Statistics: Wallabies v England - Green and Gold Rugby

Statistics: Wallabies v England

Statistics: Wallabies v England

For me, the Wallabies losing to England is worse than if they lose to New Zealand.  What was even worse for me was the fact that it wasn’t even close – England were completely dominant. 

If England can keep that sort of game going over the next twelve months they’ll definitely be a threat to the Southern Hemisphere teams at next years RWC and it’s also likely that the next time the Wallabies meet England will be in a RWC semi-final.

So let’s look for some positives from the match to help us all feel a little better. 

Let’s start with the scoreboard.  England might have come out on top on the scoreboard but the Wallabies and England each scored two tries and the scoreboard tells us the difference between the two teams came down to goal kicking.  If we dig a little further, the score would have been 35-29 if James O’Connor had kicked at 100% like Toby Flood.  That doesn’t sound too bad if you’re a Wallaby supporter – a few metres either way as the ball sailed past the posts and we’d have had a six point ball game!  Who knows – with a bit more help from the referee the Wallabies could have snatched that game!

Okay, that doesn’t really work, does it!  Let’s try looking at the statistics for some ray of light.

First up, there is some good news – we beat England at the kickoffs.  After being taught some very harsh lessons in this area by New Zealand during the Tri-Nations this year, we’ve improved and regained possession 4 of the 10 times we kicked off to England whilst retaining possession on all 4 kickoffs by England.  Oh, we had to kick off 10 times to England’s 4 – that doesn’t sound that good anymore.

What about the scrum? We held our own, didn’t we? Okay, that’s inconclusive.

Lineouts?  Not too bad but the Wallabies were hardly dominant.

We won the possession battle – well sort of!  Our statistics show that the Wallabies started possession 44 times compared to only 43 for England.  That’s a small win but then you look at the fact that the Wallabies kicked the ball 52% of the times they had possession compared to England’s 40% and it’s clear which team was really making the most of their time in possession.

At the breakdown the Wallabies actually retained more ball than England – 95% to 94%.  Then I watch the footage of English players swarming in and cleaning out past the ball, whereas the Wallabies were only cleaning out to the ball, which invites the opposition into a contest and I wonder how the Wallabies were even able to compete at the breakdown.  Thank god for David Pococok!

Unfortunately it’s now time to deal with the Wallabies defence.  The 85% completion rate by the Wallabies wasn’t their worst performance of the year – they manged only 82% on two occasions during the Tri-Nations.  The 33 tackles missed by the Wallabies was their worst this year!  Beyond the numbers, the defence was terrible and it seems to me that it’s getting worse.  Quade Cooper did only miss 6 tackles so that could be considered an improvement!  Ben Alexander shared the trophy with Quade this week for most tackles missed.  On the positive side, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe and Stephen Moore were all quite good in defence with Kurtley Beale the standout in the backs.

It was David Pococok who was once again exceptional in defence, leading the tackle count, having a 100% completion record and being second only to Rocky in the number of dominant tackles made.

Overall Kurtley Beale, Stephen Moore and Nathan Sharpe played well and I thought that was Rocky Elsom’s best game for some time.

There’s no escaping the single most important factor why England won the game – dominance.  Dominance in every area – they out thought the Wallabies, they out enthused the Wallabies, they out muscled the Wallabies and the Wallabies didn’t seem to have any answers.

If England play like that, there’s no team in the world they can’t beat, including New Zealand at their best.

From the Wallabies point of view, it’s a big reality check.  Every team has bad days and maybe that’s what it was, so I hope the Wallabies can bounce back in a big way next week against Italy.

Click on the relevant button below to download the Team Statistics or the Player Statistics.





  • The Rant

    Went to the game on saturday – these stats don’t really tell the story – really missing a ‘metres made’ stat. Everytime england got on the hop they just found metres, not to mention the sloppy awareness and structure of the wallabies that got caught out again and again – we gave them half a field to work with time and time again. The english backs didn’t actually do anything you’d call special – just ran hard and linked up and that was enough against our structure and flailing arms.

