On the eve of the return of the 2022 rugby league season, a video has gone viral on Twitter of one of the most remarkable pieces of skill we have ever seen in world sport.
And remarkable is perhaps an understatement when you see the footage below.
It’s fair to say rugby league players are some of the most skilled athletes on the planet.
You need to be fit, quick with your feet, have exceptional hand-eye coordination and above all, be incredibly brave to play the game professionally.
But in 2015, New Zealand Warriors player Nathan Friend took that to the next level and showed he could bend the laws of gravity, performing a show-stopping piece of skill to set up one of the greatest tries we have ever seen in rugby league history.
During a match against Australian side Melbourne Storm, the Warriors were leading 16-8 in the 57th minute of the game and were pressing on the opposition try line.
On their last tackle of the set, the New Zealand side pumped a high bomb into the night sky, causing chaos in the ranks of the Melbourne defenders underneath it.
Friend saw an opportunity to reclaim possession for his side, speeding towards the defensive line to leap off the ground and claim the catch.
Showing incredible courage and insane handling skills, the hooker turns his back to the goalposts to receive the kick but is flipped 180º in mid-air by a crouching Storm player underneath him.
In that heart-sinking moment, many would opt to drop the ball in a bid to try and cushion their landing.
But the New Zealander, it seems, had his mind on getting another score for his side.
With his body tipped beyond the horizontal, the former NRL All-Star miraculously manages to fire a pass back between his legs, which lands in the hands of current Catalan Dragons and England stand-off, Sam Tomkins.
Take a look at the insane piece of skill in the video posted by @JimHamilton4 on Twitter below…
It’s sheer bravery from Friend, who neglects his own safety for the good of his team, and thankfully, his gymnastics efforts were not in vain.
While he lands on the ground, his teammates continue to attack, with Tomkins combining with halfback Shaun Johnson in a lovely no-look passing move, to put Tuimoala Lolohea in the corner and finish off what was simply an incredible piece of rugby league.
The Warriors went on to win the match 28-14 and there is no doubt that this is a surefire candidate for try of the century.
Fans have been reacting to the piece of skill on Twitter, with many gobsmacked at the athleticism of Friend…
While the video may whet your appetite for more rugby league content, don’t fret as the sport will return to our screens in just over a week’s time, with the 2022 Super League season commencing on February 10 and the NRL season kicking off a month later on March 10.