Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Midweek Madness - Rob Cook's bizarre goal kicking technique

Gloucester fullback Rob Cook has been causing quite a stir in the Aviva Premiership with his unorthodox goal kicking style, that despite an impressive success rate, is usually greeted with abuse and laughter. Here's a look at him in action.

Cook, who joined Gloucester from Cornish Pirates last summer, has been the center of attention of late as regular goal kicker Freddie Burns has been out injured. It hasn't taken long for home and opposition fans to take notice of a kicking stance that involves varying degrees of awkwardness.

A while back Jonny Wilkinson set the trend, and proved the concept, that players should be consistent and completely still before they get into their kicking stride. Cook clearly followed suit, but took it to another level, as he explained recently. 

"I've looked through the years at my technique, and it just gets worse and worse – I'll probably be sat down soon!" Cook said.

"A lot of people ask me about it: if I start kicking badly I might have to change it, but at the moment it's working alright. It is a big part of my game, if I'm kicking well then I feel as though I will be playing well too. I enjoy it and I'll just keep working hard at it," he added.

Team mate Jonny May finds it as amusing as anyone else, but says that he enjoys Cook's success.

"His stance is stupid, isn't it? The first thing he does before he kicks is stand up normally anyway. I always ask him why he doesn’t just stand there, but he hit everything over today [vs Northampton recently], so it's whatever works for him.

"Since he’s joined us I’ve been waiting to see what the reaction of the fans would be.

"It was brilliant when he took those place kicks and they were laughing at him, but he just kept slotting them over. I was laughing to myself at him shutting them up," May added.

Below is a quick mash up of some of his more amusing kicks so far this season

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:27 pm | View Comments (23)

Posted in See it to Believe it

Viewing 23 comments

asdfero March 06, 2013 11:35 pm

"How would you describe that? Constipated..." AHAHHAHAHAHAHA

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Andy March 06, 2013 11:39 pm

The wolf whistles are hilarious! I think he enjoys the stick, you can't pull a pose like that on a rugby field and not expect abuse...

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Guy March 07, 2013 12:02 am

Does he ever get a conversion charged down? Seems to take quite a long time to get to the ball...

Overall: nice to see something different.

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paimoe March 07, 2013 12:27 am

Pretty funny looking, but as long as the kicks went over, I wouldn't mind if my team's kickers did a dance or a cartwheel

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Liam March 07, 2013 12:47 am

A couple of years ago, Rotherham vs Cornish Pirates: Pirates trailed by 6 with a minute left. They scored and Cook had the kick in front of the posts to win the match by one point. Rotherham's tall winger, Peter Swatkins, charged the kick down, and saved the match. After that I thought Rob Cook would have adjusted his technique :)

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Ronan March 07, 2013 12:44 am

Jonny Wilkinson has a lot to answer for......

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Anon March 07, 2013 2:15 am

haha brilliant, I think its quite clever actually I bet doing something like that is so ridiculous it takes a bit of the pressure off. also it could just be tongue in cheek, maybe he lost some bet he aint allowed to talk about.... what goes on tour stays on tour!

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Rob March 07, 2013 2:36 am

Don't like it. Ideally, you should have a smooth approach to the ball, but he first has to 'stand up' and then do so. Not smooth at all, and iIrc, he does miss some sitters. Jonny's is nothing like that, and focuses his body forward so it's over the ball at point of strike. Cook's is like a basketball freethrow shooter with poor technique - probably something he came up with on his own, and had some success with but he'd likely have higher percentages with a more orthodox approach to the ball. (Look at the difference between basketball players with average and high FT %s or golfers with odd vs . text book swings.)

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Jimothy March 09, 2013 10:53 am

Thank God there are people on this site to correct the rugby professionals and all the coaches on how to do it properly! So how is your rugby career going?

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Sankeor March 07, 2013 3:39 am

IMO the starting position doesn't matter as long as he scores, but I would be him I would be embarassed to look so ridiculous.

No, what bothers me REALLY is the way he tilts the ball towards the posts when it's on the tee. It's nearly horizontal !
In theory (at least according to what I've been taught) the ball should have a nice backward spin when kicked (and no matters if it's a conversion or a clearance kick), hence the ball should be close to the vertical and hit at the lower end.
Here we can see that Cook kicks it as if it were a rocket. The spin is laborious, the trajectory is too flat and IMO the kicks would be unaccurate if kicked by anybody else, even by Wilco.
But if they say he has an impressive success rate... good for him !

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matt March 07, 2013 2:16 pm

It's quite similar to Stephan Jone's positioning

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Sankeor March 07, 2013 5:03 pm

Can't say I like it... The only moment I place the ball horizontally is for torpedo kicks.

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Guy March 07, 2013 5:08 pm

I wouldn't mind if he put the ball on it's side, as long as he hits the target.

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ConnachtMan March 07, 2013 12:31 pm

"You've got Haemorrhoids!!" Brilliant.

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jadawin March 07, 2013 2:19 pm

There are rules about aesthetics ? In this case, the style of Johnny Wilkinson is even worse.

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Laurie Essy March 07, 2013 9:51 pm

i train with rob cook once or twice a week at my club he is a great bloke and a quality goal kicker and player.

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Canadian content March 08, 2013 12:07 am

Haters gonna hate! Go on with your bad bent over self Cookie!

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kadova March 08, 2013 12:41 am

That's fantastic ! The way he walks to the !
I'm like others here, as long as the ball splits the posts...

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Jimothy March 09, 2013 10:56 am

I'm constantly amazed by the keyboard professionals who comment on this website. This guy is getting paid to play the game at the top level in this country and you think you have the right to comment on how he should kick! Unless you've charged down one of his kicks or smashed him in a tackle and whispered in his ear, you look like a di*k when you kick, shut up!

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mise March 10, 2013 3:50 am


Don't think telling ppl to shut up is apt really - comments have been fairly sympathetic I'd say.

@rob His style is idiosyncratic, for sure, but every now and then someone with a unique affectation or emphasis happens upon something that actually work .Obvious example is (not so much Wilko) as the changeover from forward to backwards in high jump. That was counter-intuitive until science spent some time looking and found it to be completely sensible and of course scientific.

Still, I don't know enough about the ergo-dynamics (?) of the whole thing to say much more....

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Jimothy March 10, 2013 11:01 am

It was aimed at the few, not the many.

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muzi March 10, 2013 10:04 am

brilliant.... couldn't stop laughing the awesome thing is he slots them in!

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Gonzoman March 11, 2013 3:30 pm

You think that's bizarre? Have a look at Jamie Soward, from the NRL.

Cook is tame by comparison, but both remind me of Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch...

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