    One of the best tests I’ve seen in a long time – well it would have been if I was a fat bald geezer. Objectively as a game it was fast,exciting and

    I walked away on the moral highground cheering ‘Scrum Parity’ and praising the spectacle that is Southern Hemisphere rugby – even if the wrong team played it.

    Looking forward to a few surprise (well maybe not too surprising) selections against Italy.

  • realist

    Unless the Wallabies muscle up in contact (particularly defence) they will struggle to warrant being serious contenders for the RWC next year. Skill levels can be improved by coaching but courage cannot be coached – it is there or not there. Other highly ranked teams will select big ball-running backs (eg Sonny-Bill) who will ask serious questions of our defence particularly in the backs. There is also a notable lack of cover defence and general confusion over defensive roles. The selectors are going to have to bring in other players at the expense of developed and developing combinations to tighten up this area. Opportunities to forge a side with the ability to make a serious challenge next year are passing.
    Historically teams that win RWCs have established experienced combinations and perform well leading up to the RWC.
    Sure a bunch of new exciting players have been introduced but in overall performance the team has not really advanced from 2007. The public is drawn to a sport by success not fancy footwork. The inexplicably poor form of the Springboks during Tri-Nations this year probably saved the Wallabies from their worst year ever.

    • realist

      Nice work Austin.

  • BRIX

    Ufff. Didn’t really need to see that, but those stats are saying a whole lot of shit for a whole lot of shit.

    Well played Austin.

  • Joe Blow

    What were Chis and McCalman up to during the game? SFA.
    Dean Mumm looked industrious when he came on. I would love to see Simmons have a huge game against Munster and force his way into the test side.
    Brown was busy but the stats show he is incapable of physically imposing himself on the opposition. Ideally your number 8 will be pulling off dominant tackles left right and centre.

    It was really only Moore and Sharpe working hard in the tight five for the Wobs. It can’t pan out unless all 5 are totally committed to the cause.

    • Bobas

      TPN to 8! you cant drop Moore or leave the human wrecking ball on the bench.

      • Garry

        It’s not unlike Deans to play piggies out of their natural positions. Beware of injuries though?

      • Joe Mac

        TPN to Prop?

  • Bobas

    Its a game like this that shows the real impact of players such as TPN, Palu, Digby and Morty. Big advantage line percentage and dominant one on one tackles.

    AAC, Mitchell and Sharpe have been trying their guts out to fill this void, but failed this time around. Hopefully they’ll become more consistant at denting the line and defending like they want to inflict pain on both themselves and those in their path.
    Moore stepped up and hopefully will play like this for the rest of his life, something you just wish clicks in Chis’ and Robinson’s mind

    I wish we could transplant Sharpe’s brain into Chis’ body. Its those players that enjoy like the pain and dont worry about injuries that are the hardest to bring down in defence and in attack the players you dont want marking you when recieving a looped pass.

    Something tells me all players will be acting like men possessed against munster and italy. I expect extreme improvement in all contact contests (except with the italy scrum forcing a pen try against the argies probably not the scrum). Hopefully this will be the turning point in some of our forwards with ‘soft underbelly’s’ carrers’

  • ozrugbynut

    Ben Alexander’s missed tackle count is very poor, for someone usually very solid in that area. He’s looked off since his return. What’s going on?

    • Bobas

      Apparently he’s missing 11kilos of muscle mass after surgeory. Basically going from being Maafu’s weight to Robinson’s would be enough to put everyone off in contact.

      If Robinson and Alexander stay injury free they’ll regain their form. Hopefully they get some R and R to builk up before the super 15.

      Something tells me Robbos arm is still worrying him, obviously he’s not as tough as TPN, who scrummaged with cracked ribs earlier in the year. But who knows you never know how bad an injury is til you feel it yourself.

      • Garry

        If either get injured because they’ve been rushed back before they’re ready, well, that would be a criminal shame. Our coaches have failed to bring through the talent to cover them until they’re ready.

