Statistics: Wallabies v Springboks - Brisbane - Green and Gold Rugby

Statistics: Wallabies v Springboks – Brisbane

Statistics: Wallabies v Springboks – Brisbane

Whilst the Wallabies played by far their best game of 2010 against the Springboks on Saturday, there are a couple of areas that need urgent attention if they are to be competitive against the All Blacks this Saturday.

Some of the positives were the performance at the breakdown where the Wallabies retained 98% of their own ball but inflicted damage on the Springboks whose retention was only 92%, the pressure exerted in defence, the ball in hand strategy and a return to top form by Will Genia.

Apart from the return of his running game, Genia’s performance at the base of the ruck laid the platform for the Wallabies to get on the front foot.  Not only was his delivery much faster than his last game against England but the accuracy and width of his passes was world class again.

Pass Type Number % Number %
Good 38 66% 62 77%
Average 18 31% 18 22%
Poor 2 3% 1 1%
Total 58 100% 81 100%
Average – At Receiver 16 28% 18 22%

Whilst the Wallabies applied pressure with their swarming defence, there were 22 missed tackles (an 87% success rate) with Rocky Elsom missing 6 and Rob Horne & James O’Connor each missing 4.  It’s great to put pressure on in defence but that doesn’t offset the need for completing the tackles.  This defensive performance needs to step up again against the All Blacks.

1st Half 2nd Half Match %
Tackles Attempted 61 108 169  
Made 51 96 147  
Missed 10 12 22  
Made % 84% 89% 87%  
Tackles – Dominant 13 21 34 23%
Tackles – Completed 38 75 113 77%

The main area that needs attention is the amount of possession lost – 54% of the times the Wallabies started a possession sequence.  It was extremely frustrating watching the Wallabies blow good attacking chances over and over again but fortunately the Springboks weren’t playing well enough to take advantage.  That won’t be the case against the All Blacks and the Wallabies really need to tighten up in this area so they don’t just give cheap ball back to the All Blacks.

1st Half 2nd Half Match
Times in Possession 25 12 37
Possession Lost – Breakdown 1 1 2
Possession Lost – Other 12 6 18
Total Possession Lost 13 7 20
Possession Lost % 52% 58% 54%

Click on the Team Statistics or Player Statistics icons to download the full statistical analysis.




  • Scotty

    Possession lost figure might be a bit skewed considering the game plan to keep the ball in hand. If you never kick the ball, then you are either going to score points or loose possession at some stage, and we can’t exactly expect to score points 100% of the time we get the ball.

    • Austin

      Yes, that does have some impact.

      The average possession lost by the Wallabies was 36% in the first four games of the year and the All Blacks averaged 37% in the first two games of the Tri Nations playing a ball in hand style of game (including one game in the wet) so you’re never going to get down to 0% but 54% is way too high.

      Against the Springboks the Wallabies started possession 37 times and they kicked the ball 10 times. So another way to look at it is that of the remaining 27 times they used the ball, they lost it 18 times and lost 2 breakdowns – that’s 20 out of 27 times they decided to use the ball they gave it up – 74%. Even just looking at the dropped balls, forward passes etc – that’s 18 from 27 – 67%.

      • Who?

        Further, a number of those errors were made with the line wide open. Rabbit’s drop of Fat Cat’s pass. Rocky’s kick. Rabbit’s infield kick, which was too high. Quade not passing to Rabbit until he was entering the ruck. Cooper’s drop off Quade near the end. And there were other drops from good passes from Quade in the early stages. If we were 20% better – down to 34% lost possession (not that much ahead of the ABs), not dropping it only it could easily have resulted in another 2 or 3 tries. From avoiding dropping the ball or throwing it forward ‘only’ 7 more times…

  • D

    1 stat missing is how many times players and the media use the word “obviously” in questions pre and post game. Most of the time it isn’t used correctly. It drives me nuts…..obviously!

