Five unexpected players who have their place in the record books

When careers end one of the best things to do is look back on what you achieved. For players this includes silverware but of course any records they attained throughout their time as a professional athlete.

Often records are held by the players you’d expect. For instance, it is not surprising that Kevin Sinfield holds the record for most goals in Super League history.

However, there is the odd record held by someone completely unexpected. So, lets look at five examples.

Wayne Godwin most points in a match for England

In 2004 former Bradford and Castleford hooker Wayne Godwin scored 34 points in one game as England defeated Russia in Moscow. As England remarkably scored 98 points in a Nations Cup match Godwin kicked 15 out of 17 attempts at goal and poached a try for his troubles as well. Annoyingly, had he kicked just one more of his 17 conversion attempts England would have brought up the century. Nonetheless, it is a bizarre yet impressive record. It was a bizarre day in general as even Andy Coley – a prop at Salford at the time – scored a hat-trick. You might wonder why this England team featured so many unfamiliar names. Well, it was in the days of Great Britain meaning England was more a feeder set up as they battled the likes of France for the Nations Cup.

James Graham most England appearances

This is less unexpected but perhaps points to the fact we need to do more with the international game. For starters James Graham – although an amazing prop forward – wouldn’t be considered the best English player of all-time nor the player with the best longevity. Making this more unexpected is the fact he was already 22 when he made his first England appearance. Furthermore, his tally of 44 isn’t as high as expected. Now part of that is down to the fact England only started being a major force in 2008 replacing Great Britain. But it also points to the lack of fixtures England have played over the years. Nonetheless, ultimately this was a record holder that surprised me for a number of reasons.

Denny Solomona most tries in a Super League season

With a massive 40 tries in the 2016 Super League campaign as Castleford pushed hard in the Super 8s – which is the reason why some consider the record to still be held by Lesley Vianikolo and Danny McGuire due to their efforts in 2004. He was outstanding that season however that was the last we ever saw of him in Super League. He then joined rugby union side Sale Sharks and his record came under severe threat the year after when his replacement Greg Eden took Super League by storm.

Valentine Holmes most World Cup tries

Val Holmes is another man who left our game to play another sport however that isn’t the reason this is unexpected. When you think of the amazing players over the generations – Billy Slater, Mal Meninga, Ellery Hanley – Holmes, despite being such a talent himself, isn’t exactly the man you’d expect to be the most prolific try scorer in the game’s biggest international tournament. He has just one try more than Billy Slater in the World Cup’s history. He stands at 17 in total 12 of which occurred in the 2017 tournament with 11 coming in just two games as he scored five against Samoa in the quarter-finals and six against Fiji in the semi-finals.

Chris Thorman most points in one game

Chris Thorman was certainly a talented rugby league player however probably wasn’t the greatest ever. So, it’s strange that he currently holds the record for most points in a game. He scored a remarkable 56 points in a Challenge Cup victory over Northumbria University in 2011. The York City Knights halfback scored 4 tries and nailed 20 conversions as the Knights progressed to round 4 and he made history.

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