Rugby Championships 2018 Stats & Facts

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Bill’s Dream Team

The dust has settled, the trophy remains in New Zealand, the teams are all back home again, and the migrant workers have returned to their overseas clubs.

The 2018 Rugby Championships are over.

Rugby scribes suddenly find themselves with nothing to do – no press conferences to attend – no players to interview – no coaches to tease, no matches to preview or review – no selections to speculate on, and no buffet lunches and open bars at post-match functions from which to feed. They turn to picking their hypothetical Dream Teams, perhaps analysing what went wrong and what went right for each of the four teams involved. Some turn to triumphalism and sound off about how great their team is, others plumb the depths of misery bewailing the fate of the team they profess to support.

The void in their working day has to be filled, somehow, before the November tours and then the festive season kicks in. Many take to the golf courses of their hometowns.

Me? I always like to go back and have a look at the statistics of the games and the tournament as a whole. I bury myself in the numbers and look to see what we can learn from them.

Let’s take a look:

First off, there are the simple numbers:

 The Log

At the end of the 2018 tournament, the final log standings are:

Pos. P W D L PF PA TF TA TB LB +/- BP Pts
1 New Zealand 6 5 0 1 225 132 33 16 4 1 93 5 25
2 South Africa 6 3 0 3 160 154 21 21 1 2 6 3 15
3 Australia 6 2 0 4 124 176 16 22 0 1 -52 1 9
4 Argentina 6 2 0 4 151 198 18 29 0 0 -47 0 8

Key: P = Played, W = Win, D = Draw, L = Lose, PF = Points for, PA = Points against, TF = Tries for, TA = Tries against, TB = Tries bonus, LB = Losing bonus, +/- = Points difference, BP = Bonus points, Pts = Points.

Team Statistics

 

TRIES

1 New Zealand 33
2 South Africa 21
3 Argentina 18
4 Australia 16

 

CLEAN BREAKS

1 New Zealand 107
2 Australia 77
3 Argentina 72
4 South Africa 64

 

LINEBREAKS

1 New Zealand 50
2 Argentina 34
3 South Africa 33
4 Australia 30

 

CARRIES

1 New Zealand 860
2 Australia 733
3 Argentina 717
4 South Africa 658

 

METRES CARRIED

1 New Zealand 3,508
2 Argentina 2,575
3 Australia 2,453
4 South Africa 2,185

 

DEFENDERS BEATEN

1 New Zealand 198
2 Argentina 153
3 Australia 137
4 South Africa 121

 

TACKLE SUCCESS RATE (%)

1 New Zealand 85.7%
2 South Africa 85.5%
3 Argentina 81%
4 Australia 80.9%

 

TACKLES MADE

1 South Africa 945
2 New Zealand 925
3 Argentina 896
4 Australia 795

 

TACKLES MISSED

1 Argentina 171
2 Australia 144
3 South Africa 142
4 New Zealand 119

 

TACKLES DOMINANT

1 South Africa 116
2 Argentina 82
3 New Zealand 76
4 Australia 68

 

TACKLE TURNOVERS

1 Argentina 26
2 South Africa 25
3 New Zealand 20
4 Australia 14

 

LINEOUTS WON (%)

1 New Zealand 86.8%
2 South Africa 85.2%
3 Argentina 84.5%
4 Australia 78.2%

 

LINEOUTS STOLEN

1 New Zealand 10
2 South Africa 9
3 Argentina 7
4 Australia 5

 

OFFLOADS

1 New Zealand 60
2 South Africa 52
3 Australia 47
4 Argentina 45

 

SCRUMS WON (%)

1 New Zealand 100%
2 South Africa 92%
3 Australia 91%
4 Argentina 79%

 

RUCKS WON (%)

1 New Zealand 96%
1 Argentina 96%
1 Australia 96%
4 South Africa 95%

 

HANDLING ERRORS

1 New Zealand 123
2 South Africa 119
3 Australia 117
4 Argentina 100

 

TURNOVERS WON

1 South Africa 29
2 New Zealand 27
3 Argentina 26
4 Australia 20

 

TURNOVERS CONCEDED

1 Australia 118
2 New Zealand 105
3 Argentina 99
4 South Africa 92

 

PENALTIES CONCEDED

1 Australia 44
2 Argentina 41
3 South Africa 40
4 New Zealand 25

 

YELLOW CARDS

1 South Africa 3
2 New Zealand 1
2 Australia 1

 

Individual Player Stats

 

TRIES

1= Rieko Ioane 5
1= Beauden Barrett 5
1= Aphiwe Dyantyi 5
4 Nicolas Sanchez 4
5= Waisake Naholo 3
5= Aaron Smith 3
5= Dane Haylett-Petty 3
5= Bautista Delguy 3
5= Will Genia 3
5= Makazole Mapimpi 3
5= Emiliano Boffelli 3

 

