sixth disallowed by the Bunker in the final quarter of the match.

No player has scored six tries in a first grade game since Newtown’s Jack Troy, who achieved the feat against Eastern Suburbs in 1950. Meanwhile, the legendary Frank Burge’s eight tries for Glebe against University in 1920 remains as an unattainable premiership record.

Johnston has stormed to the lead in the NRL’s 2017 tryscoring stakes with 15 in as many games, edging one try ahead of Jordan Rapana and Suliasi Vunivalu, with Josh Addo-Carr another try further back.

The 22-year-old has scored 11 tries in his last six outings to take his career tally to 64 in just 76 games, a record that stands up alongside any of the great modern try-poachers.

MOST TRIES IN A MATCH – SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (1908-2017)

5 – Harold Horder v Norths, 1917
5 – Harold Horder v Norths, 1917
5 – Alan Quinlivan v University, 1936
5 – Don Manson v University, 1937
5 – Johnny Graves v Easts, 1949
5 – Ian Moir v Parramatta, 1957
5 – Eric Sladden v Parramatta, 1957
5 – Nathan Merritt v Parramatta, 2011
5 – Alex Johnston v Penrith, 2017

MOST TRIES IN A MATCH – NRL ERA (1998-2017)

5 – Nigel Vagana (Bulldogs) v Souths, 2002
5 – Jamie Lyon (Parramatta) v Cronulla, 2003
5 – Francis Meli (New Zealand) v Bulldogs, 2003 (finals match)
5 – Nathan Merrit (Souths) v Parramatta, 2011
5 – Alex Johnston (Souths) v Penrith, 2017

MOST TRIES IN A MATCH – PREMIERSHIP HISTORY (1908-2017)

8 – Frank Burge (Glebe) v University, 1920
7 – Rod O’Loan (Easts) v University, 1935
6 – Frank Burge (Glebe) v Norths, 1916
6 – Dave Brown (Easts) v Canterbury, 1935
6 – Dave Brown (Easts) v Balmain, 1935
6 – Alan Ridley (Wests) v Newtown, 1936
6 – Jack Lindwall (St George) v Manly, 1947
6 – Jack Troy (Newtown) v Easts, 1950

Add Comment

About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

More nrl News

Special Features

PARTNERS