Clueless Piers Morgan rips Raiders over Ashes-inspired try celebration

The Canberra Raiders earned a laugh even from the most rusted-on England fans - but Piers Morgan didn't get it.

Canberra Raiders players emulate the second Ashes Test controversy on the left, with Piers Morgan pictured on the right.
Piers Morgan evidently didn't know that the Canberra Raider's amusing try celebration referencing the second Ashes Test debacle was done in jest as part of a charity drive. Pictures: NRL/Getty Images

Do you want to tell him or shall we? British bigmouth Piers Morgan has sunk to a new low – so soon after his previous new low – by bagging fellow Englishman Elliott Whitehead over Canberra's hilarious post-try celebration against the Dragons on Friday night.

Whitehead played the part of Jonny Bairstow, shaping up as the batsman as Jordan Rapana bowled the Steeden for Zac Woolford to complete the "stumping" by throwing the ball at the corner post. The Raiders routine – part of the "Try July" celebrations which raise thousands for charity – was widely applauded by fans for its ingenuity, humour and execution.

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It was so good, sponsor Sportsbet upped its donation from $1000 to $10,000. That all seemed to be lost on old mate Morgan, who felt the need to jump on Twitter to question Whitehead's loyalty to the England cause.

He labelled the celebration as "shameful" before accusing the Canberra captain of being a "closet Australian". The full tweet read: "Just found out the batsman in this shameful spirit-of-the-game mocking stunt is not only ENGLISH, but a YORKSHIREMAN. What on earth are you doing Elliott Whitehead? Are you a closet Australian?"

Thankfully, the rest of the sporting world was full of support for Elliott and his teammates. The England Rugby League led the way, showing a video of the celebration and tweeting: "Surely not out? It’s not within the "spirit of rugby league".

English fans amused by Canberra Raiders' try celebration

Sky Sports Cricket in the UK also ran with the footage, with former England captain Mike Atherton declaring it "absolutely fantastic" and smiling broadly. Morgan appears to be on a one-man crusade to keep the Ashes animosity on the front burner, chipping Steve Smith for his reaction to some light sledging from Bairstow following the Australian's second innings dismissal.

But it’s a losing cause. The atmosphere at Headingley has been lively and noisy but respectful, with the Barmy Army leading the way.

And if things were to get out of hand, a blast from BA trumpeter Simon Finch quickly pulls perpetrators back into line.

A spectator for the Barmy Army plays the trumpet.
England's Barmy Army has been keeping the atmosphere closer to cheerful than hostile at the third Ashes Test at Headingley. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"We aren't allowed in at Lord's so can't say too much on what happened in the stands, but we do always feel the Barmy Army trumpet allows us to control certain behaviour and stamp out any possible negative chanting," spokesman Charlie Adolphy told Yahoo Sport Australia.

"We never actively encourage any sort of abusive chanting and this is set out clearly in our code of conduct to all of our members.

"We're 2-0 down so the team needs our support more than ever so that's what they will get at Headingley."

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