Wallabies v Fiji: Statistics

Wallabies v Fiji: Statistics

Wallabies v Fiji: Statistics

 You know the score, you’ve seen the game and you’ve probably formed a view on what the Wallabies did well and what they can improve on.  What do the statistics show? Do they support your views on what happened in the game?

Throughout the Wallabies 2010 campaign we’ll bring you previews, live calls, match reports and after match analysis (including statistics).  Our statistical analysis isn’t just a series of numbers regurgitated from another source – these are statistics prepared by the Green and Gold Rugby team so we can all dig a little deeper into an analysis of the game.  

You can download the complete team statistics here and player statistics here. What do you glean from the numbers that we haven’t touched on? If you’ve got suggestions as to statistics you’d like to see, let us know.

Whilst statistics are only one part of match analysis they are a good way to spot trends, both positive and negative, to reinforce what a team is doing well or come up with solutions for problem areas.

Tomorrow we’ll publish a more detailed analysis (including the statistics) of how Quade Cooper and Matt Giteau operated during the game.

Let’s look at some of the key statistics from Saturday’s game.  First, the set pieces.

    WALLABIES     FIJI    
    1st Half 2nd Half Match 1st Half 2nd Half Match
Lineouts Ball Thrown In 9 6 15 8 5 13
  Won 8 5 13 4 3 7
  Lost 1 - 1 4 2 6
  Throw Not Straight - - - - - -
  Pen/FK For - 1 1 - - -
  Pen/FK Against - - - - - -
  Won % 89% 100% 93% 50% 60% 54%
    WALLABIES     FIJI    
    1st Half 2nd Half Match 1st Half 2nd Half Match
Scrums Ball Fed 5 3 8 6 3 9
  Won 5 2 7 5 3 8
  Lost - - - - - -
  Pen/FK For - 1 1 1 - 1
  Pen/FK Against - - - - - -
  Won % 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%


The Wallabies lineout was good but was never really challenged by Fiji.  The one loss seemed to be a timing problem – the throw was accurate but the Wallabies were a little slow getting Nathan Sharpe up and as a consequence the ball went over the back.  From a defensive point of view, the Wallabies took 6 of the Fijian lineouts and Dean Mumm exerted good pressure at the front.  It’s obviously going to be a much greater challenge next week against the English.

The Wallaby scrum was solid enough but I think the Fijian scrum looked a little more comfortable.  With the loss of Alexander this could be an area of concern next week.

Now let’s look at possession statistics.

    WALLABIES       FIJI      
    1st Half 2nd Half Match % 1st Half 2nd Half Match %
Duration of 1 Phase 12 7 19 33% 8 4 12 34%
Possession 2 Phases 13 9 22 38% 7 5 12 33%
  3-5 Phases 7 6 13 22% 3 4 7 19%
  Over 5 Phases 1 3 4 7% 1 4 5 14%
  Total 33 25 58 100% 19 17 36 100%
Total Phases   73 68 141   46 73 119  
in Possession                  
Average Phases   3 3 3   3 5 4
in Possession                


In attack, the Wallabies had the ball 58 times compared to 36 times for Fiji.  In those possessions the Wallabies had 141 phases (an average of 3 per possession) whilst Fiji had 119 phases (an average of 4 per possession).  The Wallabies ran the ball close to the breakdown 52% of their phases and ran wide of the breakdown 30% of the time,  only kicking on 10% of their phases.  With first phase possession 50% of the Wallabies play was directed close to the breakdown and only 5% to kicking.  Hopefully this ball in hand style is part of the plan going forward.

Of the 14 phases where the Wallabies kicked, 5 were negative (36%). Quade Cooper kicked on out on the full when the ball had been passed back into the 22 and wasted possession with a chip that no-one else seemed to know was on.  Matt Giteau sliced one off the side of his boot when clearing from the line, pulled one into touch on the full from outside his 22 and wasted possession with a misdirected cross field kick which Fiji marked easily.  There’s room for improvement in this area.

The Wallabies had the advantage in line breaks 10 to 2 and in offloads 14 to 10.  However, they also had the advantage in possession lost through dropped ball, 15 to 9.  Twelve of these occasions were in their attacking half and some really good attacking opportunities were spoilt through poor ball control.  Fortunately 10 of the 15 occasions where the ball was lost were in the first half, so hopefully the players were just a little rusty being the first game together for the season.

At the breakdown, the numbers suggest the Wallabies were effective with 96% retention of the 103 times they took the ball in with only 4 breakdowns lost (3 through a penalty/free kick and 1 stolen ball).  Fiji had a 96% retention from the 94 times they took the ball into the breakdown and the Wallabies obviously went in with a plan not to commit to the breakdowns.  Both teams had a 93% retention rate when they took the ball into a breakdown on 1st phase.  I think the Wallabies will have to commit more players to the breakdown against the English this week – we don’t want to give them too much uncontested ball.

Defence statistics were as follows:

    1st Half 2nd Half Match %
Defence Tackles Attempted 44 108 152  
  Made 42 93 135  
  Missed 2 15 17  
  Made % 95% 86% 89%  
  Tackles – Dominant 13 16 29 21%
  Tackles – Completed 29 77 106 79%


In defence the Wallabies made 135 tackles but missed 17 (an 89% success rate).  Quade Cooper missed two but Dean Mumm, Rocky Elsom and Luke Burgess topped the count with three each.

