The fact that the Wallabies didn’t bring home their own little slice of history was a grand shame.
However, as has been pointed out by a number of others, if they’d come back with a Grand Slam, it would have masked the fact that there’s still a lot of work to do before the Wallabies can consistently challenge the All Blacks and the Springboks.
Let’s look at the team statistics first across all four test matches and then examine the key statistics for the individual players.
Before the tour started most people posting on the Green and Gold Rugby site gave the Wallabies very little chance of winning the Grand Slam, so in that regard the Wallabies have exceeded expectations by getting to within 3 points of achieving that (1 pt against Ireland and 2 pts against Scotland would have done it). I think that is more a result of the standard of the opposition than a high standard set by the Wallabies.
The tour has served us well for the future with a very good scrum continuing to develop and a few young players like Will Genia and David Pocock really showing what they can do.
Overall the statistics look quite good and if you hadn’t seen the games and didn’t know the scores, these statistics would suggest the Wallabies were more successful than they actually were. Then again if I’d recorded a statistic for missed opportunities the scores would be understandable.
|Breakdowns||Ball Taken In||83||65||101||47||296|
|Ball Taken In By Opposition||99||65||64||107||335|
|Lineouts||Ball Thrown In||15||18||16||5||54|
|Ball Thrown In By Opposition||16||14||18||19||67|
|Ball Fed By Opposition||5||7||9||10||31|
|Kicks in General Play||Wallabies||31||36||33||42||142|
A couple of these statistics stand out – too many missed tackles, penalty count well against us and tries scored versus line breaks. Oh, and Giteau’s place kicking!
Now let’s look at some key statistics for individual players.
|Player Statistics||Carries||Tackles||Missed Tackles||Line Breaks|
Obviously Quade Cooper’s missed tackles stands out. To clarify how I recorded tackles and missed tackles for all players, I only allocated a tackle or a missed tackle to the player who was first into the tackle or had most impact on whether the tackle was made or not. In that way I wasn’t double counting tackles by assigning tackles where players had really just assisted. Cooper was obviously being covered by others so was involved in plenty of tackles where he had help. He seems to have developed a habit of getting into position to make a tackle but not really committing if he knows someone else is also there. However, in those cases I neither awarded him a tackle as he wasn’t the primary player who completed the tackle and nor did I consider there was a tackle missed. So the 12 missed tackles I counted for Cooper were one on one misses, so he’s got some work to do as has Digby Ioane.
The other thing that stood out for me was the amount of work Rocky Elsom was doing. Watching the games live I would have said he had a quiet tour but watching them back more closely he was really leading from the front. Wycliff Palu had a good tour and the statistics back that up.