Pyke shows other converts how it’s done
The feel good story of Canadian rugby convert Mike Pyke playing a pivotal role in his side winning a premiership warms the hearts of many, including higher profile code swappers Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau.
I say this because Pyke’s story shows that it is possible to switch codes and be successful, not just as a part of a team but as an individual.
After turning up to Sydney with just a video of his 100m intercept try against the almighty All Blacks, the veteran of 17 caps for the Canadian rugby union side came in search of a new challenge.
With a hard working attitude and a willingness to learn, Pyke spent three seasons mixing and matching between the Swans and their reserve side. The big man turned over a new leaf in 2012 by cementing his spot in the Swans’ side as seriously competitive ruckman.
Whether he was covering for the injured Shane Mumford or just being the support act to Mumford, Pyke proved his worth to the Sydney hierarchy.
On the biggest stage he came through with the goods. With his ruck partner Mumford under a serious injury cloud, Pyke shouldered his fair share of the ruck work. When Mumford was subbed out early in the last term, it came down to the big Canadian to ruck unchanged for the remainder of the game.
He finished with 29 hit outs, 16 disposals and six marks, which went a long way to helping his beloved Swans winning the flag.
With the Pyke story going down in football folklore, will Hunt or Folau be able to live up to the record of the former Canadian union star.
What do you think Roarers?