The Year in Numbers

Date published: December 29 2016

With help from stattos beavering away in various dark, cobweb-ridden, subterranean data storage rooms around the globe, Planet Rugby looks back at the best – and worst – of 2016 expressed in numerical form.

1 – The number of times Ireland have beaten New Zealand from a total of 30 Tests between the two countries over a 111-year period. Ireland eventually broke their duck when they claimed a 40-29 victory over the All Blacks in Chicago during November.

100 – Is the percentage of matches which England won under the guidance of head coach Eddie Jones in 2016. That is from 13 matches which includes a flawless Six Nations campaign, a win over Wales in a friendly ahead of their 3-0 series whitewash of the Wallabies in Australia in June and four successive victories during their end-of-year Tests.

6 – South Africa’s position in World Rugby’s rankings at the end of 2016. This equals their lowest position since the rankings were introduced in 2003 and follows an annus horribilis for the Springboks, who won just four out of 12 Tests this year.

5 – That represents the number of franchises from New Zealand that have won the Super Rugby tournament after the Hurricanes’ triumphant 2016 season. They follow in the footsteps of the Crusaders, Blues, Chiefs and Highlanders which means that every one of that country’s franchises have now been victorious in the competiiton.

8.5 – The number of seconds it took for Golden Lions lock Lourens Erasmus to score a try after kick-off in the Lions’ 68-26 demolition of the Pumas in their Currie Cup clash in Johannesburg. This is the fastest-ever try in Currie Cup history and breaks the record which was previously held by Leopards wing Bertie Visser, who scored after nine seconds in Potchefstroom in 2012.

1 – Fiji’s number of medals since making their debut at the Olympic Games in 1956. Their first was achieved when they won the Rugby Sevens at this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

258 – The number of points scored by the top pointscorer in the Premiership – Exeter Chiefs fly-half Gareth Steenson – during the 2015/16 campaign. Those points came via three tries, 48 conversions and 49 penalties. He finished 73 points ahead of his nearest rival, Wasps pivot Jimmy Gopperth.

30 – That’s the total racked up by New Zealand on the points table their triumphant 2016 Rugby Championship campaign. That represents a full house of points available after they won all six their matches with try-scoring bonus points – the first time this has ever happened since Argentina joined the Southern Hemisphere’s three leading nations in an expanded competition in 2012.

131 – The number of years it took for Connacht to win their first ever trophy when they beat fellow Irish province Leinster 20-10 in the PRO12 final at Murrayfield.

81 – The number of points scored by New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett who finished as the leading pointscorer in this year’s Rugby Championship. Barrett’s points came courtesy of four tries, 23 conversions and five penalties.

108,941 – The total number of supporters who flocked through the gates of the Cape Town Stadium over two days during a highly successful second instalment of the Cape Town Sevens. The first day saw 53,946 people go through the turnstiles, while 54,995 were in attendance on the second day of the tournament which was won by England. Last year, just under 106,000 people attended the inaugural event.

1 – A first ever European Champions Cup title for Saracens as they beat Racing 92, 21-9, at Grande Stade de Lyon in the final. That’s also the first time an English side has won Europe’s premier cup competition since Wasps won the Heineken Cup in 2007.

40.1 – That figure represents the average number of points scored per Test by the All Blacks in 2016. The world champions played in 14 Tests during the year and scored a whopping 562 points.

4 – That’s the number of tries scored by the top tryscorer in this year’s Six Nations – Wales winger George North.

16 – The figure for the highest number of try assists by a single player – Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies – during this year’s Super Rugby tournament.

by David Skippers

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