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John Griffiths | Columnist Index
John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, including The Book of English International Rugby, The Book of International Rugby Records, British Lions, The Five Nations Championship, Rugby's Strangest Matches and Rugby's Greatest Characters. He was a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph for 19 years and is co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has also provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.
Ask John
Schools supplying most All Blacks, Dan Carter's goal-kicking and Elton Jantjies
John Griffiths
September 25, 2011

Welcome to the latest edition of Ask John where renowned rugby historian John Griffiths will answer any rugby-related query you have!

So, if there's something you've always wanted to know about the game we love but didn't know who to ask, or you think you can stump our expert - then get involved by sending us a question.

In this edition, John Griffiths looks at the schools which have produced the most All Blacks, Dan Carter's goal-kicking success rate, the longest losing runs in the history of the Rugby World Cup and Elton Jantjies.

Which schools have supplied most All Blacks? Graham, New Zealand

Auckland Grammar School heads the list with more than fifty (including Wilson Whineray, Grant Fox and Doug Howlett). Graham Henry taught there (and coached the school's rugby team) between 1973 and 1981.

Christchurch Boys' High School has produced 42 All Blacks including Dan Carter, Fergi McCormick and Andrew Mehrtens - a NZ kicking dynasty. The legendary Bob Deans, who did not score against Wales in 1905, was one of their first. Henry and Steve Hansen were also educated there, as were the Franks brothers, Adam Thomson and Colin Slade of the current New Zealand RWC squad.

Wellington College has had 32 All Blacks, New Plymouth Boys' High School 24, Southland Boys' High School 23 (including Mils Muliaina and Corey Flynn) and Otago Boys' High School 22, among them Richie McCaw, the current All Blacks' captain.

Sacred Heart College (Auckland) has produced 21 All Blacks: Sean Fitzpatrick and Xavier Rush went there (as did the recent Welsh centre, Sonny Parker.)

Nelson College, where the game in NZ actually started in 1870 when Charles John Monro introduced it from London where he had been at school, claim 18. Another of their alumni was Alfred Nolan Fell, a New Zealander who completed his medical studies at Edinburgh University. He was Scotland's regular wing in the early 1900s (but never an All Black). He was selected to play for Scotland against the Original All Blacks at Inverleith in 1905, but felt that he was unable to face his compatriots and withdrew from the side.

Timaru Boys' High School now claims 18 All Blacks (while former pupil Brendan Laney played for Scotland) and Waitaki Boys 16 All Blacks.

A little further down the list is Kelston Boys' High School which has only been going since the mid-1950s. Graham Henry was appointed deputy-head there in 1982 and took up the Headship in 1987. There have now been ten All Blacks from the school including the current full-back, Mils Muliaina, who won a scholarship to Kelston after spending his early secondary school years at Southland Boys'.

What is Dan Carter's kicking percentage in Test matches? Hayden, New Zealand

After the weekend's match between New Zealand and France Dan Carter has now landed 439 of his 530 place-kicks in Tests for New Zealand - an 83% success rate.

It was mentioned in a recent column that the All Blacks had failed to score in only eight Tests. What's the corresponding figure for South Africa? Johannes Gouws, South Africa

There have been a dozen Tests in which SA failed to score, of which the first four (in the 1890s) were their first matches as a fledgling Test-playing nation:

1891 Lions 4-0
1891 Lions 3-0
1891 Lions 4-0
1896 Lions 8-0
1903 Lions 0-0
1906 Scotland 6-0
1921 New Zealand 0-0
1961 France 0-0
1965 New Zealand 13-0
1999 New Zealand 28-0
2006 Australia 49-0
2008 New Zealand 19-0

What is the longest losing sequence in RWC Finals? Steve John, Wales

Namibia's recent 87-0 defeat by South Africa was their 14th successive reverse in RWC Finals, creating a new record of its kind.

They first appeared in the tournament in 1999 when they were based in France (having been pipped to the Finals in 1995 by Côte d'Ivoire).

They lost all three of their pool games in 1999 and were whitewashed in the four pool games at the 2003 and 2007 Finals. They opened this year's pool games with losses to Fiji, Samoa and South Africa.

Japan have the longest run without a win in RWC Finals. They defeated Zimbabwe 52-8 in Belfast in their last pool match of the 1991 tournament before losing 13 in a row - three in 1995, three more in 1999, four in 2003 and three in 2007. In their final pool match of the 2007 tournament they drew 12-all with Canada.

They have lost their first three pool games at the current event bringing to 17 the number of successive games at Finals without a win.

Elton Jantjies from the Lions (SA) scored his 251st Currie Cup point over the weekend (of 17th/18th September) against the Leopards and his 50th penalty. In how many games was this? Anonymous, South Africa

Elton Jantjies made his Currie Cup debut for the Golden Lions as a teenager on 9th July 2010, appearing from the bench during the Lions' opening Currie Cup match of the season.

He featured in the match-day squads for all 14 of their games, starting at #10 in ten of the matches, appearing as a replacement in three and sitting the (first) game against the Pumas out on the bench without getting on to the field.

In the home game against Western Province he hit the headlines scoring 31 points (try, four conversions and six penalty goals) in the Lions' 46-28 victory.

He finished the season with 13 Currie Cup appearances and 141 points comprising two tries, 25 conversions and 27 penalty goals and went on the Springboks' tour of Britain and Ireland last November when he played in the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham (scoring a conversion and kicking a penalty goal).

At the start of the current season he did not feature in the Lions' opening three Currie Cup games (against the Pumas, Griquas and Leopards when Burton Francis was at #10). He returned as fly-half, however, for the game with the Blue Bulls, kicking 21 points, and has held his starting place ever since.

The recent return match against the Leopards was his seventh Currie Cup game this season and his five conversions and penalty goal brought up his ton for the season - 110 points from 19 conversions, 23 penalty goals and his first Currie Cup dropped goal (against Western Province).

After the Leopards game his Currie Cup career record from 20 games for the Lions reads: two tries; 44 conversions; 50 penalty goals and a dropped goal: 251 points altogether.

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