TOKYO, 2 Nov - The curtain has come down on Rugby World Cup 2019. It's been a fantastic tournament, full of great matches, great performances and great stories.
And also some great numbers, as we discovered...
Adams is the apple of Wales's eye
Some of the greatest names in rugby history have finished as top try scorer at Rugby World Cups in days gone by.
In fact, the honours list reads like a Who’s Who of the game, including as it does the likes of John Kirwan (New Zealand, 1987), David Campese (Australia, 1991), Jonah Lomu (New Zealand, 1995 and 1999) and Bryan Habana (South Africa, 2007).
But rather less Who’s Who, before the tournament started you could have been forgiven for asking "Who’s That?" of the man who took the award at RWC 2019.
Josh Adams of Wales topped the charts with seven tries, but just three-and-a-half years ago the winger who now plays his club rugby for Cardiff Blues was sent out on loan by Worcester Warriors to Cinderford, who play in National League One, the third level of domestic competition in England.
And not many have trodden the path from Dockham Road, with its capacity of 2,500, to global attention at a Rugby World Cup.
And you have to assume not many are likely to again.
Boring, boring Boks
Newly-crowned world champions South Africa were widely criticised for their style of play at RWC 2019, with the naysayers deriding their forwards-orientated power game, which so often set the platform for Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard to kick the opposition into submission.
But those critics may be surprised to learn that the Springboks could lay claim to being the tournament’s great entertainers – a side of their game they showed in their final victory over England.
After all, they scored more points (262) than any other team (albeit playing one more match than the team in second place, New Zealand), scored the second-most tries (33), made the second-most clean beaks (85), and had the top points scorer, Handre Pollard (69), in their ranks.
Which does rather suggest they did have a Plan B after all, doesn’t it?
Jonny be good
Will Jonny Wilkinson ever be toppled from his perch as the Rugby World Cup’s all-time top points scorer?
The legendary England fly-half leads the way with 277 points, a massive 50 ahead of his closest rival, Scotland’s retired full-back Gavin Hastings.
In fact, a glance at the top 20 points scorers reveals only one player currently playing international rugby – the aforementioned Handre Pollard, above, who is seventh on the list with 162 points.
It’s not inconceivable that Pollard, still only 25, could surpass Wilkinson's mark, but he will have to play until at least the 2027 tournament to be in with a chance of doing so.
One of Wilkinson’s records that Pollard does have firmly in his sights, however, is the most penalties at Rugby World Cups.
The Springbok is currently second in the all-time list, with 39, 19 behind Wilkinson’s total of 58.
So, assuming he is fit, healthy and selected for RWC 2023, he is likely to surpass that in France. He kicked six in Saturday's final alone.
Stats magic for All Blacks
New Zealand may have left Japan without the prize they wanted, but they remain streets ahead as the World Cup’s statistically most successful side.
They have scored the most points in RWC history (2,552), the most tries (347), the most penalties (147), the most conversions (254), made the most clean breaks (621) and made the most runs (6,511).
So it's fair to say, despite taking bronze at this tournament, they will probably still be the team to beat in France when the world's great and good gather again in four years' time.