Exeter Chiefs no.8 Sam Simmonds now holds the record for most tries scored in a Premiership season.
The 2021 British and Irish Lions squad member broke the record that was jointly held by Dominic Chapman and Christian Wade in emphatic fashion scoring a hattrick against London Irish.
4,000 fans were in attendance to see Simmonds crush the record with England head coach Eddie Jones also in the stands.
Ahead of the Tuesday night clash, Simmonds had dotted down 16 times in 17 games for the Premiership champions.
He equalled the record with a short-range drive close to the line in the 7th minute before breaking the record in a similar fashion in the 24th minute.
Hitting 50 faster than Christian Wade & Tom Varndell
Simmonds completed the hattrick with 9 minutes left in the game which also proved to be his 50th Premiership try in just 66 league games.
He has hit the landmark quicker than any other player in the competition's history eclipsing Christian Wade's 50 tries in 78 appearances.
Staggering, simply staggering Sam Simmonds! 50 @premrugby tries in just 66 games, beating Christian Wade as the quickest to the landmark (12 games slower). Sam scored his 50th try after just 4244 minutes of playing time, over 20 hours less than the previous best - Tom Varndell.— Stuart Farmer (@Stu_Farmer) May 18, 2021
Breaking down his tries
The record-breaking score in the 71st minute took Simmonds' tally against the Exiles this season to five having scored twice earlier in the season.
He has also scored three against Harlequins and Bath with two against Leicester Tigers, Worcester Warriors and Gloucester
He scored once against both Newcastle Falcons and Sale Sharks earlier this season and could add to his tally against both sides before the season ends.
Sam Simmonds’ 1️⃣9️⃣ tries this season:— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) May 18, 2021
1️⃣x Newcastle Falcons 🦅
1️⃣x Sale Sharks🦈
2️⃣x Worcester Warriors⚔️
2️⃣x Leicester Tigers🐯
5️⃣x London Irish☘️
A new #GallagherPrem record with at least 4 games left for him to add more 🙌 pic.twitter.com/LV9Hw9xpVT
Simmonds failed to dot down against Bristol Bears, Wasps and Northampton Saints but could still grab a five-pointer against the latter in the penultimate game of the regular season.
Deadly from close range
Exeter have become renowned for their conversion rate inside the opposition's 22 and Simmonds epitomises that.
The 26-year-old has scored seven of his 19 tries from close range this season with another seven coming from a driving maul.
His 19 tries from 218 carries in the competitions means he averages a try just about every 11th carry. He also averages a try every 85 minutes in the Premiership this season.
Far ahead of the pack!
Simmonds has scored more tries in the Premiership than the next two tallies put together with Alex Dombrandt and Danny Care scoring nine each.
He has also scored 13 tries more than Exeter Chiefs' next best tally of six by Tom O'Flaherty. He has also assisted three tries for Exeter in the Premiership.
"The boys want me to score. The boys want me to get the record."— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 18, 2021
"@ExeterChiefs have allowed me to be me, and score tries."
Sam Simmonds reflects on making #GallagherPrem history and becoming a Lion! 🙏📈 pic.twitter.com/c9aE8VnreK
“It means a lot to me,” Simmonds said after the game.
“I turned up at Exeter at 18 not really knowing what position I wanted to play. They’ve allowed me to be me and score tries and excel as a player. As a team we’re striving for greatness and the players do so much for me. They’re putting me in those positions and credit to them for helping me get the record.”