Johannesburg — The interwebs were quite chuffed this past weekend watching Francke Horn storm down the touchline, beating a defender or two, before offloading to the flying Rabz Maxwane, who crossed the whitewash for the Lions against Benetton.
It was a beautiful try — one that has even been punted by the United Rugby Championship as the Lions’ try of the season — but what social media found quite astounding was the turn of speed that cameraman Andrea Scialpi showed to keep up with the action by haring down his side of the line to keep up with Horn and Maxwane.
Down 28-18 at the time, the Lions’ attack started in their own 22 with flyhalf Gianni Lombard spreading the ball wide. Receiving the pass with a few steps forward, captain Marius Louw then unleashed Quan Horn at pace, who drew two defenders with a beguiling run.
The slick passing didn’t end there as Manuel Rass collected his pass and popped it onto the galloping Francke Horn, who by this time was at full stride. The No 8 broke the first tackle, then stepped a second, Maxwane on his shoulder and Scialpi following closely.
Horn powered his way forward, batting away the weak first tackle attempt of replacement back Marcon Zanon. Having made the hard yards and with 5m to the tryline, Horn then got his arm around Zanon’s eventual tackle, releasing Maxwane to canter over for the score with a sprinting Scialpi in tow.
The try, in the 65th minute, edged the Lions closer on the scoreboard 28-25, and set them up for an important 32-28 victory. On Tuesday, Horn relived the moment by revealing that his teammates have been yanking his chain regarding his footrace with Scialpi the whole week.
Said the 23-year-old with a chuckle: "Some of the coaches chirped afterwards that I should have passed it earlier to Rabz, so that his speed could go around.
“I was just glad that I didn’t mess it up. I think I made the right decision at the right time.
“I also got a few jokes that if the cameraman can keep up with me, then my speed is not there. There has been a lot of joking.
“At that stage of the game, we needed that try. I am just glad that I could put it on a plate for Rabs to go into the corner and change the game.
“I’m really loving it to be back,” Horn added, speaking of his recent return from injury. “Three months being out, you get a lot of perspective on how much you miss playing rugby.”
Horn will no doubt be involved this weekend when the Lions host Top 14 club Racing 92 at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday (kick-off 6.30pm) in EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 action. Earlier on the day, the Lions' Currie Cup side will take on the Sharks, also at Ellis Park (kick-off 3.30pm).