When is a record not a record?

Lima Sopoaga
Lima Sopoaga
Lima Sopoaga has scored the most points for the Highlanders but he is not the leading points-scorer in Super Rugby for the team.

Sopoaga (27) played his final game for the Highlanders on Saturday night, scoring 13 points in the side's 30-23 defeat to the Waratahs in the quarterfinal in Sydney.

That brought him up to 158 points for the season, well short of his record haul of 191 scored in 2015.

All up, the the first five-eighth managed to score a total of 866 points for the franchise for which he first played in 2011.

He scored a try in his first game for the franchise so has known how to score points right from the start.

He played 92 games for the team and would have gone well past the 100-cap mark but for some injuries which kept him on the sideline.

The record for points scored in a career is held by former Highlanders first five-eighth and former Highlanders coach Tony Brown.

Brown scored 857 points in his time with the Highlanders.

Sopoaga has scored more points than Brown in all games but two of them were not against Super Rugby opponents.

Sopoaga scored eight points against the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and then last month scored seven points against the French Barbarians in Invercargill.

So, if only Super Rugby games counted, which is the way New Zealand Rugby recognises records, Sopoaga falls just short of Brown.

In the 90 Super Rugby games Sopoaga has played he has scored 851 points so Brown maintains his points-scoring record by six points.

This season, Sopoaga tallied 21 penalties, 40 conversions and scored three tries.

He missed just two penalty kicks at goal all season and nailed 24 of his 40 conversions.

Kicking under the roof of Forsyth Barr Stadium undoubtedly helped Sopoaga as it eliminates wind and rain and other variables.

Sopoaga is off to play for English club Wasps.

The English premiership is set to kick off at the end of next month.


 

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