Penalties and free kicks went the Wallabies way 15 to 8.

Three of the Wallabies tries came from a turnover or counter attack and Digby Ioane can take a lot of the credit for this with an individual try after David Pocock secured a turnover at the breakdown and then a great run in counter attack to link with Kurtly Beale and then take the return pass to score.

What about player involvement?

Player Carries Line Breaks Dominant Tackles Made Total Tackles Made Tackles Missed Successful Tackle % Tries Scored
Ben Alexander 6 - 2 8 - 100% -
Huia Edmonds 3 - 2 5 - 100% -
Salesi Ma’afu 6 - 1 7 - 100% -
Dean Mumm 13 1 2 5 3 63% -
Nathan Sharpe 18 - 3 9 - 100% -
Rocky Elsom 13 - 3 13 3 81% -
David Pocock 4 - 3 12 - 100% -
Richard Brown 11 - 2 11 - 100% 1
Luke Burgess 8 - 2 13 3 81% -
Quade Cooper 25 2 2 7 2 78% 1
Adam Ashley-Cooper 11 1 1 3 - 100% -
Matt Giteau 13 - 1 3 1 75% -
Rob Horne 8 1 2 10 - 100% -
Digby Ioane 15 2 - 5 1 83% 2
Kurtley Beale 14 2 - 2 - 100% 2
Saia Faingaa 3 - 2 5 1 83% -
Pekahou Cowan 1 - - 6 1 86% -
Matt Hodgson - - 1 9 1 90% -
Drew Mitchell 9 1 - 2 1 67% 1
Total 181 10 29 135 17 89% 7


In terms of work rate, Rocky Elsom led from the front but the backrow were all well involved.  I liked the involvement of Nathan Sharpe and Dean Mumm in taking the ball up – I like to see big locks creating go forward for a team, not just supporting and cleaning out.  Ben Alexander also got involved but Huia Edmonds was a little quiet and maybe that is one of the reasons he’s playing in the Barbarians game this week.

So, what do you think?  Are there other areas you’d  like statistics on or areas where you’d like the Green and Gold Rugby team to conduct an analysis on?

  • DPK

    Video analysis coming up soon? I like the combination of a stat attack and the video illustration.

  • Great stuff Austin, I’ll had a more in depth look at this soon.. one thing that immediately stands out is Burgess missing 3 tackles seems quite out of character.

    • JTM

      Yeah but he did top the tackle count, it’s not too often that a halfback gets that involved in defense, particuarly since after seeing the game I would have thought that a couple other tackles could have been borderline dominant.

      It’s been said before on this site by others but maybe this is what Deans notices. He must really appreciate this physicality while just hoping that somehow he can pull the pass up to scratch.

      And what about Hodgo? 9 tackles in what must have only been 15 mins or so on the field. That is what you call fighting for a test spot! Can’t wait to see him play tonight.

  • Langthorne

    Any missed tackle is a bad thing, but as with tackles made (dominant or otherwise) a missed tackle can be very significant or not at all. In the case of Cooper and Burgess I’m not sure all of their missed tackles were stone cold missed – maybe they effected a ‘partial success’ or the attacker was beyond anyone’s reach. In the case of Mumm and Elsom (like TPN) sometimes attempting a dominant tackle carries more risk of a miss. Overall I like the number of 100% success rate tacklers – Pocock and Brown, and Horne.

    • JTM

      It’s one thing to see forwards like Pocock and Brown pull off 100%, but even more impressive that Horne pulled it off out in the outside spaces against solid ball carriers.

  • jason

    onya greenandgold> i love this kind of readups after games
    im presuming the aus babas game v england thats being streamed on fox is only available in australia… so if your out there robin hood “please save us”

  • Joe Blow

    Luke Burgess has copped some flak since the weekend but I thought he had a very good game.
    His passing was excellent and he repeatedly put the ball quickly in front of his first receivers.
    His defense was once again excellent.
    He was caught up occasionally at the base of the ruck but this had more to do with poor ball presentation and clean-out from the forwards. Rocky was heavily involved but made a few basic mistakes that would have been punished with points against a more accomplished side. We need him to find some form.
    The Wallabies committed minimal numbers to the breakdown and never tried to impose themselves physically on the Fijian pack.
    Hope we see a different strategy next week.
    great stats!

    • Homer J

      Joe his passess were ordinary. Looping and often behind or over the receivers head. Watch the game again and you will see Gits or Cooper starting flatfooted after dragging a pass in.
      He is good in defence but my wife got the shits with me as I kept screaming at the TV for Burgess to pick the bloody ball up. He waits until it is presented at the back of the breakdown and then looks around for 5 minutes trying to figure out where to misdirect his pass. Runs sideways just like Gregan as well. Genia runs straight and look what happens, he makes tonnes of yards and then gets to feed his big forwards on the charge.

  • chick

    Wondered if the Player Involvement table could have minutes on field added? I don’t remember Matt Hodgson being on for that long but his numbers are high(ish) which is a positive.

    Great info though, really puts a few players performances into perspective


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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