Statistics: Wallabies v All Blacks Bledisloe 1 - Green and Gold Rugby

Statistics: Wallabies v All Blacks Bledisloe 1

Statistics: Wallabies v All Blacks Bledisloe 1

Last night to prepare these statistics I watched the game for the first time since seeing it live and I have to agree with those that have posted on the site after re-watching the game – the Wallabies weren’t terrible.

They were outplayed on the night by a better team but  having watched it play by play, the gap between the teams isn’t as large as it appeared to me watching the game the first time.

Robbie Deans has said there were a lot of little things that spoiled any chance the Wallabies may have had.  I wouldn’t classify them as “little”.  I think basic would be a better word because things like not kicking the ball out when you have a penalty and the opposition only have 14 men just shouldn’t happen at this level.

The first yellow card for Drew Mitchell was clearly wrong and the IRB obviously weren’t impressed with the work of the assistant referee that made that call as he’s been demoted for this week’s game.  I don’t understand how Kaplan wasn’t also demoted because his call of a shoulder charge by Franks was also wrong.  I think in the context of what had occurred in the game and the warning Joubert gave both captains, the second yellow card to Mitchell was justified and basic errors like that have to be eliminated.

The Wallabies started with the ball 29 times compared to the All Blacks with 37.  However the Wallabies held the ball for 128 phases compared to 114 for the All Blacks.  The ball in hand strategy was clear with only six kicks by the Wallabies and 9 by the All Blacks. 

The Wallabies held their own at the breakdown retaining 96% of their ball compared to 94% for the All Blacks.  David Pocock was superb and his work rate was incredible.  Richard Brown also did a lot of work and I didn’t think he had a bad game.  Rocky was a little quiet as was Ma’afu.  The rest of the pack were good.

The basic things that have to be fixed if the Wallabies are to be competitive this week are clearly re-starts and defence.

The Wallabies only regained possession once from the seven kickoffs by the All Blacks.  Five of those six kickoffs the Wallabies lost came immediately after the Wallabies had gained some momentum by scoring points but the momentum was quickly reversed by not securing the ball  from the kickoff.

The Wallabies defence lacked the intensity of the week before against the Springboks – only 17% of tackles were dominant compared to 23% the week before and the successful tackle percentage was also down at 82% compared to 87% against the Springboks.  The backs were responsible for 18 of the 30 missed tackles with Berrick Barnes and Adam Ashley-Cooper both missing four each.  Rocky didn’t have a great game in defence and the Wallabies need more from him in this area. 

  1st Half 2nd Half Match %
Tackles Attempted 96 75 171  
Made 83 58 141  
Missed 13 17 30  
Made % 86% 77% 82%  
Tackles – Dominant 17 7 24 17%
Tackles – Completed 66 51 117 83%

Ball retention was much better this week with only 28% of possession given up compared to 54% against the Sprinboks and 41% given up by the All Blacks in this match.

  1st Half 2nd Half Match
Times in Possession 13 16 29
Possession Lost – Breakdown 3 1 4
Possession Lost – Other 1 3 4
Total Possession Lost 4 4 8
Possession Lost % 31% 25% 28%

Most of the basic errors made by the Wallabies have been seen before and that’s the main issue for me.  There’s no consistent  improvement with the gains in one area being offset by regression in another area each game.  I’ve said plenty on this topic in other posts so no need to keep going on but this fundamental problem must be addressed by the players and the coaches.  

The bounce of the ball didn’t go the way of the Wallabies but that, and refereeing blunders are part of every game.  If you take the Mitchell and Franks yellow cards away I still think the All Blacks would win but it would have been much closer.

Click on the Team Statistics or Player Statistics Icons to download our full analysis.




  • I have the replay ready to go, just need the time to watch it. I am hoping I can climb out of the doldrums by watching.

    Most of the basic errors made by the Wallabies have been seen before and that’s the main issue for me. There’s no consistent improvement with the gains in one area being offset by regression in another area each game. I’ve said plenty on this topic in other posts so no need to keep going on but this fundamental problem must be addressed by the players and the coaches.

    I think that is the thing that bothers me the most, a lack of progress, when all we hear about is the team making progress. Surely we can be expecting -nay demanding more without going beyond the reasonable.

    • Garry

      I can remember our piss-poor restart problems in the previous 3N. I can say this because I was dumb founded at the time. That is schoolboy stuff. I would have thought that at the time, the team would have been so embarrassed (as I was), that they would have practiced this facet relentlessly (less they be laughed out of town).

      But here we go again. What goes on at training? I’m dumbfounded (did I say that).

      Progress? I think Dingo the dodgy jockey has the reigns held back.

      Dogman, have you got an extra rod in the car? I’ll bring the beer.

