Richard Ferguson

NZ vs SA – statistically speaking

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Springboks, Tri Nations on 15 Sep 2010 at 15:32
Tagged with : , , , ,

New Zealand were crowned Tri Nations champions 3 months ago but only finished their 6 games this past weekend. They won all six these games, two of which they won in the last 10 minutes. That said, they had more points than the opposition at the final whistle, and thus are fair winners. Here is a comparison of the stats to South Africa.

Let’s start with the stats revolving around tackles, and if you can remember correctly Schalk and Matfield were the top players for South Africa in this category, with 83 and 82 tackles respectively. Now Richie McCaw has come in to show the boys how it is done, amassing 116 tackles, missing a mere 5 of those. That’s a 96% accuracy. Second is Kieran Read with 76 tackles completed. Not far off the pace is prop Tony Woodcock with 63, seeming to be the NZ equivalent of Guthro Steenkamp.

Now on to the missed tackles stats. Kieran Read topped the missed tackle stats with 12, the only player to hit double figures. Next worst is Dan the Man Carter who missed 9. If you compare the team stats, South Africa missed 13% of all tackles attempted, with NZ missing 8%. Starting to see a difference yet?

The handling stats are a different kettle of fish all together, with NZ dropping the ball 129 times in 6 games, compared to the Boks with 99 in the same time. Made you smile there did I? Well I’m sorry to have to wipe it off, because if you take into consideration how many times the All Blacks had their hands on the ball, it’s dead even with both teams knocking on every 14th touch of the ball.

Remember the ruck attendance stats for the Boks, where we were hailing Matfield for his 30 rucks a game average over 6 games. Well, this gives me very little pleasure, Richie McCaw averaged 47 rucks a game, getting to 285 rucks in only 6 games, more than 100 more rucks than our top ruckker. Two other players broke the 200-ruck barrier, with Woodcock hitting 234 and Brad Thorn 231. Impressed much?

So there is the difference. I know the comments below are going to go on about stats not telling the entire story etc etc, but come on guys, the above just states the obvious, the All Blacks are doing the basics far better than the Boks, and you cannot argue that. Another thing that cannot be argued is that Richie McCaw, love him or hate him, is one amazingly talented player, and is certainly one of the best ever. Period.


  • Not gonna disagree there. McCaw is a legend. Although the sneaky bugger wouldn’t even play fair in a charity match.

  • Comment 1, posted at 15.09.10 15:45:27 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • “with both teams knocking on every 14th touch of the ball”. I was pretty surprised by this.

  • Comment 2, posted at 15.09.10 15:54:23 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @CapeShark (Comment 1) :

    If he gets away with it and it means points…

  • Comment 3, posted at 15.09.10 16:11:58 by Pink Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
  • @Richard Ferguson
    At last something we both agree on… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 15.09.10 16:12:51 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli BoelieTeam captain
  • Execution, not game plan stands out as the differentiator.

    Go figure!

  • Comment 5, posted at 15.09.10 19:06:00 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • @Big Fish (Comment 5) :

    That’s quite a leap you make there.

    A disorganized defensive system will cause tackles to be missed. Lower ruck attendance may be due to the game-plan. The defensive plan may have caused lower tackle counts also.

  • Comment 6, posted at 15.09.10 19:16:42 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    fyndraaiTeam captain
  • Count the number of times you say “may” and then talk again about significant leaps.

    I have yet to see a gameplan that calls for lower ruck attendance and tackle counts. Innovative concept that.

  • Comment 7, posted at 15.09.10 19:35:12 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • So we make the same leap. :lol:

  • Comment 8, posted at 15.09.10 20:59:12 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    fyndraaiTeam captain
  • Even better.

    A good game-plan is one that your team can execute. Thus poor execution because of poor game-plan. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 15.09.10 21:04:47 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    fyndraaiTeam captain

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