Speight’s Grand Slam: Aussie’s incredible Super record
Henry Speight has trumped Israel Folau by becoming the first player in Super Rugby history to complete a "Grand Slam" of tries against every club.
Incredible ... 18 tries against 18 teams.
And that includes the Cheetahs, Southern Kings and Western Force, who are no longer part of Super Rugby, plus four in four games against Japan's Sunwolves, who will be gone next season.
Similar Grand Slams always mean enduring class. Peyton Manning played 18 seasons as a champion quarterback to beat all 32 clubs in the NFL.
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The Queensland Reds recruit was so entrenched as a "one club" figure at the ACT Brumbies for nine seasons that it never seemed possible he would even get to play against them.
He seemed likely to be stuck with tries against 17 opponents just as Folau was within a five-pointer against all sides except the NSW Waratahs he once played for.
Speight's switch to the Reds during the off-season created the mouth-watering possibility that he'd get a shot at the "Grand Slam" in last Friday night's clash in Canberra.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was the first to see the record coming because Speight's try move, off an inside ball, was a staple in the Canberra side's armoury.
"We knew that play was coming and it wasn't as good as watching it last year (when scoring off the same running line for the Brumbies)," McKellar said.
"It was good to see 'Silky" get the response and recognition from the crowd because he's much loved in Canberra and he'll always be a Brumby."
The Reds are rapt to have him because the value of his polish, poise and roaming strikes will come through more and more.
The experience of Wallaby centre James O'Connor has already proved a positive. He shook off tackles and always made extra metres in contact in the 27-24 loss.
*Correction: top of opponent column the No.6 should read Blues
Henry Speight's incredible record
The Reds spent Sunday in Johannesburg in recovery mode with a pool session and massage to stay on top of any debilitating effects from Canberra's extreme 39 degree game-time heat.
They back up on Saturday night in the high-altitude of Johannesburg against the Lions, who were overrun 28-0 in the second half of Sunday's 38-8 loss to the Jaguares
Former Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa was ruled out of the tour with the ankle ligament damage he sustained early against the Brumbies.
He is to visit a specialist in Brisbane on Monday while young tour replacement Sean Farrell gets a chance.
Lock Harry Hockings is on tour but the mending of his broken hand won't yet make him available this weekend.