  • Dogman

    I love Kurtley’s tackling stats? Jeez I’m glad he’s training at fullback. That should sure up the defence nicely. Anyone else fucking over all this? Poor Austin is going round and round like a bloody record while the wallabies piss around experimenting what else they can find to fuck up. I’m going fishing!

    • Andrew

      I still find myself asking why brown is selected ahead of matt hodgson and thinking about his missed tackle on corey jane and pathetic attempt at tackling richie macaw before he scored. I justed can’t believe that he adds more to the breakdown or in general play as “specialist no. 8″. My arse. 17 carries perhaps but I don’t remember him breaking the line or getting us metres across the advantage line. Hogson really isn’t that far behind pocock and truly believe those two working in tandem would make an immense difference with the amount of ball in play this year. What’s the justification for keeping brown? He knows how to pick a ball up at the back of a scrum? He’s lineout prowess? Hardly.

      We need another scavenger who is going to make those first up tackles, that can scamble in defence and which can double the nuisance factor at the breakdown and slow the AB’s quick recycle (and ultimately speed up ours). Controlling and contesting possession is everything. I’d love to see the stats across hodgson, brown and pocock when they played the crusadsers in perth and compare the three.

      I’m quitely holding my breath that Ant Faingaa is selected ahead of barnes, i can’t see him missing four tackles – only perhaps if he’s already knocked himself out trying to destroy an opp inside back. Faingaa, Hodgson, Simmons mogrel in spades

      • Old Weary

        Agree – no one can doubt he plays with his heart on his sleave, but execution is letting him down. TIme to give Hodgo a go.

  • Old Weary

    Interesting seeing such a massive pick up in the stats in the 2nd half – although have to think the AB’s did take their foot off the gas a bit.

    The Kickoffs lost (~90%) is a killer also. Would be interesting lining these up against Bok/AB game three weeks ago.

    • ADC

      Brown may made 17 carries, but I can only remember 1 getting accross the gain line (from the back of a scrum from memory). My Nanna could defend better and she’s got a broken hip.

      What we really need is a ball running no8 who can get us over the advantage line consistently, but seeing as we don’t have one of those at the moment Hodgson deserves a go. At least we’d get 100% effort and commitment from him.

  • Tank

    Agree with pretty much everything here. I watched the game twice and agree that Dick didn’t play that bad – but, and I know this has been spoken about heaps, why wouldn’t Deans use his reserve loose forward in a game where we played 47 mins with 14 men. I do think Hodgson deserves a go but this certainly wasn’t Brown’s worst effort.

    I suppose the only thing I would slightly disagree with was the tight 5 were good. Aside from a couple of highlight reels (think Moore’s dominant tackle) I thought they were quiet and more outplayed than the rest of the Wallabies – if that makes sense.

    Still would have lost, but if you take out the AB’s first try for the quite obvious offside, and take both initial yellow cards out and yes, would have been a lot closer indeed.

    Unfortunately for Aus Rugby, that is a lot of buts…

  • Who?

    I think the stats prove my thoughts on Fat Cat to be true – that it wasn’t his best game. He was our quietest front rower. And Slipper didn’t do much more than Ma’afu.

    I’m amazed at our retention, and the lack of kicking and stoppages in the game. It’s quite incredible! But I believe our retention was a bit fortunate, and it wasn’t quality retention. We had an awful lot of slow ball. Which isn’t shown in the stats. That’s where the tight five needed to improve – it wasn’t purely in how much work they got done, it was the quality and pace of the involvement.

    I’m pretty surprised at how poor our backs were in defense, too – only three players above 70% success rate! Gits, Mitchell, and that supposedly suspect little defender, James O’Connor, who topped the percentages, and only missed one tackle. In fact, his tackle stats are arguably better than Rocky’s! One fewer tackle made, 2 fewer missed! Good work Rabbit!

    • Robson

      I’ve always thought JO”C was technically a good tackler. He’s been wrong footed a few times which have resulted in missed tackles, but sometimes you just see the missed tackles. I’m very confident that if he has a balanced stance, his tackling is every bit as good as anyone elses; and better than a few others.

  • Bones

    The Black see test matches as an event where one side cheats and the other side is cheated. Full stop. They spend their practice time perfecting a bag of subtle cheats which can be employed in the game as the opportunity presents. Eg Weepu saw the ref was going to penalize Black at a breakdown and kicks it long instantaneously, denying the Aussies a quick tap and go. Subtle obstruction running by the Black forwards, McCaw obstructing Brown from tackling after a scrum. Even the Haka which is an unfair psychological advantage.

    But I guess this is what professionalism is all about – delivering the result no matter what and no matter how.

    When I think back to Aussie Black games over the years, the ABs rarely ever score traditional, classic tries against us. The score is always a quick tap after a very questionable penalty, or a Woodcock style obstruction move thru the forwards, or their halfback running tight to the ref and obstructing the defence etc.

