SA expat Duhan van der Merwe's 'astonishing' try to secure Scotland's win over England
SA expat Duhan van der Merwe's 'astonishing' try to secure Scotland's win over England

The rugby world is abuzz with the phenomenal performance by South African expat Duhan van der Merwe, scoring one of the greatest Twickenham tries ever on Saturday and then adding a match-winner five minutes before from time to help Scotland secure an amazing 29-23 win over England in the Calcutta Cup.

Van der Merwe was unsurprisingly named Player of the Match with Six Nations saying “it had to be Duhan van der Merwe. His combination of pace and size is rare, even in international rugby, and a lot of England defenders found out just how tough he is to stop. Give him any space, and Van der Merwe is absolutely lethal.”

Fans on social media said the 27-year-old is capable of running through a brick wall. Many also joked about his ‘Scottish accent’ and nicknamed him Duhan Mac Der Swerve and McDuhan. Van der Merwe, who played for SA Under 18s and the Blue Bulls before moving abroad in 2016, qualifies to play for Scotland because he’s lived in Edinburgh for three years.

Six Nations said on Saturday night: “Van der Merwe was the Championship’s top try-scorer in 2021, including a try at Twickenham, but he may never score a better one than his first this time. Taking the ball 60 metres from the England line, he set off and skipped past five would-be tacklers, on his way over for a sensational solo score.” Watch here as the commentator exclaims: “This is astonishing… have you ever seen anything quite like that?”

WATCH Duhan van der Merwe’s ‘defining moment’ at Twickenham with incredible try

“⌚️ Time stood still as Duhan van der Merwe danced through the defence to score a scintillating solo effort,” said Six Nations, adding, “🏆 A day that will live long in the memory for Scotland.”

Hundreds of fans took to social media to praise the 1.93 m (6ft 4in) Duhan and congratulate him on his “well deserved” Player of the Match title.

“55 metres covered and 5 defenders beaten for 1 of the best tries I’ve ever seen,” said one rugby fan. Another added: “Not sure I have ever seen a better try from Scotland. World class!” “Awesome winger and showed that he’s one of the very best,” said one fan, while an English supporter tweeted: “The most amazing try, well done you made my day! (From an England supporter).”

Many called it the “try of the tournament” even though the tournament has only just begun! Scotland made history today at Twickenham by retaining the Calcutta Cup for the third successive time, thanks to the two tries from Van der Merwe, and tries from Huw Jones and Ben White.

WATCH Duhan van der Merwe’s try in slow-motion

Durban-based rugby fan Ivan van Heerden tweeted: “Love watching 6 nations and hearing all those Scottish names, v.d Merwe, Nel, Steyn etc.” A Scottish fan replied: “Scots are born all over the world. It just takes some longer than others to get here! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😁🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🍻”

The evening ended with the team singing the Scottish national anthem, Flower of Scotland, to end a phenomenal day that Scottish Rugby fans will not forget in a hurry, thanks largely to a South African living abroad!

Van der Merwe was born in George and attended Hoërskool Outeniqua, before heading to the University of Pretoria where he played for Tuks and the Blue Bulls. In 2016, Van der Merwe played for Montpellier in France before joining Edinburgh Rugby club.

WATCH Duhan van der Merwe’s second try

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WATCH Highlights | England v Scotland

WATCH Scottish national anthem, Flower Of Scotland