  • g man

    would love yo see a fiannga come on early for rob horne. That will definatley tighten up our defense. I can not understand why rob horne is in this team, iam yet to see any decent stats from his time with the wallabies

    • can’t buy spirit

      To be fair horne has been underused…(we’re so focused on the cooper/gits set-up) maybe its cos they dont feel he’s up to it or who knows…but when we had mortlock or herbert there, you could guarantee backline ball would come their way to get him to break the ad-line.
      I can only think of about 4 times in 4 games that Horne has been used as the guy to hit the line. I was surprised with his missed tackle count as thats what Deans talks up about him – though he did make a beaut on fourie!
      At the moment though – there’s not much better choice (maybe faiinga but he’s always played 12) – If Hynes was fit I’d play him at fullback and put AAC at 13.
      I’m a big fan of Billy Chambers – he’s got size, pace, top ball skills and is always around to finish – he’ll be a key figure come next year, he’ll definately be heading to europe later in the year.

  • reds fan

    good to see the brothers Rob and James Horne playing together ;-)

    • Austin

      Whilst the Wallabies are working on holding onto the ball, I’ll have to work on my proof reading skills!

  • Warwick

    I agree with g man – why is Rob Horne in this team? Has has done nothing from 3/4 starts to suggest he belongs, especially if his missing almost half his tackles. I presume he’s there until Diggers or Will Chambers overcome injury? Why don’t we have any quality 13’s?

    • Jimmy

      Yeah, agree. I like Faingaa and he will get his chance, he’s a great prospect (just as his brother is – thanks Mr and Mrs Faingaa). I rate Horne, but he just needs to get involved more – he won’t get too many more chances unless he does something in the next couple of games. Diggers will come back into 13 when he is fit. I was a big doubter of Deans’ rotation/new blood policy but I think we are starting to see the early benefits of it already. Our depth is building like a big summer storm ready to unleash all it’s fury just in time for the WC!

  • Bob Dwyer

    Big problem for me was slow clearance of available ball at the tackle contest. An upright scrum-half (see Genia in last game) is a strong indication of no desire/intent to ” clear ball without delay”. A scrum-half who “swoops” onto the ball will use the ball immediately it becomes available, either via a pass or a run. On the rare occasions that the Boks used quick ball, thet troubled NZ and got two simple tries.

    • can’t buy spirit

      Agreed. Slowing down to take a look around just puts the opposition on the front foot. Genia is not yet as bad as the late gregan years when we would lose balls we’d stood over for a minute to counter-rucking.

  • Robson

    Number of unforced errors with the line beckoning (alluded to before) put the stats a bit awry.
    I think that will be improved on because it can’t get any worse, surely. In fact it must be improved on and I’m sure that even an average coach would have gone over those issues with the guys. Deans would want them to be ironed right out totally, so I’m pretty certain we will see a big improvement in that area this time round. I also don’t think we’ll see the all out running game we saw last Saturday either. Why would you want to play the ABs at their own game? Isn’t that what they will be expecting. My guess is Gits going for the left hand corner with the boot a bit and Berrick plugging the right hand corner, with huge numbers on the chase in both cases; especially in the first half, but look for fireworks in the second half. I wouldn’t put the house on it, but I reckon that would have been high on the practise schedule this week.

    • Cutter

      You’d have to be mad, mad, mad to kick to that back three under the current interpretations.

  • dobduff11

    Great stats just a couple of queries:

    how was quades dump on morne steyn not a dominant tackle?

    also did rocky not offload three times i think gagger mentioned that in his vid of recky and bam bam

    • Well spotted – I was using another stats source as these official G&GR sanctioned ones weren’t ready yet

    • Austin

      A dominant tackle is counted when a) the tackle drives the ball carrier backwards resulting in a gain in territory; b) the tackle shuts down an attacking move by stopping the ball carrier getting a pass away to supporters in a better position; c) the tackle results in the opposition losing the ball.

      Steyne had already passed the ball so wasn’t the ball carrier when Cooper tackled him and didn’t fit any of these criteria.

      An offload is only counted when the ball carrier has been tackled and can’t make further progress themselves but manages to get a pass away to a supporter who can make further progress because the defender is now committed to the player offloading.

      Rocky made a number of good passes as he went into contact but didn’t meet that criteria as the defender was then able to transfer their attention to the player receiving the ball. There was nothing wrong with when he passed the ball, just that we’d count those as passes rather than offloads.

      So it’s a matter of interpretation – there are no absolutes and others may take a different view but hope this helps understand how we measured.

  • Ruggo.

    Austin, is there any chance of making the first colum on the player stats table the time the player spent on the field. This would give a great perspective of the players workate.

    Good stuff mate, I enjoy reading yor articles.


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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