Wallabies v Ireland - The Stats - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wallabies v Ireland – The Stats

Wallabies v Ireland – The Stats

The statistics from the game against Ireland confirm some of the areas that need attention!

Obviously the scrums were fantastic and it’s amazing that they are probably the strongest part of our game, given the shambles that existed only two years ago at the World Cup.  I credited the Wallabies with three tightheads – one a true tighthead and the other two were penalties against Ireland where we put them under so much pressure that they had to commit an offence to stop us gaining the tighthead.  In reality there was also another one but Kaplan decided we weren’t “square and steady” – even the Irish commentators knew they’d got away with that one!

Just as obviously the lineouts were a problem again but surprisingly, when I sat down to analyse them, the attacking lineouts weren’t as bad as they seemed when watching live.  Okay, we lost some throws at crucial times in crucial positions but it was not a total disaster.  However, the same can’t be said for the defensive lineouts where we continued to be totally ineffective. Watch out for a separate video analysis in the next couple of days analysing each lineout.

Scrums – Wallabies Feed Scrums – Ireland Feed Lineout – Wallabies Throw Lineout – Ireland Throw
1st Half – Successful 5 1 6 0
1st Half – Unsuccessful 0 1 4 7
1st Half – Success % 100.00% 50.00% 60.00% 0%
2nd Half – Successful 2 2 7 1
2nd Half – Unsuccessful 0 3 1 6
2nd Half – Success % 100.00% 40.00% 87.50% 14.29%
Total – Successful 7 3 13 1
Total – Unsuccessful 0 4 5 13
Total – Success % 100.00% 42.86% 72.22% 7.14%


Next, let’s look at the contact area.  A few dropped balls but at least only one from Palu this week.  Breakdown was really good and I thought Pocock was superb.  I still rate George Smith but on the performances over the last few games, I’d be going for Pocock ahead of Smith at the moment if I were a selector.  The other area where Pocock really shone was in his speed in cover defence.  Good percentage of ball recycled at the breakdown and some good turnover of Irish ball.  The area that really surprised me was the number of missed tackles.  My first reaction was that I’d made a mistake, so I checked again and we really did miss 19 tackles.  More detail on who missed the tackles a little later.

Breakdown – Wallabies Took In Breakdown – Ireland Took In Tackles Dropped Ball
1st Half – Successful 17 8 37
1st Half – Unsuccessful 2 25 6 5
1st Half – Success % 89.47% 24.24% 86.05%
2nd Half – Successful 44 1 39
2nd Half – Unsuccessful 2 31 13 2
2nd Half – Success % 95.65% 3.13% 75.00%
Total – Successful 61 9 76
Total – Unsuccessful 4 56 19 7
Total – Success % 93.85% 13.85% 80.00%


Kicking in general play was fairly even in terms of the number of kicks but vast differences in metres gained and effectiveness of the kicks.  Obviously a lot of work to do to improve this area of the game.  Interestingly 19 of our 37 kicks were by Cooper with Giteau only kicking 9 times.  Watch for a separate video analysis over the next few days on all the kicks.  Penalties and free kicks fairly even, although I share people’s frustration with some of the decisions made, particularly the Palu yellow card.

Wallabies Ireland
Kicking – 1st half 20 16
Kicking – 2nd half 17 15
Kicking – Total 37 31
Penalties – 1st half 7 6
Penalties – 2nd half 2 4
Penalties – Total 9 10
Free Kicks – 1st half 2 1
Free Kicks – 2nd half 0 1
Free Kicks – Total 2 2


Looking at some of the individual statistics, workload was shared around and the statistics don’t really show how much work Elsom was doing as I credited others with the tackle with Rocky arriving a close second on a number of occasions. Cooper running the ball far more than Giteau which reflects the fact that he was standing at first receiver most of the game.

In regard to the missed tackles, a total of seven were missed with players trying to make cover tackles on wide breaks or where others had missed the first up tackle (one for Steven Moore, both for David Pocock, one for Will Genia, two for Digby Ioane and one for Quade Cooper).  That still leaves twelve first up tackles missed.

I gave the final two of the game to Cooper – the first where the Irish winger went straight between he and Ioane but was held up, where I thought he was Cooper’s man. Others may give them half each and clearly there was a communication breakdown between them.  The BOD try was all Cooper’s as far as I’m concerned – he came up out of the line and took Giteau’s man leaving the hole for BOD.  Although I didn’t record it as a missed tackle, I also thought Cooper was way out of position on the other Irish try – he needed to number up but stayed inside, again leaving a big gap.  I’d suggest there’s going to be a fair bit of work on that 12/13 channel and the techniques of both Cooper and Ioane in training this week given the low success percentages.

