As the 2017 Super Rugby season heads into its final fortnight, we celebrate the greatest try-poachers in the competition’s history.
Waratahs superstar Israel Folau (45) and Hurricanes duo Julian Savea (44) and TJ Perenara (42) are the most prolific of the current crop, but they’ll likely need another couple more campaigns to push their way onto this list, which includes three All Blacks stalwarts, two Wallabies greats and a Springboks icon.
TOP FIVE SUPER RUGBY TRY-SCORERS
4=. Stirling Mortlock – 56
Hard-running centre Mortlock scored 48 tries in 123 games for the Brumbies from 1998-2010, before adding another eight in 23 appearances as the Rebels’ foundation captain. Part of the Brumbies’ 2001 title-winning combination and the Super Rugby Player of the Year the following season, Mortlock bagged 29 tries in 80 Tests for Australia from 2000-09.
4=. Bryan Habana – 56
South African wing legend Habana notched his mammoth tally in just nine Super Rugby seasons, crossing 37 times in 61 games for the Bulls from 2005-09 and on 19 occasions in 57 appearances for the Stormers from 2010-13. Habana scored 64 tries in 117 Tests for the Springboks, but enjoyed one of his finest moments by scoring a dramatic injury-time match-winner in the Bulls’ 2007 final triumph.
4=. Christian Cullen – 56
Brilliant fullback Cullen scored a phenomenal 46 tries in just 58 Tests for New Zealand and transferred that form to the Super Rugby arena, crossing 56 times in 85 games for the Hurricanes from 1996-2003.
3. Joe Roff – 57
Brumbies great Roff became the first player to score four tries in a Super Rugby match during the inaugural 1996 season and set another record with 15 tries in the ’97 season; both marks have been equalled, but still stand in top spot in the record books. His 57 tries – an unmatched tally for one franchise – came in just 86 games, while the versatile backline star crossed 30 times in 86 Tests for Australia.
2. Caleb Ralph – 58
Although he made just 14 Test appearances for the All Blacks (1998-2003), the oft-maligned Ralph was a mainstay for the dominant Crusaders after cutting his teeth with the Chiefs and Blues. The centre/winger played a record 104 Super Rugby games in succession at one stage and scored 52 tries in 126 appearances for the Crusaders. The five-time Super Rugby title winner later made one substitute appearance for the Reds in 2011.
1. Doug Howlett – 59
After beginning his career with modest stints at the Highlanders and Hurricanes, Howlett scored 55 tries in 97 games for the Blues from 1999-2007. He notched four tries in a match in 2002 and won a title the following season with the Auckland-based franchise, leading the competition with 12 five-pointers. The flying winger crossed 49 times in 62 Tests – an All Blacks record.