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Rugby News

Stat attack | Premiership season in numbers

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Following a frenetic 22 rounds of league action, Premiership Rugby statistician Stuart Farmer has compiled 25 facts from the 2018/19 season.

Farmer, who is also Leicester Tigers’ club statistician and co-author of the Official History of Leicester Football Club history book has unearthed the following nuggets of interest from a domestic campaign which saw 132 regular season matches played across 15 different venues;

  • There were 6,288 points scored across the season, the third-best total since 2000.
  • There were 738 tries. This was down on last year’s record of 776 but still the second-best total after 132 games.
  • The average winning margin for the 132 league games this season was just 11 points – the closest since 2011/12.
  • There were only two drop goals, both by Bath’s Freddie Burns, the lowest total ever.
  • The kick success rate stands at 78.3% – by some margin the best in the history of the Premiership.
George Ford Kick Tee
Tigers used just three place-kickers in the Premiership campaign, with Golden Boot winner George Ford joined by brother Joe and Matt Toomua in making attempts from the tee.
  • There were 675 league points scored over the 22 rounds – a new record.
  • Exeter Chiefs’ tally of 86 league points has been bettered once before – when Saracens took 87 in 2013/14.
  • Newcastle Falcons were relegated despite scoring 31 league points – the best tally by a bottom-placed club since they got 32 in 2011/12.
  • Northampton Saints reached the semi-finals with just 56 league points, five points lower than the previous lowest tally to make the play-offs, set by Bath in 2009/10.
  • In September, Charlie Sharples (Gloucester) and David Strettle (Saracens) became the 22nd and 23rd players to score a 50th Premiership career try.
  • Alex Goode (Saracens), Matt Banahan (Gloucester) and Rob Webber (Sale) all played their 200th Premiership games, taking the total of players to reach the milestone to 39.
  • Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens) took Steve Borthwick’s record for the most Premiership appearances on September 22 with his 266th game. He is also the only player with more than 100 appearances as a replacement in the Premiership.
  • There were six Premiership hat-tricks, including two by Liam Williams (Saracens) while Harry Thacker (Bristol) became only the third replacement to score three tries in a game.
  • The fastest try was scored in just 37 seconds by Joe Marchant for Harlequins against Worcester on February 16.
  • The were 19 instances of a team scoring 40 points in a game, with two managing that total in defeat, Bristol going down 40-45 to Northampton, and Gloucester losing 41-46 at Sale.
Calum Green Lineout Take
Tigers Academy graduate Calum Green – who returns to his schoolboy club this summer – started all 22 league games for Newcastle Falcons, and took more lineouts than any other player with 84.
  • The Sale v Gloucester game in Round 22 saw both clubs get a try bonus in the first half, only the second instance in Premiership history after Wasps v London Irish at Adams Park in April 2006.
  • The 20-20 draw between Bristol Bears and Sale Sharks on May 3 was the 100th tied match in Premiership history.
  • The youngest player this season was Gloucester’s Louis Rees-Zammit, aged 18 years 105 days on debut against Bath in April.
  • Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton) followed in father Jon's footsteps as a Premiership try scorer, becoming only the fourth set of fathers and sons to score tries in the tournament after the Farrells, the Mallinders, and the Grahams.
  • Sleightholme scored just 16 seconds after coming on as a replacement against Wasps in November for his Premiership debut – the fastest-ever debut try.
  • The oldest player this season was George Smith (Bristol) at 38 years.
  • A total of 571 players have been named in matchday squads, with 133 making their Premiership debut while 223 have been capped by their country. They come from 31 different countries.
  • Chris Robshaw (Harlequins) has now started more games at flanker (188) than anyone else in Premiership history, surpassing Pat Sanderson’s previous record.
  • There were 12 players who appeared in all 22 rounds. Five of those started all 22 games –  Jono Ross (Sale), Calum Green (Newcastle), Sam James (Sale), Chris Pennell (Worcester) and Willgriff John (Sale). The most minutes played in the season was by James, with 1,755.

And last, but by no means least…

  • Leicester’s George Ford, with 221 points, grabbed the Gilbert Golden Boot for the first time since 2013/14.

For more stats from the season, including the stand out performers in green, white and red, click here.