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RWC: NZL v ARG (Wembley Stadium) Pool C

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George Smith (75)
Staff member
your getting soft!

Sorry, I'll take some more angry cement pills and channel my inner Don Logan.


Chilla Wilson (44)
An entertaining game of rugby due to the commendable effort by the Pumas in the 1st half.
Score at the break was Pumas 13:12 All Blacks, despite All Blacks having 53% Possession and 59% Territory. Pumas assisted by YCs to McCaw (30-40mins) and C Smith (36-40 mins).

Pumas scored another penalty goal to be ahead 16:12 when C Smith returned to the field.
Big lift from the AB replacements (45-50mins)(Woodcock & SBW) resulted in a try to A Smith at 56 mins and Cane (on at 64 mins) at 66 mins.

Pumas bench failed to give the same lift. Fatigue and sustained pressure by the ABs resulted in Pumas giving up 36 missed tackles.
ABs dominated both Territory (77%) and Possession (62%) in the 2nd half.

In preparation for the Wallabies eventually playing the All Blacks at the RWC, thought that there may be some interest in the All Blacks ruck stats against the Pumas.

  1. Early means 1st or 2nd of player’s team AFTER the ball carrier has been tackled and brought to ground.
  2. Impact means active engagement: strong physical contact, changed shape of ruck, clean-out, protecting ball etc. (more than hand on someone’s bum or arriving after the hard work has been done). Yes it’s subjective - but as I collect all data at least it’s consistent.
  3. Impact DOES NOT equate to Effectiveness. I’ve concluded that coming up with an effectiveness measure is just too hard in the time that I have available – but open to suggestions.
AB Rucks.png

AB 10.png


  1. AB props consistently work hard at the breakdown. Woodcock and Franks put in mighty efforts for their 45-50 minutes. Crockett put in an impressive cameo effort (and I'm not normally a fan!).
  2. Coles generally puts in less at the rucks but Mealamu certainly made a difference.
  3. AB Front Row had 37% of Total ruck involvement by forwards. This is more than the 33% they averaged in TRC. Note: The Wallabies Front Row averaged 29% in TRC. (Boks 35%) The Wallbies Front Row needs to lift if we are to compete well with the ABs.
  4. AB Locks had 27% of Total ruck involvement by Forwards. This is about what they averaged in TRC. Wallaby Locks averaged 26% in TRC.
  5. AB Back Row had 37% of Total ruck involvement by Forwards. About the same as per TRC average. Wallabies averaged 45% in TRC as they make up for the Front Row shortfall.
  6. Similarly the AB Front Row does a lot of the hard work in Defensive Rucks (42%), Locks (22%) and Back Row (36%). The Wallabies tend to leave most Def Ruck work to the Back Row.
  7. The AB Forwards lifted their work rate when McCaw and C Smith were in the Sin Bin. The extent of the lift is noticeable in the 10-minute stats. Notice that even Conrad Smith lifted his work rate (before his own YC). They maintained this high work rate until well after C Smith's return. This stifled any Puma recovery.
  8. McCaw put in a mighty effort for the 20 mins of 2nd half (to make up for his YC??). Others followed.
  9. AB Backs generally leave the hard work at Def rucks to the Forwards and are far less involved than their Wallaby counterparts.
  10. AB Backs had about 18% of Total ruck involvements and only 13% of Def ruck involvements.
Note: The ABs conceded 19 Turnovers to the Pumas' 10 (ESPN Stats).

( I have not collected Ruck Stats for the Pumas).
Note: Tables updated to correct errors in addition.

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
Move on!!
Next post on that subject gets binned.

B.. bu..but...

Back to the test, watched a replay again today and still can't believe how NMS dropped that pass from SBW. Sonny did the right thing to delay the pass to totally commit both players to him opening up a clear path for NMS.

Also, Aaron Smith is some halfback. The boy never shuts up. Barking at his team mates, offering encouragement and orders. His pass was as swift as I've seen it this season. Lots of tackling too.


Colin Windon (37)
In preparation for the Wallabies eventually playing the All Blacks at the RWC, thought that there may be some interest in the All Blacks ruck stats against the Pumas.

You might have said this before, but where do you find such stats? I'm not seeing anything quite that comprehensive at ESPN.

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
^^ Pretty sure that these are (C) & (TM) of Gaggerland's own @ForceFan.

He derives the stats himself through sheer unadulterated pedantic graft, watching the replay in slow/stop motion, with a pen and paper at the ready.

Getting access to gems like these is but one of the many privileges of being a Gaggerland citizen.

Well done @ForceFan.


Chilla Wilson (44)
He derives the stats himself through sheer unadulterated pedantic graft, watching the replay in slow/stop motion, with a pen and paper at the ready.

What he said.
But not in slow motion, just lots of use of pause/FF (Folau Fainga'a)/rewind. :)

Started collecting ruck stats towards the end of TRC in 2014 as without some for of Ruck Stats what's available through SuperRugby or ESPN only tell part of the story.

It's good to see that Vodacom is covering the RWC on the smartphone app. My preference as they try and give good player stats including turnovers. In this game the real TOW grafters were Read 3; Woodcock 2; Coles, Kaino & C Smith 1. McCaw not credited with a single TOW.

The ruck stats are not perfect and if the Early and Impact is of no interest then I suggest people look at just the raw "ruck involvement" numbers - Total/Attack/Defence - and use these in the same way as Tackles, Run Metres etc.

They do help me work our individual team strategies for, and who's doing the hard work at, the breakdown - which is what I was trying to do in the first place.

Pleased that others see the benefit.

I intend to collect ruck stats for both sides in all Wallaby Tests and hopefully can make time for an article on each.


Tim Horan (67)
Geez ForceFan, you continue to amaze me with your stats work, I really hope one day I meet you in a pub so I can buy you a beer or 2. I love reading the info you give us!!.


Colin Windon (37)
I see one of the Argies' locks has been banned for the rest of the tournament for eye-gouging Retallick.


Tim Horan (67)
I knew there was a citing, but until I heard that this morning I had no idea what it was for!
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