Quarrie also provides what he calls an importance ranking which ranks the goals kickers solely on the success rate for kicks under pressure. He defines an important kick as one that is likely to reflect affect the outcome of the match. Specifically, the score difference at the time of the kick and the time remaining in the match are used to measure the overall kick importance. Based on this ranking the top three goal kickers are James O Connor (Australia), Morne Steyn (South Africa) and Stirling Mortlock (Australia). Ronan O’Gara (39th) is now the most highly ranked Irish player followed by Jonny Sexton (42nd), then Paddy Wallace (51st) and finally David Humphreys (86th). A lot of reports picked up on this ranking but again it is important to note that the difference in the success rates on these kicks under pressure across all the kickers in the sample is not great. So while David Humphreys is ranked 86th, his actual success rate on pressure kicks is 71% compared to James O Connor at 76%.
One final interesting titbit from the research is the fact that over the matches studied, goal kicks comprised 45% of the total points scored, with penalties accounting for 29% and conversions 15%. This can be compared to 53% of scores that come from tries, and 2% that come from drop goals. This in itself highlights the important of the goal kicker in modern day international rugby.