Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards is on the verge of rugby league history this weekend — requiring just one goal to become the first player in the modern era to play in the National Rugby League and record 1,000 career Club goals.
After kicking five goals in the Club’s dominant 34-16 win over the Melbourne Storm last week, Richards heads into Monday’s game against the Raiders on 999 career Club goals — setting him up to potentially reach the remarkable milestone this weekend.
If achieved, Richards will become the first player to record 1,000 career Club goals and play in the National Rugby League since the NRL was instituted in 1997.
Players such as Harry Bath and Lee Crooks reached 1,000 career Club goals but not since the NRL was instituted in 1997, while the likes of Kevin Sinfield, Andy Farrell and Paul Deacon have only achieved the milestone playing in Super League.
Wests Tigers Coach Jason Taylor — who recorded 942 goals in his rugby league career — said the milestone would be a fitting achievement for the veteran winger.
“It’s a special milestone for Pat and one that we’re proud that he can achieve," he said.
“His goal-kicking is a testament to the work that he’s put in over the years and it’s fitting that he can end his time at Wests Tigers with what is a well-deserved achievement.”
Debuting for the Parramatta Eels in 2000, Richards kicked just four goals in his four seasons at the Club, and didn’t kick at all for Wests Tigers in his two years between 2004 and 2005. Moving to the Wigan Warriors, he kicked 895 goals between 2006 and 2013, before making his return to Wests Tigers in 2014, where he kicked 54 goals.
With 46 goals so far this year from his 65 attempts, Richards is now just one goal from achieving the feat with five games still remaining in the 2015 NRL season.
Having kicked 100 goals from his 129 attempts to date, Richards is currently the second most efficient goal-kicker in Wests Tigers history* with a 77.52% conversion rate.
* minimum 20 goals. Stats compiled with the help of David Middleton.