Wallabies: Season to Date Statistics - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies: Season to Date Statistics

Wallabies: Season to Date Statistics

This year we’ve introduced a comprehensive statistical analysis of the Wallabies games. After four games of the 2010 season and with a four week break for the Wallabies now’s the time to reflect on what’s happened so far and look at the trends that have developed.

In terms of possession, there’s not much continuity in the Wallabies current game with 42% of the Wallabies possession sequences only lasting one phase with a further 27% lasting two phases.

One of the major issues with continuity has been lost ball with an average 36% of the possession sequences the Wallabies start ending with a turnover.  These numbers don’t include the times the Wallabies kick the ball and given that the Wallabies average 50 possession sequences per game, that doesn’t leave a lot of quality possession to attack with.  The game high was against England in Perth where the Wallabies lost possession 55% of the time they started a sequence.

The numbers for the lineout are good with 42 of 46 lineouts won by the Wallabies and only 41 of 53 won by the opposition.  Amazingly, the scrum numbers aren’t too bad with 31 of 34 fed by the Wallabies won whilst 40 of 41 fed by the opposition have been won by them.  Penalties and free kicks are counted as wins and losses for these numbers.

The Wallabies are averaging 7 line breaks per game whereas the opposition has been averaging 2 line breaks per game.  Of course these numbers are inflated for the Wallabies by the game against Fiji where 10 of their 27 line breaks this season came in one game.  In the second game against England and the game against Ireland the Wallabies only manged 5 line breaks in each game.

In terms of defence the percentage of successful tackles made by the Wallabies has been declining in each game.  From 89% against Fiji down to 85% against Ireland.

The Wallabies are averaging 17 missed tackles per game with Quade Cooper having missed 11 tackles and only averaging a success rate of 62% of the tackles he attempts.  Rob Horne has missed 8 tackles but is averaging a success rate of 78%.  In his limited time on the field Kurtley Beale has missed 2 tackles so that gives him the dubious honour of the lowest successful tackle rate at 50%.

The percentage of dominant tackles made by the Wallabies has averaged 26% of all completed tackles but slipped to only 16% against Ireland.  Saia Faingaa leads the dominant tackle percentages with 42% with David Pocock at 39%.  Adam Ashley-Cooper leads the percentages for the backs with 29%.

The Wallabies have conceded 45 penalties and free kicks but have received exactly the same number.

Successful conversion attempts are running at 86% but successful penalty attempts are only averaging 53%.  The overall goal kicking success rate is 69%.

The Wallabies have scored 14 tries but only conceded 4 tries in the season so far.

Click on the Team Statistics and Player Statistics graphics to download the full set of statistics.

  • realist

    Tackle statistics for Munn, Burgess, Quade Cooper, Horne, Beale and Mitchell would be of great concern to the Wallabies coaching staff. Against first rate teams any missed tackle may well result in a try to the opposition. It appears that the Wallabies need a defence coach as well as a kicking coach ASAP.

    • RedsHappy

      Realist, quite so.

      I believe that a far too little analysed dimension in the ‘what is Deans doing’ debate is that of his choices of support coaches.

      For me, there is very little evidence that Williams is doing more than an ordinary job, at best, with the forwards.

      Next, the somewhat strangely entitled “Skills Coach” Graham who doubles (or so it seems) as back line coach is hardly covering himself in glory with what we have seen (or not seen) in Sydney and Brisbane in recent weeks.

      These are crucial appointments at elite level. They have to got to be right unless a top team is just saturated with world-class talent in all positions, which we are not.

      Half the problem was/is that there was an over-reaction to what was perceived as Connolly’s excessively large coaching staff as at 2007. So, ‘cutting it back’ was seen as a plus ($-wise and otherwise) emanating from Deans’ arrival (and Deans was not cheap). But IMO it was all wrongly cut back and not enough really top flight support coaches were brought in, partly as Deans was super-confident he personally could cover much of the skills and coaching terrain. I believe this misjudgement of his – and of his own capacity in a Test environment vs S14 – is at the very heart of many of the Wallabies performance issues today.

      You may recall that post-Murrayfield 09 the ARU called for a formal review of the Wallabies’ coaches performance. The report was kind of buried in February, but it did call for Deans to take on less himself and do more delegating and workload sharing, etc. But it didn’t go further. It should have been far more penetrating.

      On top of all this we have the whole kicking coach – or lack thereof – debacle. This is a major misjudgement given the game-swinging impact of that core skill (and the need to have injury-contingent kickers, etc.).

      Broadly, I agree with you that there’s solid evidence that the Wallabies need a defence coach, perhaps part-time.

      Of course, here we are just discussing one dimension as to why the Wallabies appear to have such poor standards – or consistency – of overall skills in 2010.

      • realist

        RedsHappy makes some good points. Everything looked rosy in 2008 and appears to have headed down since then. Since Foley left there have been continuing problems with the forwards. Robbie Deans seems to be wearing about 7 different hats. He is head coach, backs coach, defence coach (by default), kicking coach (by default), player negotiator, media apologist and selector. No wonder he usually has red eyes.

    • Garry

      aaah…and the budget for these xtra coaches should be trimmed off the salaries of each individual WB’s pay-packets, pro rata?

      Since, obviously they can not performed as required without these coaches.

    • gary owen

      Beale – Tackles made 2 – Missed tackles 2
      How is it possible to play about 80 minutes of rugby at fullback for the Wallabies and attempt only 4 tackles of which 2 were missed???

  • Henry

    Great statistical analysis as usual but, Adam two-dads leads the backs for dominant tackles yet has only made 7 all up. Why mention Beale’s limited games time and not Coopers?

