All Blacks

Austin’s Stats and Analysis: Wallabies v. All Blacks

Austin’s Stats and Analysis: Wallabies v. All Blacks

The Wallabies were comprehensively outplayed by the All Blacks last weekend. Is there any joy in any of the statistics for Wallaby fans? Not really.

The Wallabies won fourteen of their fifteen lineouts for a 93% success rate. In defence, the All Blacks also lost one lineout from their eleven for a 91% success rate. However, the numbers don’t really tell the full story. On attack the Wallabies’ lineout structures worked much better providing some space for the jumpers. The one they did lose was again a five-man lineout and gave Brad Thorn plenty of time to get up in front of Rocky Elsom. In defence, the Wallabies were also better but still didn’t compete on four of the All Black lineouts not on their own try line. The one win they did achieve was a lineout where the Wallabies didn’t compete but the All Black throw sailed over the top. Speaking of throwing, there were three throws by each team that were clearly not straight but were missed by the referees.

The scrum was a real problem area for the Wallabies. They lost three of their six feeds for a 50% success rate while the All Blacks had a 100% success rate. The Wallaby scrum was much weaker when Tatafu Polota-Nau replaced Stephen Moore, as it was when he played against Ireland in place of Moore and when he replaced Moore against South Africa.

The All Blacks showed that a kicking game can actually be very attacking. They kicked on 60% of occasions they had possession compared to 44% for the Wallabies. I rated 64% of the Wallabies’ kicking as positive and 72% of the All Blacks ‘kicking as positive, which is not a huge difference. It was an improvement for the Wallabies from 53% against the Springboks. The issues that really resulted in the All Blacks having a superior kicking game were a much better kick-chase performance and the fact that their catchers were much more secure than the Wallabies.

At the breakdown the All Blacks dominated, winning crucial turnovers and penalties whenever the Wallabies started to build some momentum. The Wallabies lost seven breakdowns for a 92% retention rate. David Pocock again did all he could and was the major reason the Wallabies won five of the All Blacks breakdowns to leave them with a 95% retention rate.

By the end of the match possession (measured by number of breakdowns) was fairly even with 51% to the All Blacks. That measure was 59% in the first half when most of the damage was done. The Wallabies had 42% of their breakdowns inside the All Blacks’ 22 compared to only 27% of the All Blacks’ breakdowns in the Wallabies’ 22. The All Blacks had 84% of their breakdowns in the Wallabies’ half compared to 70% for the Wallabies in the All Blacks’ half. That much possession in the All Blacks’ 22 without being able to score shows once again how poor the Wallabies attack has become.

The Wallabies missed only 24 tackles in the entire game for an 84% completion rate. Of the tackles made I rated 26% as being dominant, which is about where you need to aim to be. The real problem was that 16 of those missed tackles occurred in the first 13 minutes of the game when the All Blacks had the Wallabies under real pressure. By the time that period was over the score was 8–0 (and should have been more but for Weepu missing two kicks and the All Blacks losing possession twice when they looked likely to score tries) and the Wallabies never really recovered.

That 13-minute period started with Cooper’s kick-off going out on the full. From the ensuing scrum Weepu drove the ball into touch just outside the Wallaby goal line and the Wallabies couldn’t get any field position or decent possession. During this period the All Blacks started possession 10 times compared to the Wallabies with 7. The All Blacks took the ball into 23 breakdowns, 15 of which were in the Wallabies’ 22, compared to the Wallabies taking the ball into three breakdowns, all of which were in their own 22. The Wallabies made 34 tackles in that period compared to 3 by the All Blacks and with the Wallabies missing 16 tackles, they had a completion rate of only 68% in that period. The pressure was immense and the Wallabies conceded a try and two penalties well within kicking distance.

Once that period ended the Wallabies worked their way into the game but we all know the All Blacks are great front-runners and they just controlled the game from that point on, playing a great kick-chase game.

In terms of work done by individual players the Involvement Rate for all the Wallabies is shown below.

Click on the icon in the column headings to sort the data.

Game MinsCarriesTotal Tackles MadeTotal Breakdown InvolvementsTotal InvolvementsInvolvement Rate
Sekope Kepu212570.33
Stephen Moore654922350.54
Ben Alexander805837500.63
Dan Vickerman5621340550.98
James Horwill8011734520.65
Rocky Elsom809921390.49
David Pocock80121845750.94
Radike Samo6041113280.47
Will Genia801222160.20
Quade Cooper801414190.24
Digby Ioane801064200.25
Pat McCabe41675180.44
Anthony Faingaa625523330.53
James O'Connor80646160.20
Adam Ashley-Cooper807610230.29
Tatafu Polota-Nau15330.20
James Slipper5971023400.68
Rob Simmons243115190.79
Ben McCalman202411170.85
Luke Burgess
Berrick Barnes39336120.31
Rob Horne181450.28

In the forwards Dan Vickerman and David Pocock were really good with James Horwill, Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore providing support. Rocky Elsom and Radike Samo didn’t contribute enough and Sekope Kepu was disappointing while he was on the field. James Slipper, Rob Simmons and Ben McCalman all contributed when they came on but Tatafu Polota-Nau didn’t contribute much at all.  He still doesn’t appear to be fully fit.

The missed tackle count for Elsom and Samo, particularly in those first 13 minutes, wasn’t good enough. Horwill missed 3 tackles but he countered that with the highest percentage of dominant tackles, closely followed by Vickerman and Pocock.

In the backs Pat McCabe and Anthony Faingaa did the most work, as you’d expect, but Faingaa was well below his best in defence. Berrick Barnes was good when he came on. Digby Ioane carried the ball well but had limited involvement at the breakdown and missed 4 tackles. What James O’Connor did, he did well, but he had limited involvement.

It’s very hard to split my Man Of The Stats between Dan Vickerman and David Pocock, so I won’t.

Click on the relevant icon below to see the full team or player statistics for the Wallabies and dissect the numbers yourself.

I’ve also posted the statistics for the quarter-final match against the Springboks here and here as I didn’t get time to post last week.

All Blacks

Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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