Tom Dearden’s ‘tackle of the century’ on Selwyn Cobbo leaves NRL world in disbelief

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North Queensland Cowboys co-captain Tom Dearden has pulled off one of the greatest tackles rugby league has ever seen to save an almost certain try against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.

But it’s all been in vain as the Broncos ran away late to blow out the Queensland Derby 38-12 at Suncorp Stadium.

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Despite the convincing performance from the Broncos, 23-year-old Cowboys captain Dearden stole the show with his freakish moment.

The half with one Origin match to his name has shown exactly why he was elevated to the captaincy of the club before the season as he chased down Broncos flyer Selwyn Cobbo from the opposite side of the field.

An intercept 5m out from the Broncos line saw Cobbo streak away as the Broncos’ outside back put on the afterburners to streak away for a near-certain try.

Only no one told Dearden.

While he had a slight headstart, Dearden was coming from the other side of the field and, in shades of Scott Sattler on Todd Byrne in the 2003 Grand Final, somehow chased down the centre, dragging him into touch centimetres before Cobbo grounded the ball.

On Fox Sports, Dan Ginnane called it “a tackle from heaven”, adding it was “an extraordinary chase”.

“That goes into the annals of great try saving tackles,” Ginnane added.

“What a tackle! What a tackle! Tackle of the century! Tom Dearden, take a bow!” commentator Peter Psaltis said on Nine.

While referee Grant Atkins awarded the try, Cameron Smith was sure that it was saved by Dearden.

“From where we were, Tom Dearden looked like he put him into touch,” Smith said.

Paul Vautin added: “That is as good as I have seen in a long, long, long time.”

When it was clear Dearden had pulled off the freakish tackle, Vautin questioned how the touch judge hadn’t seen it.

“Where is the touchie in this?” Vautin asked. “How could he not see? Hello! Put your flag up, champ!

“That is what they do these days, better safe than sorry.”

Smith interjected: “We are sitting, how far away …?”, to which Vautin replied: “2000m and we could see he was definitely in touch.”

Broncos legend Darren Lockyer said: “That’s why he’s one of the co-captains — he’s all heart.”

On Fox, Cooper Cronk agreed it was “a leadership play from Tom Dearden”.

Fans were blown away by the brilliant chase from Dearden.

Sports reporter Robert Smith posted: “That is some chase and try-saving tackle by Tom Dearden and staggeringly the touchie right on the spot told the ref it was a try!! only to be overturned by the Bunker…..”

The NRL Physio posted: “I now think that might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. Dearden/Coates within a few weeks of each other.”

Nine commentator Mat Thompson wrote: “Greatest tackle ever.”

News Corp reporter Brent Read commented: “One of the greatest tackles ever. Tom Dearden, take a bow.”

Another fan wrote: “Tom Dearden – that is one of the greatest try-saving tackles of all time.”

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, all Dearden’s good work was undone almost immediately when Tyson Smoothy barged over from dummy half soon after, as the Broncos put on three unanswered second half tries to blow out the final scoreline.

Speaking to Channel 9 after the game,

“I was coming from the other side of the field, but I thought if I run for the cornerpost I might be a chance,” Dearden said.

“He is pretty fast, but I think he was only in cruise mode, so it may be gave me a chance to tackle him.”

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