World Cup - Top 10: World Cup kickers

Tue, 06 Sep 15:06:00 2011

We look at the Top 10 kickers in World Cup history.

Thierry Lacroix 1995 - 0

Dan Carter (New Zealand)

The world’s leading points-scorer can hardly be left off the list of top RWC goalkickers, but in fact he has yet to really star in rugby’s showpiece as he has done in other tournaments. Nevertheless, the All Blacks number 10 still appears in the conversions top four with 29 from eight appearances.

Grant Fox (New Zealand)

One of the main reasons the All Blacks waltzed to victory in the inaugural Rugby World Cup, as the fly-half harvested 126 points in six matches to emerge as the top scorer in 1987. This figure still stands as the most achieved in one tournament, even though the winners now play one more game.

Gavin Hastings (Scotland)

Maybe a controversial choice, bearing in mind his 1991 semi-final penalty howler against England, but the former Scotland full-back and captain still heads the list for RWC conversions (39) and is second only to Wilkinson in the penalty list (36) and overall, having notched 227 points in 13 games.

Ralph Keyes (Ireland)

A surprising selection possibly, but an average of 17 points a match in 1991 earned him the honour of the event’s leading scorer with only 68 points, the lowest such tally so far. The 23 he acquired against Zimbabwe were a bonus, but his 14 against Australia almost knocked out the eventual winners in the last eight.

Thierry Lacroix (France)

Not generally regarded as one of Les Bleus’ greatest goalkickers, but his performance in the 1995 tournament – when he emerged as the event’s chief scorer with 112 points – earns him a place in the RWC top 10. The fly-half owed that tally largely to the 26 penalties he landed in South Africa.

Michael Lynagh (Australia)

No Ireland fan will forget the last-minute try from Lynagh which edged Australia through to the 1991 semis, but it was his goalkicking which was crucial to the Wallabies’ victories over New Zealand in the last four and against England in the final. Altogether he amassed 195 points in three tournaments - 1987, 1991 and 1995 – to claim third spot in the all-time list.

Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand)

May best be remembered for the fluffed drop-kick in the 1995 final that would have enabled New Zealand to beat South Africa, but that would be unfair, as he kicked 163 points in their Rugby World Cup cause over that and the 1999 tournaments, which places him in the top five marksmen overall.

Percy Montgomery (South Africa)

His early career was a series of peaks and troughs, but the full-back put that behind him with an outstanding RWC 2007, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with 105 points, including 12 in the 15-6 final win over England. In fact, when he retired in 2008, Montgomery was the Springboks’ points and caps record-holder.

Gonzalo Quesada (Argentina)

The leading scorer in 1999 as Argentina reached the quarter-finals for the first time. A Rugby World Cup record 31 penalties, including a joint match-best eight against Samoa, helped the fly-half ironically nicknamed ‘Speedy Gonzalo’ – for the length of time he took over his goalkicks – to 102 points. His final RWC total was 135 from eight games.

Jonny Wilkinson (England)

As the leading points-scorer in Rugby World Cup history with 249 from 15 matches and the tournament’s main accumulator of penalty kicks (53), Wilkinson is a natural choice. The perfectionist fly-half was also the chief marksman in 2003 with 113 points in England’s triumph, including 15 in the 20-17 win over Australia in the final.

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