CARRIES

1 Emiliano Boffelli 71
2 Dane Haylett-Petty 70
3 Beauden Barrett 65
4= Marcos Kremer 62
4= Ben Smith 62
6 Javier Ortega Desio 60
7 Nicolas Sanchez 59
8 Kieran Read 58
9 Kurtley Beale 56
10 Pieter-Steph du Toit 53

 

METERS CARRIED

1 Dane Haylett-Petty 529
2 Emiliano Boffelli 514
3 Waisake Naholo 493
4 Ben Smith 482
5 Jack Goodhue 448
6 Nicolas Sanchez 418
7 Beauden Barrett 411
8 Ramiro Moyano 405
9 Siya Kolisi 400
10 Kurtley Beale 387

 

CLEAN BREAKS

1 Ben Smith 15
2= Bautista Delguy 12
2= Rieko Ioane 12
2= Aphiwe Dyantyi 12
5 Waisake Naholo 11
6 Ramiro Moyano 10
7 Will Genia 9
8= Siya Kolisi 8
8= Reece Hodge 8
8= Marika Koroibete 8

 

DEFENDERS BEATEN

1 Waisake Naholo 24
2= Ramiro Moyano 23
2= Israel Folau 23
2= Emiliano Boffelli 23
5= Bautista Delguy 22
5= Ben Smith 22
7= Siya Kolisi 21
7= Jack Goodhue 21
7= Dane Haylett-Petty 21
10 Nicolas Sanchez 19

 

LINEOUTS WON

1 Eben Etzebeth 28
2 Javier Ortega Desio 23
3 Kieran Read 21
4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval 16
5 Scott Barrett 13
6 Izack Rodda 12
7 Lukhan Tui 11
8 Franco Mostert 10
9= Pieter-Steph du Toit 9
9= Matias Alemanno 9

 

OFFLOADS

1 Kurtley Beale 10
2= Anton Lienert-Brown 8
2= Ben Smith 8
4= Nicolas Sanchez 7
4= Will Genia 7
6= Willie Le Roux 6
6= Jeronimo De La Fuente 6
6= Jack Goodhue 6
6= Emiliano Boffelli 6
10= Pieter-Steph du Toit 5
10= Pablo Matera 5
10= Siya Kolisi 5
10= Kieran Read 5
10= Dane Haylett-Petty 5

 

POINTS SCORED

1 Nicolas Sanchez 67
2 Beauden Barrett 61
3 Handre Pollard 47
4= Rieko Ioane 25
4= Aphiwe Dyantyi 25
6 Richie Mo’unga 24
7 Bernard Foley 22
8= Matt Toomua 21
8= Emiliano Boffelli 21
10 Reece Hodge 16

 

TACKLES MADE

1 Pieter-Steph du Toit 83
2 David Pocock 72
3= Siya Kolisi 67
3= Sam Whitelock 67
5 Marcos Kremer 65
6 Franco Mostert 63
7 Pablo Matera 58
8 Tomas Lavanini 55
9 Agustin Creevy 54
10 Kieran Read 53

 

TACKLES MISSED

1 Siya Kolisi 17
2= Marcos Kremer 17
2= Marika Koroibete 17
3= Nicolas Sanchez 14
3= Guido Petti 14
3= Pieter-Steph du Toit 14
3= Kurtley Beale 14
8 Bautista Delguy 11
9 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro 11
10 Gonzalo Betranou & More 10

Faf de Klerk, Franco Mostert, Karl Tuinkuafe, Matias Moroni & Kieran Read all also missed 10 tackles. 

Bill’s Dream Team

15: Willie le Roux (South Africa)  It was a close run decision with both Ben Smith and Dane Haylett-Petty in the mix. I went with Willie le Roux for the overall influence he had on each game he played in. He had to be both guide and mentor to the rookies out on the wing and also serve as South Africa’s last bastion in defence and their chief playmaker out wide. A great tournament! Ben Smith did not play all his games in the 15 jersey and was a little anonymous in the last two rounds of the competition, although he was outstanding in the earlier rounds, and did a great job out on the wing. Haylett-Petty is certainly the best true fullback in Australia and with his 529 meters with the ball in hand while beating 21 defenders was far and away the best that the Aussie backs had to offer.

14: Bautista Delguy (Argentina): Caused each and every opponent serious problems with his darting, stepping pace. Beating 22 defenders and adding 12 clean breaks to his tally, he was a short head better than Waisake Naholo..

13: Jack Goodhue (New Zealand): I was more than a little puzzled by the All Blacks’ decision to play him off the bench in the second last Test, and he missed the last one due to injury, but the rest of his tournament was measured in superlatives. Still a rookie in All Black terms, he has a great future ahead of him with his powerful running and physicality on defence. He edged Reece Hodge for this spot as the Aussie faded later in the game on three occasions after being particularly impressive in the first two rounds of the competition.

12: Ryan Crotty (New Zealand): The best of all the 12’s to play in this tournament. His calm game management adds an extra dimension to the All Blacks’ back division. Wasted at 13 when Sonny Bill Williams came back. His concussion issues meant that went off early on against Australia in the opening match, however he came back well from that scare. Other players had their moments, with Damian de Allende (South Africa), Jeronimo de la Fuente (Argentina) and Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand) all in with a nod.

