‘Run-on debut like no other’: Junior Wallabies flyer announces himself to the world after stunning hat-trick


In 15 minutes, Tim Ryan didn’t just put a smile on Joe Schmidt’s face, he announced himself to the Australian public by scoring a stunning hat-trick against the Blues on Saturday night in Brisbane.

The Blues, blessed with All Blacks wingers Mark Telea and Caleb Clarke, with Rieko Ioane inside them, knew little about him before the clash.

It’s no great surprise.

While he built a nice package for the Junior Wallabies last year, the lean winger had played just 43 minutes off the bench in two matches this year despite an impressive showing in the Reds’ trial against the Force in February.

But, having lit up Suncorp Stadium in one of the most eye-catching displays from a Super Rugby rookie in years, he won’t be flying under the radar anymore.

Tim Ryan scored a stunning hat-trick on his run-on debut for the Reds during their heartbreaking loss to the Blues at Suncorp Stadium on April 27, 2024. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

After showing his willingness to try things in the first half by creating a huge break with an audacious chip-and-chase near his goal line, Ryan turned it on in the second half.

His first try came in the 49th minute, as he ran 50 metres to score after a perfectly executed chip-and-chase from Hunter Paisami.

Ain’t nobody stopping him ????‍#SuperRugbyPacific #REDvBLU pic.twitter.com/tYBxTAqwqk

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 27, 2024

Four minutes later he had his second by finishing off a well-worked movement from his side from a first-phase play off a lineout.

Then came the best of the lot, as he showed his footwork, acceleration and ability to turn defenders inside-out, including Telea, before gassing Cole Forbes on the inside with a great change in direction off his left foot.

It led to former Wallabies back Morgan Turinui saying it was a “run-on debut like no other”.

“There was a whisper, a chat about this kid in club rugby,” he said.

“They said he was decent, they said he was good. This isn’t good. You don’t come to Super Rugby Pacific, you don’t play the Blues, you don’t do this.”

Former Wallabies captain James Horwill added: “He has absolutely no right to score that try from where he was. The ability to beat not one, not two but three players all end up. Tim Ryan has brought Suncorp Stadium to his feet.”

What. Just. Happened?!?! ????????#SuperRugbyPacific #REDvBLU pic.twitter.com/B81AJTKrm9

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) April 27, 2024

Ultimately, Ryan’s superb hat-trick wasn’t enough as the Blues broke the Reds’ hearts by scoring three tries in the final 11 minutes to steal the game.

But for Ryan, who has earned the nickname the junkyard dog, it was a starting debut to remember.

“It was an unreal feeling,” he said.

“All the boys have said that a packed Suncorp is just the best feeling and I got it first-hand when the crowd just erupted, and I’m excited to be in the team and starting team.”

Ryan put his stunning run-on debut down to the confidence his coach Les Kiss, a former Queensland State of Origin and Australian winger, had instilled in him.

“I think we can put that down to Les,” he said.

“Les really helped me throughout the week. He just said keep it a simple game plan and back yourself and that’s what I tried to do.”

Kiss, who said he was proud of their effort despite not wanting to become the nearly men, described Ryan’s game as “impressive”.

“He’s an understated type of player,” Kiss said.

“When I first saw Timmy playing, I love the fact the fact he never ran out. He’s got a good turn of foot.

“Tonight, we just asked him to back himself and he backed himself right from the chip kick right through the game.”

As for Blues coach Vern Cotter, it’s fair to say the Super Rugby heavyweights won’t be forgetting Ryan’s name anytime soon.

“I hope he’s injured next time we play them,” Cotter quipped.

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