    • Austin

      Fair point – AAC leads the way with 29% but has only made 7 tackles. If we look at number of tackles made and % dominant the best backs performer is Mitchell who’s made 18 tackles of which 28% were dominant.

      Then would come Giteau who’s made 13 of which 23% were dominant. Barnes has made 25% dominant but has only made a total of 8.

  • Who Needs Melon

    My observations:

    Beales and Quades missed tackles are confirming what we had all suspected but Rob Hornes missed tackles are a surprise. He was known as one of the best defenders so what happened?

    Our team phases per possession stats are abysmal. Almost half the time we can’t get past retaining for 1 phase?!? And almost 75% can’t get past 2 phases?!? Just atrocious if I’m reading this right – and again confirming what we’d all known – hang on to the ball guys! Especially when you read the stats that (1) aligning with common sense most tries come from multi-phase play and (2) we make way more line breaks than the opposition.


    • Austin

      Wallaby possessions average 42% lasting one phase and 27% lasting two phases so 69% don’t get past two phases.

      This includes where the Wallabies choose to kick on 1st or 2nd phase.

      Opposition teams are averaging 45% only lasting one phase and a further 27% only lasting two phases so 72% don’t get past two phases.

      So we’re better on average than opposition but I agree, Wallabies should be retaining possession for longer.

      • Who Needs Melon

        We were worse than Fiji in these ‘squandered possession’ stats but I guess…

        Yay! We squander possession very, very slightly less than England or Ireland.

  • AJK71

    Top article. Was most surprised by Brown’s stats, didn’t realise his workrate was so high – probably because of so few dominant tackles/metres gained.

  • Langthorne

    A penalty of free kick from a scrum is not even remotely the same as winning scrums on your own feed. The scrum statistics look OK because of the way they have been presented. If free kicks and penalties were highlighted, and there were categories for dominant, parity and under pressure I think we would see a different (more accurate) picture.

    There are a few players who need tackling school, plus a defence coach would be a helpful addition.

    • Austin

      If you’d like the breakdown of penalties/free kicks at scrums those numbers are included in the statistics report we’ve posted for each individual game over the last four weeks.

      I think your point highlights that statistics never tell the full story. They are just part of match analysis.

      • Langthorne

        “amazingly, the scrum numbers aren’t too bad” – I really didn’t mean my comment as a criticism of your work on the stats, I was pointing out why the numbers weren’t ‘too bad’.

  • sammy

    so vickerman has started playing professional footy again in england on a one year contract…any way he can sneak in to the aussie squad for the WC?

  • bones

    Lets all hope Deans is foxing for the first up must win game at SunCorp against a tired SA side. It cannot be what we have seen in the last 4 tests.

    Bakkies and Matfield must have a sleepless night thinking about the next day. This means we must have some tough eeks coming on in 4 and 5, plus 6 and 8. Elsom cuts it for one role. But the other three have to be Van Humphries, Sharpe and Houston. Higginbotham off the bench. I want VH to declare “Boer War” in this first test. Absolutely zero BS. If we can do this we have the backs to close out many tries.

  • Robson

    Another great (and sobering) analysis. The thing is that all of the points covered are correctable. Losing possession after only one phase 42% of the time is criminal.

    Maintaining possession has a few skills elements for sure, but it is dominantly an attitude issue. Teams which are mentally tuned into retaining possession, usually succeed in doing just that.

    This information simply and starkly underlines a range of coaching tasks which are simply not being done. I find it hugely exasperating that the basics of the game are being neglected like this, at this level. How hard is it to get the message across to the players?

    Do the WB coaches not analyse the games in this way? Maybe these analysis should be sent to them. They clearly don’t seem to have an appreciation of how critical these issues are.

    Very, very frustrating.

    • Richo


      When you see similar problems over a number of years and a range of line-ups, isn’t it possible that maybe — just maybe — the coaching staff isn’t getting it right?

      Seems to me that new support staff and new roles, at least kicking and defensive coaches, are necessary sooner rather than later. Bite the bullet now instead of waiting until the RWC is just around the corner.

      • realist

        Was the Wallabies budget for coaches and support staff reduced in 2010? I read that the English team that recently toured here had 22 support staff and the Wallabies 7. Could this be part of the problem.
        Players also appear to be coming back too soon from injury – why?

        • Patrick

          Can you guess??

        • Joe Blow

          They are not healing as fast as the healthy ones are going down…..so unfortunately we had to bring some injured ones back ahead of schedule to even up the ledger.

        • Henry

          Because we don’t have the same depth as SA and NZ…

  • realist

    Sounds like ‘panic stations’ and the battle has not yet begun.

  • Garry

    Re. xtra coaches for defense, kicking etc.

    We need to be careful that we don’t head down the same path as England in having the reputation of being pampered and over-coached. They seem to have more coaches than wins this year.

    I’m with Deans in that I don’t think we need a kicking coach. Holding down the position of WB goal kicker should be motivation enough for a player to engage the services of a kicking coach for them selves, if they feel that they are not at the top of their game. We have at least 3 players who have put their hand up. Dingo, have the backbone to offer it to someone else other than Gits, and let the competitiveness begin. I’m sure Gits will be on the phone to his kicking coach shortly after (if he’s motivated enough).

    Kicking Coach, jobs for the boys?

    • mudskipper

      Deans did give others the opportunity and the result was Quade got a run with Giteau. Deans had O’Connor, Cooper and Giteau all have a kick off comp at training.

      Come game day Quade didn’t do any better than Giteau.So whats your point Garry? So Deans was poractive about the issue. I think Giteau will be getting all the help he needs.


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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