Lies, Damned Lies, and the Waratahs

The Rolling Maul was flabbergasted. Not only were the Waratahs playing running Rugby on Saturday night against the Blues, not only were they doing it successfully, not only had Kurtley Beale finally learnt (or perhaps been told) that it was OK to pass the ball, but Lote Tuquiri became NSW's all time Super Rugby try scorer (though he is still 4 short of even getting to half way to Doug Howlett's 58 tries). Seems like only a couple of years ago that the ARU dished out millions to sign him up. Actually, it was last year.

And if that's not a stunning statistic, how about these found in the NSW Rugby Archives - a dusty manila folder kept in a drawer under the bar at Concord Oval (the perfect place really, no one ever goes there):

  • Matt Dunning holds the NSW record for most field goals kicked in Super Rugby - 1. He shares the record with 4 other players.
  • NSW has never kicked more than 2 field goals in a season.
  • Mark Ella holds the all time NSW field goal record, but with only 9, and he kicked 3 of those in 1 match (vs Waikato, 1981).
  • To put this in perspective, a Bulls player (L Koen) kicked 7 in one season in 2003 and Andrew Mehrtens holds the Super Rugby record of 17 including 3 in one match.
  • Matt Dunning is also the most capped prop to have ever played for NSW
  • Lote Tuquiri is the most capped winger in Super Rugby (68 matches) though is only equal with Scott Staniforth for most capped winger for NSW.
  • And in a poor indictment of the history of the Waratahs the record for most appearances at five eighth is only 41 by Manny Edmonds. Stephen Larkham, by comparison, played 116 games for the Brumbies.
What conclusions can we draw?

1) Bring back Mark Ella
2) Matt Dunning should either retire or kick more field goals if he wants to ensure his legacy as the greatest NSW Rugby player and field goal kicker of all time.
3) Lote Tuquiri will probably have to play another 68 games at least before people think of him as a Rugby League player first and foremost.
4) Kurtley Beale only has to play two more seasons for the Waratahs to be the greatest five-eighth they have ever had in Super Rugby.