      • Seb V

        That makes a lot of sense, I saw him in Canberra just before the Spring Tour and thought wow Alexander is really not that big, I thought an international prop would be bigger. He really needs time to hit the gym.

      • Who Needs Melon

        Alexanders weight loss doesn’t explain his missed tackles though, does it?

        • Bobas

          If I lost 12 kilos of muscle I would be as bad at defense as qc.

    • realist

      He is a good player who has come back from injury. He just needs time to regain his form.

  • Lee Enfield

    Bring in Higginbotham, he can’t perform any worse than Brown, Mumm or McCalman. Give Simmons a go and drop Chis, Simmons has done nothing wrong and like Higginbotham, couldn’t perform any worse than Chis or Mumm. Give A.Faingaa another chance at 12, with Barnes on the Bench to cover.
    Deans needs to drop some players and give those on the fring who have shown potential a deserved run. This same old same old is getting us nowhere.

    • murph

      Agreed except I’d put Van in there

      • Gibbo

        Agreed…’s time some c@nts were rolled!!

  • chasmac

    I think Quade Cooper has to go. England made far too much ground through his channel. Is there any merit in putting O’Conner to 5/8 and promoting Turner/Hynes/Digby ?
    McCalman was found out. Higgers / TPN / Rocky should be able to fill that gap. Not Brown, he doesn’t have the physical prescence like Palu / Gavin / Kefu.
    Giteau is never going to look good when QC is 5/8, he is generally cut passed or mitchell / beale come in as 1st receiver during the phase play. Giteau work off the ball is brilliant, and he is always heavily marked. It reminds me of Tiquiri in has last 2 years; he could never find any space as he was basically double teamed. Giteau needs some new tricks but I wouldn’t drop him. He seems to be a bit like conrad smith in what he offers. Berrick for mine, lacks X factor and could be a bit too slow to ever become a massive threat.
    Overall, I think we will need all of our injured players back to full potential ( Mortlock might struggle to lose 4 years ) including our current props and half back to be in with a chance at the world cup.

    • Seb V

      Dont think QC should be dropped. Just needs to harden the fuck up! He can do it, if i re-call his match verse wales last year he was pretty solid in defence, dominate tackles, only fell off a few from some very strong forwards. So theirs evidence he has it in him we just need to bring it out of him!

      However if you do drop him, then Berrick should slip into 10 and JOC to inside centre. Barnes will sure up the defense and JOC will add that spark to the backline. Should complement each other nicely.

      • Andrew

        Absolutely. I would have loved to have seen a Barnes/O’Connor combination at some stage and reckon this could be very destructive when surrounded by larger outside backs like ACC, Chambers, Ioane, Mortlock, Rooney that can break the line and tackle – imagine that! An international rugby player that can defend!! Fuck me didn’t we manage that in ’91 and ’99?

        No team can honestly believe they’re a remote chance of winning the big games without a near impenetrable defence. Its the basic cornerstone of every world cup victory, sorry every game of rugby.

      • realist

        Where the hell did you pop from and what is wrong with your brain?

  • murph

    McCalman is a passenger. The stats tell it all.

    • Darkhorse

      There weren’t any stats for rucks hit and I think you’ll find that’s where most of McCalman’s workrate goes to.

      When Palu was playing, as dominant as he was in the tackle and on the run, he just went missing when trying to secure possesion or in creating a turnover. Elsom thrives when there is someone else to help with the grunt work. You can’t be making line-breaking runs if you’re worrying about hitting ruck after ruck because noone else is.

      • murph

        You’re kidding right? The lazy little bastard made four hit ups, seven tackles and missed three tackles. I don’t care how many rucks he hit, he’s a Number 8 and his work rate should be much much much higher in the those areas.

        It drives me nuts to think that a bench player for a team that came second last in the S14 continually gets the nod ahead of someone like Scott Higginbotham or Stephen Hoiles.

        Deans is an utter clown.

