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Of his top 10, third-placed Dan Carter is the only other player who will figure in this World Cup. The study, which found that success rates dropped markedly when kicks were beyond the 35- to 40-metre mark, has a parallel in South Africa.
The man still carrying the flame for goal kicking analysis is a Pretoria-based insurance actuary named Jurie Nel. One of the impressive statistics involves Nel himself, who according to an Irish Times story inputs thousands of goal kicks himself because he doesn't have a data provider.
Nel has upped his efforts in this World Cup year using the software designed by a colleague that takes into account distance, angle, altitude, weather and the state of the game. Using the formula, Nel's www.goalkickers.co.za website has rated kickers on their performances in this year's tests.
While statistics tell a story, subjective arguments among punters over who are the best kickers will come down to many factors including familiarity and parochialism. As the 2011 World Cup showed, a hero - think Stephen Donald - could emerge from the shadows.
And even the statistics can be manipulated. Quarrie's study also ranked grounds for degree of difficulty - Wellington's windy Cake Tin (a low 67 per cent) and Dunedin's dead calm Hot House were two of the toughest. But even there, a good home kicker - think Halfpenny at the Millennium Stadium (87 per cent) - might skew the results.