Half of the beauty of a try from a prop is the detail added in the re-telling: the distance from the line, the number of players left in the dust and the textbook dive to touch down.
If you missed Greg Bateman’s finishing power in the win at Quins last weekend, you’d already be rolling your eyes at the re-telling from anyone who was there or followed the game on TV. Sometimes truth is stranger than the fiction.
The prop, on as a front-row replacement after a yellow card for Ellis Genge – an incident probably just as startling as the try for most Tigers fans and players – Bateman took possession outside the Quins 22, showed good footwork and excellent awareness in swapping the ball from left hand to right, fending off one tackle before beating another and then made a burst for the line, skidding in right under the posts.
He didn’t really look like he knew how to celebrate, but front-rowers don’t generally think about practising that part of the game and Telusa Veainu looked like he was choreographing the moment for his team-mate anyway.
Leaving behind “145 Test caps-worth of debris” as The Times described the finish, with James Horwill and Mike Brown both on the ground, Bateman’s try has instantly entered Tigers folklore.
Everyone loves a try from a prop and that one goes up alongside some of the The Tig’s favourite individual Tigers moments.
It was similar to Castro’s score against London Irish, the one where he picked off a pass in midfield and galloped away from the defence to score in front of the old Clubhouse at Welford Road.
The Italian’s burst through the Wasps defence and the belly-flop dive at the Millennium Stadium was another great front-row memory.
Logo Mulipola’s try of the season winner against Exeter, also at the Clubhouse End, had its similarities with Bateman’s effort too, not least in thundering through and over the covering defence. The width of his smile as he dotted down is still etched in The Tig memory.
Micky Rizzo’s horizontal dive for an Anglo-Welsh Cup try at Welford Road was pretty spectacular too and there must be a Marcos Ayerza beauty in there somewhere though the memory retains more ‘assists’ from the popular Argentinian.
Cole, White, Rowntree, Garforth and Freshwater are just some of the others who have provided their tryscoring moments for the Front Row Union and a spectacular score from Ellis Genge can surely not be too far off. The Tig has a fancy it will involve bouncing off multiple tacklers, with one of them probably dangling from over his shoulders as he charges to the line. The celebrations will take some stopping too!