    • realist

      That was a reply to seb V

  • KDog

    Lets change Pocock’s name to Leo from Leo Sayer….. cause he is a friggen “One Man Band” look at that tackle rate. All by himself battling away. A Zimbabwean with more pride in the jersey than the rest of them.

    I am a one eyed Wallabies fan… against the Poms I put my 12 gauge to my head and no click a friggen bad bang. Brains everywhere…. How can the Wallabies turn off like that.

    I hope they loose the the Italians .. maybe then RD will make some needed changes..

    • murph

      Leo it is.

      There are some forwards in that team who need a serious reality check.

  • Lee

    hahahah Leo Sayer…thats so funny…
    Lets get real…We haven’t got a hope in hell of winning the RWC next year.
    Look at Dingos track record to date….Its the worse run we have had in bloody ages.
    Send him back to where he came from at the end of next year and maybe we’ll have a shot in 2015…Or…
    Get rid of him now and bring back Eddie Jones or give some aussie a go. I reakon Deans is working for the ABs. why’d we have to give a kiwi the job? Bloody nuts if you ask me!

    • murph

      I’ve had a theory for a while that he’s the NZRFU’s very own Manchurian Candidate.

      Nucifora or Link should get the nod.

    • Simon

      I love that you are some how managing to blame us for being crap….without kiwi imports…like Deans running the show off the field, and QC running the show on the field you would still be rubbish, because you have crap forwards. The Aussie back line is World class….it’s the fatties up front that aren’t doing the work….Deans is a great coach, he has a much better Super rugby record than any other coach around including Eddie Jones. He has has a poor pool of talent to select from when it comes to forwards though…is it because all the talented big guys play rugby league in Australia…leaving the fat kids to play rugby?

  • bones

    Austin – can you do a video showing how much obstruction England ran during that test, which dickhead Joubert (the same tool who destroyed the Melbourne ABs test by sending off Mitchell for a ball slap off the field!) never even was aware of.

    A classic example is the pre-planned meanduring of Croft through the defensive line in that first English try, blocking the tacklers from the ball carrier, and then looping around for the ground pass and on for the try! Just go back and watch the try a few times and focus on No 6. Yet if someone like TPN had come flying in and flattened the cheating prick for running obstruction, no doubt Joubert would have carded TPN! This is horseshit – the Aussies should be screaming about this – it happened nearly every time that England ran the ball in space. Go back and check.

    • Joe Mac

      I’d quite like to see that

      • murph

        2:06 there is absolutely no way that England were onside in that ruck. Turnover.

        3:11 Croft blatantly shepherds Cueto through the defence. Try.

        5:43 Palmer seals off the ball and makes no attempt to release the tackled player. Should have been penalised. Instead, turnover and try.

        So, you are correct: fresh from fucking over Australia in Melbourne, Joubert fucks over Australia at Twickenham

        p.s. 8:24 Smart arse commentator claims Pocock didn’t enter via the gate when he quite clearly did. Try Australia.

    • ozrugbynut

      I thoughts the same throughout the game. Do it.

  • E.

    Disagree with the point of England being able to beat New Zealand. New Zealand do everything England do, evidenced in their game against Scotland, and have far more individual talent as well as a winning mentality. In fact, the All Black mentality is far and above that of any other team and is the mentality we should be striving for if we want to aim for consistency. After consistency comes success.

  • Andrew Keet

    If you have watched England for as long as I have you would have noticed they do a amazing job of a steady build up to the Ruby World Cup, I think they have a fighting chance this time. You want to learn more about the country England, view

    • Jay Wokman

      beat it

  • Homer J

    I Have the answer.

    Bring Mortlock back and stick him into the 12 spot. Safe hands, crunching D and can punch holes in brick walls.
    Ioane at 13. Good D, magic feet and alwasy beats the first man.
    15 – Beal
    14 – Turner
    11 – JOC/AAC/Hynes

    There is a weight gain, strong running and a massive boost to the defense. Plus Diggers is awesome.

    On the defense plays just put Quade back in the box and set TPN in his spot. No one runs at TPN.


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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