Player Carries Tackles Missed Tackles Successful Tackle %
Ben Robinson 4 3 1 75.00%
Steven Moore 4 4 2 66.67%
Ben Alexander 6 5 0 100.00%
James Horwill 3 4 0 100.00%
Mark Chisolm 2 6 1 85.71%
Rocky Elsom 5 4 0 100.00%
David Pocock 4 10 2 83.33%
Wycliff Palu 6 5 1 83.33%
Will Genia 6 6 1 85.71%
Matt Giteau 3 5 0 100.00%
Drew Mitchell 4 3 1 75.00%
Quade Cooper 7 3 4 42.86%
Digby Ioane 6 7 4 63.64%
Peter Hynes 3 8 2 80.00%
Adam Ashley-Cooper 2 2 0 100.00%
Tofatu Polata-Nu 1 1 0 100.00%
George Smith 0 0 0 -
James O’Connor 0 0 0 -
Total 66 76 19 80.00%
  • Bobas

    Awesome work Scotty. I hope you don’t post in the comments under Scott though.

    Slight mistake on that 2ndTable with ireland’s stats, I know what you’re trying to say, so just delete this comment when you fix it

    • Scott

      Yes, can see it’s a bit confusing but looking at it from the Wallabies point of view – Wallabies succesful in winning 9 of 65 breakdowns where Ireland took it in.

      • Bobas

        Oh okay, all from Wallabies Perspective.

        So we turned over 8 of the irish rucks in the first half and only 1 in the 2nd.

        Obviously G.Smith wasn’t needed.

  • 42.86% = Fail

    • Scott

      I’m looking at it from the Wallabies point of view – Wallabies were succesful in 42.86% of scrums where Ireland had the feed.

  • Ozrugbynut

    Cheers Scotty.

    The missed tackle stats are pretty horrifying, particularly 12/13 channel as you point out.

    Good to see the workload spread amongst the forwards in terms of carries. In the backs, I don’t think we can afford Gits and AAC not being heavily involved. The kicking strategy was ludicrous considering how well we were performing at the breakdown, how poorly we were kicking on the day and how dangerous some of our backs can be.

  • hillston hog

    Pocock will not reliquish that jersey unless injured. However we need more class in the centres. I would give Gaz run….well he is already over there !!
    Not convinced Digby is the goods yet…and QC may be classy with ball in hand (when he can catch it) but if you cant tackle….you cant play.

  • Seb V

    I am a QC fan, but berrick barnes would have been the perfect player against the irish. His defence n tactical kicking are his strengths but Cooper is only average at them.

    • Robson

      The ball leaves Coop’s instep too high for him to get any consistent accuracy in his kicking. His boot is coming up to meet the ball rather than the ball being allowed to drop onto his boot. The difference is minimal, but it’s enough to generate a margin for error that is too wide for the tactical kicking game he was trying to play.

      It’s part of his game which needs attention so he probably needs some specialist kicking coaching.

  • Ozrugbynut

    There was an interesting article in the Australian yesterday about getting Smith on in the centres if needed. Apparently he’s played there before. Would be great to have the extra fetcher, ball runner and effective tackler in certain situations..

    • Patrick

      I can think of a time he was needed there quite recently, as suggested by others on this site even more recently, I wonder where they got that idea from?

  • Robson

    As I thought we had enough good ball – sloppy lineouts and all – to give 30 points a fright against the Irish, but didn’t fire in the backs like we should have.

    Seems like the problem there is Coops. It also seems to me that his pre occupation with kicking was part of the plan to play the game in Irish territory. Can’t fault the plan (if that was the plan), but the execution left much to be desired. End result was that some great possession was just chucked away; which was a dreadful and pitiful shame.

    It made sense to play a side like the Irish in their own territory (not that it was done well), but do we have to be so conservative against the Scots? I would like to see JO’C brought into 12 and for Gits to play first receiver for most of the match.

    Tactics?

    Fire it wide to Diggers time after boring time with AAC coming in outside and then inside Diggers to add a bit of variation. Then give JO’C licence to punch holes early in the second half when the Scots are programmed into thinking it’s always going to the outsides, then mix it up with everyone getting in the action for the last 20.

    I think we could put on half a dozen tries like this.

    Don’t kick the pill unless you’re in your own 22 and make sure it goes into touch with runners hard on it. We need to start breeding a bit of confidence in running the ball again. It seems to be lacking.

  • Scotty

    I have a feeling that the tackle Cooper and Ioane missed on the Irish winger, was partly because one of the Irish runners made contact with Cooper and partly checked his sliding across field, thus arriving a split second late.

  • Cutter

    I would be surprised if the Wallabies play slide defence in the red zone (ie their 22). They probably man up and let the halfback sweep. If Cooper rushes out of the line, to try to cut it off, Ioane should have done the same thing. Cooper obviously didnt tell Ioane what he was doing because Ioane looked lost and didnt take anyone.

  • Lachlan

    Why has no one mentioned the headknock Digby Ioane took during the first half? He was clearly not himself afterwards. Wonking running, slowed reaction time, poor line running. Without attacking thrust and poor defence at 13 the players around him (namely QC, who was left to run a blunted backline and struggled to do more then he needed to, which seems to be the scenario that bring out his worst performances).

    I wouldn’t read too much into the performance of the backline. QC & Digby look to have the potential to form an effective attacking centre pairing, they just need a bit more experience together at international level. As to whether they can improve their defence sufficiently remains to be seen…

    • Bobas

      he got his shoulder treated after the ‘head knock’…

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@ScottA_

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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