SL moments: Lesley Vainikolo’s six tries

Lesley Vainikolo’s six tries in a single Super League match may never be beaten.

It was on September 2, 2005 when Vainikolo inspired Bradford to a comfortable 49-6 win at Odsal. 

Vainikolo scored from the first minute until the last. His first try was posted within 29 seconds of the game, with his last fittingly concluding the game.

‘The Volcano’ completed a century of tries for the Bulls in 99 appearances, stretching Bradford’s winning streak to six games and virtually securing a third place finish from which they would win the Grand Final.

Hull came into the game on the back of their Challenge Cup final success over Leeds in Cardiff. The Arlie Birds succumbed to their predicted post-cup final fatigue and failed to put up much of a fight. Gareth Raynor’s try converted by Danny Brough was the only thing travelling Hull fans had to cheer about. 

Paul Deacon’s early kick hit the posts and found Stuart Fielden. He was held short of the line, but some quick passing eventually found Vainikolo in the left corner.

Ian Henderson’s gentle kick was picked up by Vainikolo for his second, before scoring a first half hat trick after collecting Shontayne Hape’s inside ball. 

Vainikolo scored his fourth and fifth tries in the space of three minutes, but not before selflessly setting up Hape for his own touch down.

But the drama wasn’t over as ‘The Volcano’ raced the length of the field to score his sixth and final try for the Bulls on the hooter.

Vainikolo’s six tries may still be a Super League record, an accolade he holds on his own. However six tries is not a world record for tries in a single match since 1895. 

Phil Cantillon scored seven tries in a 90-4 victory for Widnes against York in 2001. In Australia, Frank Burge scored eight tries for Glebe against University in the New South Wales Premier League, then the country’s highest level of competition.

Martin Offiah broke a Wigan club record when he scored ten tries against Leeds in the 1992 Premiership semi final at Central Park. Shaun Edwards matched that record the following year in early rounds of the Lancashire Cup against Swinton at Gigg Lane. 

However the world record for most tries in a single professional match stands at 11 for George West of Hull KR. West achieved this remarkable feat that has stood for 107 years in 1905 during a Challenge Cup match against Brookland Rovers.

It is a record that may stand the test of time.

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