Looking forward to living the ninth edition of the rugby world cup in a couple of weeks from now is as interesting as it can be.It will take another four years for us to find ourselves in such a situation again, so we might as well enjoy what we have coming to us right now.
That said, though, just how much do you think you know about the Rugby world cup? Here are some interesting facts to brighten up your day.
Fact #1 – William Webb Ellis
The trophy for the Rugby world cup is named after a certain William Web Ellis, but not many people know how that came to be. It was said that this young man is the inventor of rugby, and how he did that is one of the simplest stories of inventions in history.
According to legend, he picked up the ball during a school football match and started running with it. This was the first time such an incident would be recorded, and it was spun into what we now know as rugby today.
Fact #2 – The trophy
There is not one, but two different trophies used for the rugby world cup. Both command the same respect and significance, and have been the official trophies of the game till date.
The first one was made by Carrington and Co of London in the year 1906, and was first designed in silver before being coated to gold. The second trophy, however, is a replica of the original made by Paul de Lamerie which first surfaced in the year 1986.
Ever since, they have been used interchangeably in the competition.
Fact #3 –Red Cards
Unlike the game of football where red cards are not usually that difficult to come by, Canada has made history for itself in being the first and only team to be awarded two red cards in a single match.
They would end the game in a 20-0 loss to South Africa (1995), marking one of their biggest losses in the competition till date. The cards were awarded to the duo of Gareth Rees and Rod Snow
Fact #4 –Drop Goals
Drop goals occur from time to time, but never has there been a total of five drop goals in a single game. Well, never, until South Africa managed one of that over England in a 1999 quarter final win.
The amazing thing about all drop goals in that game was that they were scored by the same person – Jannie de Beer. Till today, that remains a rugby world cup record on both fronts.
Fact #5 –New Zealand’s records
New Zealand have already made and broken a lot of records, and they will be hoping to do more.
Some of their impressive records include the massive 2,012 points haul they managed in the world cup finals, and another set of people will praise their total of 272 tries the more. Individually, those are more than any of the other teams in the world cup finals have ever managed.
Likewise, one of their point men in Grant Fox has an impressive 126 points haul from the 1987 tournament, and no other player has come close ever since. They went on to win the trophy in that year too.
For all the explosiveness of this New Zealand team, though, they still find Australia a most formidable opponent.
Fact #6 –Biggest win margin
It is one thing to have the most points, and it is another to trash a team mercilessly. The latter is what Australia did when they met a Namibia side in 2003, leaving the pitch with a scoreboard that read 142-0.
That is still the biggest world cup victory margin till date and it is very unlikely any team ever breaks such a record. In the same match, Australia set another world cup record of 22 tries for an individual game.
Fact #7 –Zero Qualifications
It has once happened (in the 1987 era) that there were no qualifications needed for the rugby world cup. Every participating team was simply invited to come play for a chance at the trophy.
Of course, that would create a heated competition in that year, but that format has never been revisited since.
Fact #8 –Your Turn
What is a most impressive fact you have heard about the rugby world cup? Let’s get the conversation rolling in the comments, and let’s see who has the most interesting fact of the competitor to share at the end of the day.
As we look forward to the start of the tournament, don’t forget to check the game calendars and ensure you have everything in place to watch all the rugby world cup action live.
Will New Zeeland make a hattrick of wins? Will England join the league of double winners? Or, will we simply have an underdog winning this one? We can only wait and see!