The Rugby Championship in Numbers

The southern hemisphere’s prestigious rugby tournament, The Rugby Championship is where legends are born, tries are scored and injuries mount up.  It’s tough, hard and attritional… on the body, the mind and on the legions of fans who tune in to back their teams, only to watch in dismay as they fade away into the gloom.
It’s the south’s answer to the Six Nations and to date it’s been a roaring success… provided you back the omnipotent All Blacks.  To celebrate the kick-off of The Rugby Championship, Aug 18 - Oct 6, 2018 let’s take a look at a few numbers that define the tournament of giants:
1 team has dominated proceedings in both iterations of the event - the original Tri Nations and now the current tournament - and that of course is the All Blacks of New Zealand.  To date they have won 30 Rugby Championship matches out of 33, precisely double that of their closest rivals, the Australian Wallabies.
2 is the number of times the teams compete against each other in a format known as the double round-robin. All teams have the opportunity to clash with their opponents at home and away.
3 continents and 1 island play host to home games at The Rugby Championship each year - Africa, Australia, South America and New Zealand.
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4 teams compete for 4 trophies over the duration of the tournament.  The teams are the Argentine Pumas, the South African Springboks, the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks.
Other than the Rugby Championship trophy, the silverware up for grabs is the Bledisloe Cup contested between Australia and New Zealand, the Freedom Cup for the winner of the matches between South Africa and New Zealand and the Mandela Challenge Plate that’s awarded to either Australia or South Africa.
5 of the 6 Rugby Championship titles have been won by the All Blacks.
15 Championship games have been snatched up by the Wallabies, putting them just one match ahead of the Springboks.  Despite Australia’s better overall win rate, the Springboks have scored more points (791 to the Wallabies 748) and conceded fewer points (774 versus Australia’s 841). 
21 is the number of times South Africa’s speedy attacking wing, Bryan Habana crossed the line to set up a tournament record for the most tries.  His closest rival is former New Zealand captain and flanker extraordinaire, the great Richie McCaw whose 17 tries are a testament to his tremendous strength and skill at the breakdown.

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46 is the most matches any player has racked up as captain.  The player is of course New Zealand’s Richie McCaw.  John Smit of South Africa comes in a ‘close’ second with 31 matches under his belt.
60 is the highest-ever points difference in a single match.  The final score of the game played between South Africa and Argentina in Soweto in 2013 was 73 to 13, with the hosts scoring a record 9 tries.
164 is the points difference between the highest-ever points scorer Dan Carter and the man closest to him, south Africa’s Morne Steyn.  They boast 554 and 390 points, respectively.
88,739 is the highest attendance figure of all-time.  South African fans came out in their numbers to watch a match contested between South Africa and New Zealand at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.  The final score was South Africa 16 to New Zealand’s 32.
Can defending champions, New Zealand grab their sixth title at The Rugby Championship?  According to their current form and our revealing statistics, the All Blacks are a shoe-in to win again in 2018.

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Published: 08/30/2018