He not only provided the offload of the World Cup, but Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou will also take home the tournament's honesty award after confessing to knocking the ball on before scoring a potential try in the Wallabies' opening win against Georgia in Paris.
With Australia leading 15-3 midway through the first half, the 135kg front rower picked the ball up at the breakdown from close to the line and crashed his huge frame over the chalk. Referee Luke Pearce was unsure whether Tupou had cleanly planted the ball, checking with his linesman and preparing to go upstairs to the third match official before the Australian forward came clean.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Wallabies savaged over 'dreadful' scenes before Cup
Stan match commentator Sean Maloney said: "Pearce wants a look, he wants a chat." Pearce then asks Tupou: "You've lost it forward, have you?"
To which Tupou replies: "Yeah" Pearce: "So, no need to check? You haven’t scored the try?"
Tupou: "No" Pearce: "Good honesty, thank you very much. No try." Replays showed Tupou would have been denied the try but it's still rare in professional sport, with so much at stake, a player would put his hand up straight away and admit to a mistake. It’s akin to a batter walking on a plumb LBW or a tennis player conceding the ball was in without Hawkeye needing to intervene.
World Cup-winning Wallaby Tim Horan joked in commentary: "Not like an Aussie to be honest to the referee, is it? But he just knocked it on."
Ex-Wallaby Morgan Turinui added: "That's brilliant from Taniela Tupou. We talk about wanting rugby in the game and speed in the game.
"He knows what he did. He lets the referee know and moves on with the game."
— Nick Knowles (@MrNickKnowles) September 9, 2023
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) September 9, 2023
Taniela Tupou deserves to be Man of the Match based on the try assist and the earlier scrum half left to right pass alone.#AUSvGEO
— Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) September 9, 2023
Taniela Tupou stars for Wallabies
Tupou was at the centre of another memorable moment later in the game, showing deft skills for a big man to pop an exquisite floating pass for fullback Ben Donaldson to race away and score.
The Wallabies won 35-15 to claim their first win of the year and the first victory in Eddie Jones' second stint as coach.
Taniela Tupou 🤯
An amazing one-handed offload sets up a brilliant Ben Donaldson try.
↳ Rugby World Cup 2023. Now Streaming. The Only Place to Watch Every Match. Ad-free. 4K UHD. Live & On Demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport.#StanSportAU #RWC2023 #AUSvGEO pic.twitter.com/ugljSiuUbZ
— Stan Sport Rugby (@StanSportRugby) September 9, 2023
It wasn’t a slick, polished performance from Australia in the oppressive conditions, but they got the job done and walk away with five points from the bonus point win.
"I might enjoy a glass of red wine tomorrow. You don't start like that if you're lacking in confidence," Jones said.
"We've got a young team and it's another great experience for them. Each game they'll get a little bit better."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.