    IMHO we will not beat the Black until we are more “professional” than them.

  • piggies7

    Deans persistance with not using the bench if really starting to piss me off, when you see knackered blokes in the last 20 minutes dragging themselves around.

  • Roland

    Boy I think we we’re really missing QC. Such a stagnant backline, its amazing we got those pies that we did. I notice no one has mentioned Genia playing rubbish. I just don’t know what happened to the Papuan piper. He looked unfit and out of breath.

    I think it was a lot closer then the score board suggests, also taking into account the red card, but the AB’s were a better team on the night.

    Barnsey did not look the goods at IC. I don’t think wholesale changes need to be made, but wouldn’t mind seeing the inclusion of A.Faingaa. He would not have missed 4 tackles thats for sure. I don’t like seeing two little guys trying to slide through gaps together. You need some muscle to attract defenders to allow Gits to slide through

    Does anyone know the story of Higgers? He may be a bit unfit but I’m sure he could come in off the bench for a cheekie 20 minutes.

    • Who?

      I think the loss of Quade also contributed to why Genia was waiting before passing. There was no one to pass it to! Can’t blame him for blowing a bit – a game with only 15 kicks in it? Unheard of! Doesn’t excuse his tackling percentage, though…

      And Berrick didn’t play anywhere near well enough for any Australian to use the term ‘Barnesy’ in reference to him. :-P

    • Austin


      Agree it wasn’t a brilliant performance from Genia but I certainly didn’t see too much rubbish from him (okay, apart from the poor tackle attempt).

      Slow ruck ball was an issue but that’s because Genia had limited options every time he looked up so had to wait for runners. The All Blacks also watched him like a hawk and there were numerous occasions in the first 50 minutes where you can see him scanning the defence looking for any hole he could have a go at, but there were none.

      In the last 30 minutes he started having a go even though were no holes in front of him. Didn’t get through once but that was good defence from the AB’s, not a Genia problem.

      I also didn’t see Gits or Barnes taking control and giving Genia options – the back line was pedestrian.

  • All Black Fan

    Are you people serious or what? The wallabies were beaten by a better team on the night plain and simple

    • Skip

      I am not sure that has been disputed. If you want that, you probably need to look at an SA rugby blog.

    • Will Johnson

      All Black fan – Aus was soundly beaten by a better team, some of the ref’s calls were a little dodgy for both sides, even ending in Wessel’s being stood down by Paddy O’Furniture.

      I think there are some pissed off Aus supporters that are a little annoyed with some of the professional fouls by the AB’s that they are not being penalised for. Regardless of that, I don’t believe Aus would have won, defensively we were not great and our lack of consistency is killing us each week. Argh.

      Would like to see McCaw pulled back in line though by a ref. I know he is the best in the world, but that game against the Boks where he received 5 warnings & of those 2 official warnings for lying all over the SAffa ruck during their attach slowing the ball down is a joke. The bloke should have been yellow carded, and having done it again red carded just like Mitchell.

      Poc0ck, Roussow, Elsom or any other player get’s one warning and then your toast – why is it that Richie is allowed to get away with so much. Jedi mind tricks..?

      • All Black Fan

        Fair point even die hard AB’s fans like me know Ritchie gets away with allot.

  • Ben

    before the tri nations started Link was pushing for Leroy Houston. What about a big specialist no8 I know he is raw but maybe from the bench Leroy could add some starch…..he has great hands from the back of the scrum.

  • I don’t think it would be fair to say that the Wallabies were terrible but they weren’t good. When you add up all the little things that should’ve been better then we would have had a closer game on our hands but I don’t think it would have changed the result. As already mentioned the main area where the Wallabies didn’t compete was the restarts but look at how Simmonds competed for the restart when he came onto the field, he just seemed to have a bit more determination about him. The kind of determination you need all 15 men on the field to have when playing against the All Blacks. In the AB were definitely more clinical when it came to finishing.

    No question Pocock was best Wallaby on the part but as for Richard Brown, yes he had a good work rate but failed to have a real impact on the game and made a few simple errors that you can not afford at this level and especially against the World number 1.

  • Skip

    I’m just hoping that the 6/7 players out at the moment are back next year. I don’t hink this lot are too far off the margin but I was asked by my Finnish wife who cares not for rugby to stop shouting at the stupid things they were doing in the first 40.

    In addition to the declaration fo war on the SARU, one of their touchies was demoted too. Perhaps they can go whinge with the NH from now on.

  • ben

    In the annuls of Wallaby history……IF the wallabies win on Saturday…where would this rank amoungst their greates achievements? 7 first line players out… wins in 8 tests and got a hiding the week before

    It would be right up there i would suggest…..COME ON BOYS

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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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