The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

The Mike Pyke Nonchalant Try Scoring Award

Mike Pyke
The Mike Pyke Nonchalant Try Scoring Award

Posted June, 2007

The East Terrace freely admits that in some aspects of its love of Rugby Football, itís a little old fashioned.

We like cotton rugby jerseys. We like sponsor-free national kits. We like things like the home team changing their kit in the case of a colour clash, not the away team. We like summer tours to have at least one first choice player on it. We like going to stadiums and watching games without foghorns being blown in our ears by some spoilt brat next to us.

And another thing we like (a lot) is players scoring a try and not acting like soccer players afterwards.

We also like it when players donít do those stupid swan dives to ground the ball when there is no one around to tackle them.

There are, as far as we can tell, only two reasons to dive over the line with a rugby ball.

A) When you are about to be tackled and it helps you cross the line/or if the dive itself helps you break a tackle(s).

B) When you are exhausted and you want to minimise the whole running thing by jumping the last five yards and getting a well earned rest.

C) Finally, (ok, this is a third point, we know) we think it is okay to dive if it is raining heavily. Because then its fun. Whoosh!

The swan dive (and accompanying soccer celebrations) are become more and more a part of the game. Followers of the English Premiership will no doubt be familiar with this clip of a swan dive gone wrong:

This incident wasnít even from a meaningless pre-season friendly either. This was a game London Irish had to win to stave off the threat of relegation. People could actually have lost their job over this.

The East Terrace, when it was young, had a games teacher at school who would disallow a try for such acts as swan-diving/celebrating. We need more teachers like that.

To get some idea of how much the celebration/try-scoring has moved on itís worth taking a look at the most famous try in rugby history. Gareth Edwardís try in the corner for the Barbarians against the 1973 All Blacks is remarkable for more than just the brilliance and skill in its build up and execution. Look at how the players react to the scoring a try of such magnificence:

How nonchalant. How cool. How stylish.

We arenít saying tries shouldnít be celebrated, but we wouldnít mind a little more context to some of the more outlandish celebrations going on out there today.

Which is why we have created The Mike Pyke Nonchalant Try Scoring Award.

Mike Pyke? Mike Pyke plays for Canada and US Montauban. Recently, he scored what must be one of the longest solo tries scored against the All Blacks in their history. It was a near 90 metre effort from an interception. And when the fullback arrived at the threshold of the Kiwi whitewash, he simply dotted the ball down old school style.

A dive would have even been acceptable, due to the fact that after sprinting 90 odd metres with a pack of All Blacks on your heels, you are due a little bit of a break.

But not our Mike. And not only did he coolly place the ball down, he didnít even start jumping around and kissing everyone, he simply started jogging back to get on with the game. Admittedly his team mates, when they caught him up, gave him a bit of a hug, but he seemed rather embarrassed by the whole affair.

If you havenít seen it, here we go (thanks to Graeme aka Glorzifen for editing) :

Cynics might say he was a little out of breath and hence didnít feel like jumping around. We prefer to think he was just being cool.

Itís almost as if heís saying: ďYeah, I just scored a 90 metre solo try against the best team in the world on their home patch. And what? Game ainít over yet.Ē

So in honour of his style, we give Mike Pyke, the inaugural Mike Pyke Nonchalant Try Scoring Award.

Go you nonchalant try-scoring thing. Immortality has been achieved. Now go put your feet up, youíve earned it.