Rugby Thoughts – Records

This week I’m writing about winning records, making noise and doping in sport.

Winning Records

If we are talking about winning, we have to be talking about the All Blacks. If they beat England this weekend it will be the All Blacks 400th win. They will be the first to reach this milestone and the other three teams to have over 300 wins are France (386), England (362) and Wales (341).

I was expecting South Africa to be up there, but it’s just a reminder how many games they missed during the apartheid era. Looking at the numbers Italy have played more games than South Africa for example. But if you were also thinking that the Springboks would be up there it’s probably due to their winning percentage. Again the All Blacks lead the way, winning 78% of the time, but South Africa are the only other top-tier team over 60%, winning 66% of the time.

Talking of records, who do you think has lost the most games? Currently it’s Ireland with 337 losses but that could all change over the next month as Scotland are second with 336. Ireland host South Africa, Georgia and Australia whilst Scotland host Argentina, New Zealand and Tonga. Personally I can’t see Ireland winning 2 games more than Scotland but it’s probably only holding off the changing of the guard until the 6 Nations.

Loudest Club Ground In England

Well if Newcastle’s “Bring The Noise” campaign works it will be Kingston Park. At first I thought it was a bit of a joke but looking into it changed my mind. Letting season ticket holders bring friends for a discount and getting involved with companies for groups to come, is the kind of event that’s going to get new people through the gates that might get hooked. Whilst these one-off events are good it’s the initiatives that bring people all season that are needed.

Drugs In Sport

After last week reading that the problem with doping is believed to be mainly with the upcoming players it’s good to hear that the RFU has education videos aimed at this group. Also included is a table showing that rugby union has the most sanctions of any sport in the UK. Personally I don’t think that these tables are a true reflection of the problem as if you don’t look you don’t find anything.

The scary thing though is the spot check that was carried out in South Africa, out of 52 school children tested, 12 showed positive results for steroids. Clearly there is a big issue and I don’t believe it’s restricted to South Africa. I just hope the authorities don’t just stick their heads in the sand.

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