Records are made to be broken, unless it’s these six phenomenal Rugby World Cup feats, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Odds are the record books will be rewritten in some form or another over the next several weeks of World Cup action in France. The following six records, however, are as unbreakable as they come:
Darkness Falls On Brave Blossoms in Bloem
The rugby world was left stunned and Japan shell-shocked when the All Blacks consigned them to an unheard-of 145-17 hammering in Bloemfontein in 1995.
Of the several records set that day, three will likely never be broken. The first and one of just four times a team have hit triple digits, the 145 points New Zealand scored are the most by a team in a single game. Scarily, it could’ve been much worse considering many first-choice players, including the revelation of the tournament Jonah Lomu, were rested.
Two of the second-stringers who did duty etched their names in the record books. Outside centre Marc Ellis helped himself to a previously unimaginable six tries, while flyhalf Simon Culhane racked up an unrivalled 45 points comprised of a try and no less than 20 conversions. Culhane’s feat came just over a week after Scotland great Gavin Hastings had scored 44 points against Ivory Coast.
Fast forward to 2003 in Adelaide, where rugby’s equivalent of an atomic bomb was dropped by hosts Australia as they romped to a record 142-0 win over Namibia.
With both teams fielding understrength sides, the Wallabies well and truly walloped the woeful Welwitschias, running in a record 22 tries en route to the largest winning margin in a single match, eclipsing the Kiwis’ 21 tries and 128-point margin against the Brave Blossoms eight years prior.
Fullback Chris Latham had a particularly memorable day as he came close to equalling Ellis’ single-game try-scoring record, finishing with five five-pointers.
Sandwiched in between those record routs was an unparalleled performance of a different kind in the quarterfinals of the 1999 tournament.
Springbok flyhalf Jannie de Beer turned into a sniper second to none as he slotted a record five drop-goals to sink England in Paris.
De Beer could do no wrong as he banged over kicks left, right and centre to send the English packing following a 44-21 triumph by the men in green and gold.