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By Numbers: The Aviva Premiership

Before the new Aviva Premiership season kicks off, we look at some of the most intriguing records from the history of the league, including the most points scored in games, the most red cards and some truly outstanding performances from individual players.

Points mean prizes

The biggest ever winning margin in a Premiership game was 94 points when Richmond thrashed Bedford on 16th May 1999 by 12 – 106. The score was 42 – 0 at half time, but Bedford managed to achieve a couple of consolation tries in response to the sixteen that Richmond scored.

There have been three games with 12 tries scored by the same team (Sale 76 – 0 Bristol, Nov 1997; Bath 76 – 13 London Scottish, May 1999; Leicester 72 – 12 West Hartlepool, May 1999). Leicester has also won another three matches by scoring 11 tries (v Rotherham, May 2004, v Newcastle Feb 2005, v Bristol April 2009).

The most ever penalty goals achieved in a match was 10 when Wasps defeated Leicester 36 – 24 back on 31st March 2002. Alex King scored 7 penalties and 2 drop goals and Kenny Logan 3 penalties. Wasps won the match despite being outscored by 2 tries to 0.

In terms of drop goals, the most accrued by one team was four when London Irish went down 21 – 22 against visiting Northampton Saints. Three drop goals from Mark Mapletoft and one from Barry Everitt were not enough to see the Exiles home.

Four other games featured three drop goals, including Gloucester’s 44 – 21 win over Sale in 2001, Harlequins’ 18 – 18 draw with London Irish in 2002, Newcastle’s 27 – 16 win over Northampton in 2004 and Newcastle again with a win over Leeds in 2007, the final score being 21 – 19.

A record Rotherham fans will want to forget is from 2001 when they were leading Newcastle by 20 points at half-time, 26 – 6. Five second half tries from the Falcons saw them become 36 – 39 winners of the match, a quite extraordinary fixture.

Red cards galore

The most ever red cards in one Premiership match was three. Bath saw two players red carded against Leicester on 1st Dec 2012, a game they lost 17 – 12. As well as Stephen Donald and Simon Taylor being yellow carded, Matt Banahan and Francois Louw both saw red. Brett Deacon was also red carded for Leicester. Before Taylor was sin binned – the first man to leave the field for ill-discipline – Bath were leading 12 – 6.

Gloucester also saw two yellows and two reds when they lost 17 – 18 to Bath at Kingsholm on 12 April 2014. Sila Puafisi was red carded on 52 minutes and Tavis Knoyle on 78 (both replacements). Huia Edmonds was yellow carded on 75 and Mike Tindall on 74. In the game Bath saw five yellows themselves: Nick Abendanon, Paul James, Dave Attwood, Matt Garvey and Carl Fearns all being sin-binned, yet they still managed to dig out a victory. At the time it was Bath’s first league win at Kingsholm since 2006.

There have been 11 other games in Premiership history that have featured two red cards.

Prop Julian White was the worse offender in terms of red cards, being shown five of them throughout his club career, as well as seven yellows. Whilst 11 further players received two red cards in their careers, London Irish hooker David Paice stands out for having received a whopping 19 yellow cards. As it stands, England captain Dylan Hartley has received nine yellow cards and two reds, behind Chris Hala’ufia on twelve yellows and two reds.

Men of the matches

There have been some truly outstanding and officially unparalleled performances by players in individual league games.

Both Wasps’ Christian Wade last season against Worcester and Saracens’ Ryan Constable against Bedford way back in 2000 have six tries in one match. League convert Lesley Vainikolo scored five for Gloucester against Leeds in 2007 as he convinced England coach Brian Ashton to make him a Red Rose international in the 2008 Six Nations. Nine other players have scored four tries in a match.

The most points scored in one Premiership match is 33, a record held by universally-adored Andy Goode. Playing for Wasps back in 2014, he scored a try, two conversions and eight penalties to help down London Irish 48 – 16. London Irish’s Niall Wood, Newcastle’s Dave Walder and Leicester’s Tim Stimpson all shared the previous record of 32. Stimpson also appears next on the list with 31 from a separate game, showcasing how important he was to the great Leicester teams of the early 2000s.

Over the course of a season, a number of players have been consistently outstanding. London Irish’s Barry Everitt has scored the most points in a single season, achieving 343 back in 2001-2002. Next down on the list is former Gloucester fly-half Ludovic Mercier, who scored 334 points for the Cherry and Whites in the same season. However, despite his efforts he was never able to achieved a cap for the French national side.

Finally, Canada’s Dave Lougheed, who played for both Gloucester and Leicester in the Premiership, has one of the best percentage win rates in the history of the league. Out of the 37 matches he played he win 35 of them, giving him a percentage of 90.54%. Current Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill was involved in 88 matches for his team as a player, with a win rate of 84.65%.

The rankings for winning percentages includes current players in Mako Vunipola and Owen Farrell, with the former on 84.32% and the latter at 83.52%, highlighting the impact Saracens’ plethora of young English players is having on the club.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.