The 2019 Rugby World Cup: 20 Interesting Facts you might not know

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is done and dusted. This edition of the tournament was hosted in Japan. 48 matches were played in 12 host cities between the 20th of September and 2nd of November 2019.

You’ve probably watched most of the 48 matches, but there are probably a few things that you might not have picked up…

Rugby World Cup 2019

Here are 20 interesting facts that you might not have not known about the 2019 Rugby World Cup:

1. South Africa is now tied with New Zealand (when it comes to Rugby World Cup victories)

The South Africa).

William Web Ellis Cup

New Zealand won the Rugby World Cup in 1987, 2011 and 2015. Australia is second in line with 2 victories (in 1991 and 1999) and England is in third place with 1 victory (in 2003).

2. Makazole Mapimpi is the first South African to score a try in a Rugby World Cup final

Mapimpi scored his 6th try of the tournament in the 68th minute of the final. South Africa did not score any tries in the final matches of the 1995 and 2007 Rugby World Cup tournaments.

3. Josh Adams scored the most tries in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

The Welshman dotted down 7 times behind the line before his team were knocked out by South Africa in semi-finals. The record for the most tries (8) is still shared by Bryan Habana & Jonah Lomu.

Josh Adams

4. Handre’ Pollard scored the most points in the tournament

The South African flyhalf kicked over 9 conversions, 16 penalties and 1 drop goal to reach this achievement. Owen Farrel (from England) scored the second most points in the tournament.

Handre' Pollard

5. It was the first time that Rugby World Cup matches were cancelled in a tournament

Typhoon Hagibis affected three pool matches: New Zealand vs Italy, France vs England and Canada vs Namibia.

6. South Africa is the first team to win the title after having lost a match in the pool stage

South Africa lost against New Zealand in their opening match but still managed to bounce back. That’s pretty damn impressive if you ask me!

7. Japan reached the quarter finals for the first time

The hosts did not disappoint their fans. They won all of their pool matches (which included convincing victories over Ireland and Scotland).

8. The same whistle is blown for the opening game of every Rugby World Cup tournament

The whistle was first used in 1905 by a Welsh referee during a game between England and New Zealand.

9. South Africa are the first team to win the Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup in the same year

Earlier in 2019 the Springboks won a shortened version of Rugby Championship. They beat Argentina and Australia and played to a draw against New Zealand to claim the title.

10. Frans Steyn is the 21st player in Rugby World Cup history to win the Webb Ellis Cup twice

The South African fullback was part of the 2007 squad who beat England in the 2007 final in Paris. He’s also the 2nd Springbok to win a Rugby World Cup 12 years apart. The other player is Os Du Randt (who was part of the victorious Springbok squads in 1995 and 2007). Frans Steyn

11. Only one player has ever received a card during a Rugby World Cup final

This record belongs to All Black Ben Smith (who received a yellow card in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final).

12. Bongi Mbonambi was the most successful tackler in the tournament

The South African made 33 tackles in 6 matches and had a 100% success rate.

Bongi Mbonambi

13. Alun Wyn Jones made the most tackles in the tournament

The Welshman made a whopping 79 tackles at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Maro Itoje (from England) made the second most tackles (71). Sam Underhil and Kieran Read (from New Zealand) made the third most (69).

14. South Africa scored the most posts in the tournament

The Springboks scored a total of 262 points at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. New Zealand scored 250 points and England scored 190.

15. A total of 28 yellow cards and 8 red cards were issued at the tournament

Samoa received the most yellow cards (6). Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Russia and Wales received the second most yellow cards (3). Argentina, France, Ireland, Italy, Samoa, Uruguay and the USA all received a red cards in the tournament.

16. New Zealand made the most clean breaks in the tournament

The All Blacks made 122 clean breaks at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. South Africa are in second place with 89, followed by Wales with 69.

17. Dan Biggar holds the record for the fastest drop goal in a Rugby World Cup match

The Welshman scored a drop goal 35 seconds into his team’s match against Australia at this year’s tournament.

Dan Biggar

18. Only 3 matches have been drawn since 1987

France played to a draw against Scotland in 1987, Canada played to a draw against Japan in 2007 and in 2011. No matches were drawn at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

19. Only 5 teams have appeared in a Rugby World Cup final since 1987

This list includes South Africa, Australia, England, New Zealand and France.

20. New Zealand still holds the highest score record

The All Blacks beat Japan by 145 points to 17 in 1995. Australia hold the record for the highest winning margin score in any match. They beat Namibia in 2003 by 142 points to nil. Both these records were not equaled or beaten at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Well, there you have it, 20 interesting that you might not have know about the 2019 Rugby World Cup. I hope that you’ve found this information interesting. If you did, feel free to share this with your friends.

Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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