Rugby

Watch: The Schools Try That Started It All For Munster Record-Breaker Simon Zebo

Watch: The Schools Try That Started It All For Munster Record-Breaker Simon Zebo

Munster outside back Simon Zebo made history on Friday night, breaking Anthony Horgan's try-scoring record for the province with a brace from fullback against Zebre.

It's a remarkable achievement for a player so young, and one who is yet to truly win over his critics - particularly at international level. But for those who watched Zebo in the Munster Schools Senior Cup back in 2007, the Cork flier's 43-try haul at club level likely won't come as much of a surprise.

Nine years and a fortnight ago, Zebo's Machiavellian magic aided his school, Presentation Brothers College (a team which also included current Munster captain Peter O'Mahony), in seeing off bitter rivals Christians 13-3 in the Munster Schools Senior Cup final - equalling the red half of Cork's twenty-seven Munster Senior Schools titles.

It was a try out of nothing.

As an Arctic wind whipped in over the North Terrace and blew towards the Sunday's Well end of what was then Musgrave Park, Simon Zebo fielded a wayward clearance kick from Robbie O'Donoghue and sidestepped two defenders just behind the halfway line.

The seven subsequent seconds saw him rinse his opposition winger and sell a kick-dummy before accelerating past oncoming fullback Odhrán Mulrooney and touching down in the right-hand corner (incidentally, Mulrooney is now a teammate of Eoin and Alan Cadogan at Douglas GAA Club).

So deceptive was Zebo's crusade down the wing, in fact, that in the only remaining online footage of his wonder try, he seems to actually tear a hole in the space-time continuum.

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Teleportation on a rugby pitch? That's real magic, and referee Leo Colgan was powerless but to award the try.

Jokes aside, it was the game where the 25-cap Ireland international presented himself on the provincial stage. It took him three years to make his senior bow, but the former Pres winger is now closing in on 100 Munster appearances, with 43 tries to boot. It's no mean feat.

Mind you, given the position from which he fielded the kick, would he perhaps have been better-suited to a fullback role at schools level?

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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