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The best and worst performing goal kickers and their stats

Split with Simione Kuruvoli (Fiji), Rikiya Matsuda (Japan) and Johnny Sexton (Ireland) Credit: Alamy

Split with Simione Kuruvoli (Fiji), Rikiya Matsuda (Japan) and Johnny Sexton (Ireland) Credit: Alamy

Split with Simione Kuruvoli (Fiji), Rikiya Matsuda (Japan) and Johnny Sexton (Ireland) Credit: Alamy

The Rugby World Cup is the biggest event in the sport and teams spend years working towards the global showpiece, making every point count that much more.

With that in mind, there is added focus on the goal kickers for each team for how they can handle the pressure and the scoreboard from the tee. Planet Rugby takes a closer look at who is in the best and worst kicking form.


Despite his side losing 34-12 to England on Sunday, Japanese kicker Rikiya Matsuda continued his fine form from the tee, striking all four of the attempted kicks. This keeps the star at 100% accuracy making a total of 10/10 kicks this tournament.

Joining him in the sharpshooting category this week is Fijian hero Simione Kuruvoli, who kicked his side to a historic win over Australia by nailing a perfect 5/5.

Ireland’s Ross Byrne and Welshman Leigh Halfpenny were also flawless from the tee with 4/4 and 3/3 respectively in their team’s wins over the weekend. Tongan William Havili also managed 100% with his four kicks.

Welshman Sam Costelow, Samoan Lima Sopoaga and Chilean Matias Garafulic all join the group of Finn Russell and Georgian Tedo Abzhandadze, who have managed 100% at 1/1 thus far.

Near perfect

There is great movement in the group that has kicked at 70%+ in the tournament so far. George Ford of England drops down from the sharpshooter category after missing one of his seven attempts against Japan, taking his overall kicking record at the World Cup to 12/13 at 92.3%. Ireland’s new record points scorer Johnny Sexton matches the same record after a flawless 5/5 from the tee against Tonga.

Next up is All Black Damian McKenzie who was on fire against Namibia, both with ball in hand and off the tee in difficult conditions. The star managed 9/11 at 81% on the night. Not far behind is Wallaby Ben Donaldson who kicked 2/3 against Fiji to take his tournament tally to 8/10 at 80% accuracy.

Former Wallaby and now Samoan fly-half Christian Leali’ifano had a decent day from the tee, kicking 75% of his eight attempts, whilst versatile Springbok Damian Willemse kicked 5/7 at 71% in his side’s demolition of Romania.

Rounding out this category is Welshman Dan Biggar, who was rested last weekend but managed 71.4% of his kicks at goal in the first game, which equates to 5/7.

Chasing pack

The remaining goalkickers fall into the same category, headlined by a duo one would expect to be at the top of the pile. France full-back Thomas Ramos was uncharacteristically cold off the tee for his lofty standards, as he kicked 6/9 at 67%. Similarly was the typically brilliant Argentine Emiliano Boffelli, who kicked the same percentage but at 2/3. Chilean Santiago Videla shares the same statistics after their second clash.

Frank Lomani of Fiji only managed one kick from three attempts this week, tainting his perfect record in their opening game, dropping him down to 60% accuracy.

Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk is next in line after he maintained his 50% record from last weekend as he kicked two from four against Romania. The 50% threshold is shared by three other players in Romanian Gabriel Rupanu, Georgian Luka Matkava and Namibia’s Tiaan Swanepoel.

After resting for the clash with Romania, Springbok Manie Libbok sits on 2/5 at 40% from the Scotland game. All Black Richie Mo’unga was surprisingly inaccurate against France, only getting one of his three attempts at 33%, with Fijian Teti Tela having the same output.

Portugal scrum-half Samuel Marques had a promising game against Wales but only managed one from four at 25%. Joining England’s Elliot Daly on 0% accuracy is Romanian Tevita Manumua, who failed to get his only attempt against South Africa.

READ MORE: Rugby World Cup: One man leads three stats categories after thrilling weekend

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