This week, Too Good Tuesday relives the longest penalty ever kicked in an international rugby match. We’re accustomed to seeing long-range goals on South Africa’s high veldt, where the thinner air allows the ball to travel further, but Wales fullback Paul Thorburn’s legendary kick against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park in 1986 did not receive any atmospheric advantages.
Thorburn, who scored 304 points in 37 Tests for Wales from 1985-91, lined up a penalty from 11 metres on his own side of halfway and 10 metres in from the left-hand touchline. As if rocket-powered, the ball sailed towards the uprights and dropped over the cross-bar.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a few more of the longest kicks of the last decade.
Former All Black Luke McAlister drilled this massive kick – just a metre closer to halfway and a couple of metres nearer to the centre of the field than Thorburn’s strike – for North Harbour against Auckland in the 2010 ITM Cup.
South African superboot Francois Steyn landed this booming goal for Leinster in 2010 from near the touchline and five metres into his own half.
And the great Dan Carter capitalised on the conditions in Pretoria, 1350 metres above sea level, to sink this 60-metre plus penalty against the Springboks with ease.