11: Rieko Ioane (New Zealand): Head over heart in this choice. I went with what my head said: Deadly finishing and huge pace gave Ioane the nod ahead of the South African youngster Aphiwe Dyantyi. Both have some defensive issues, but Ioane is perhaps the better in that respect too. Argentina’s Ramiro Moyano deserves a mention.

10: Nicolas Sanchez (Argentina) The most influential of all the 10’s to play in the 2018 tournament, his real value was visibly evident in the final game. When he left the field the Pumas simply lost all direction and focus. He kept the Argentineans in the game and on the front foot right throughout the tournament. The All Blacks’ Beauden Barrett is a quality player but had a quiet tournament by his own lofty standards. His place kicking was questionable, and he seemed a bit constrained in the two games against South Africa, although he produced two of the best games of the entire year in the first two Bledisloe Cup fixtures. Handré Pollard is becoming a superior game manager and a very calm and focussed flyhalf, and had some great moments too.

9: Faf de Klerk (South Africa): Simply overshadowed every 9 he played against, if not with 100% accuracy in all he did, but in his total commitment, energy, and enthusiasm. His box-kicks sometimes wandered around the sky a bit, but that was the only blemish in a wonderful come-back into the Springbok team. Aaron Smith was as good as he always is, while Will Genia tried hard but seemed to run out of gas in the last 30 minutes of every game.

8: Kieran Read (New Zealand):  Kinda chooses himself. His influence as captain was perhaps more important than his general play, but he was certainly the most consistent 8 in the tournament. He was also the only No 8 on view some weekend. Many other contenders were part-timers chosen out of position.

7: Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa): Nobody in the entire competition put in the effort that du Toit produced in 2018, and he ranks as my Player of the Tournament. He carried a multiple of loads, serving as the blindside flanker as well as one of South Africa’s primary lineout forwards. No other forward covered as many meters on the field as he roamed across the grass. 83 tackles, 53 carries, and 9 lineouts taken tell a story. David Pocock had a superlative tournament, but was often left man-alone to fight for the loose-ball as his fellow Aussie loosies played their own private games elsewhere on the field. This meant that he was often easy to stop and clear out.

6: Pablo Matera (Argentina): A really world class tournament by the big No 6. He was huge on defence and a massive threat with the ball in hand. 58 tackles, and 39 carries for 300 meters, with 2 tries illustrates the value he brought to the Pumas. Siya Kolisi came close, but just did not have the same impact as Matera.

5: Sam Whitelock (New Zealand): This was a difficult choice as he was up against Franco Mostert for this spot. In the end it was his consistent presence throughout the tournament that swung it his way as Mostert was sometimes just a little invisible, especially in the loss against Australia.

4: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa):  He might primarily be considered the Springbok enforcer by some, but he was so much more than just muscle. 28 lineout takes, plus four lineout steals, 52 ball carries, for 212 meters, with 45 tackles made, illustrates that his core duties that were done well, and the physicality and presence on the field was simply an added bonus. Scott Barrett finished the competition well, but was overshadowed by the big Springbok.

  1. Owen Franks (New Zealand):Although he is not the most flash of prop forwards, trending to be a support player rather than a primary ball carrier, it was his consistent scrummaging, together with some very good tackling and clearing out of the fringes at the rucks that gets him the nod ahead of his countryman Ofa Tu’ungafasi.

2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa):  No real debate about this one. The only other contender was Codie Taylor. Marx was a massive influence on the field, always. Both as ball carrier, maul manager, breakdown poacher, cleaner, and tackler. He was particularly solid in the scrums and his throw-ins at the lineouts were faultless despite a couple of misses by his catchers.

1 Steven Kitshoff (South Africa) After waiting on the bench while Beast Mtawarira started games, the big ginger was finally given the chance to start and he took it with both hands. Powerful in the scrums, some enormous tackling, and very good carrying was supplemented by superior handling skills too. Karl Tu’inukuafe came close as a really strong scrummager, who also did well in general play, although his ball carrying was sometimes a little less than spectacular.

And just to round off this little discussion:

Overall SANZAAR Test Results Since 2015

 

Date Home Team Result Away Team
October 2018
07 October Argentina 34 – 45 Australia
06 October South Africa 30 – 32 New Zealand
September 2018
30 September Argentina 17 – 35 New Zealand
29 September South Africa 23 – 12 Australia
15 September Australia 19 – 23 Argentina
15 September New Zealand 34 – 36 South Africa
08 September Australia 23 – 18 South Africa
08 September New Zealand 46 – 24 Argentina
August 2018
25 August Argentina 32 – 19 South Africa
25 August New Zealand 40 – 12 Australia
18 August South Africa 34 – 21 Argentina
18 August Australia 13 – 38 New Zealand
June 2018
23 June South Africa 10 – 25 England
16 June South Africa 23 – 12 England
09 June South Africa 42 – 39 England
02 June Wales 22 – 20 South Africa
December 2017
02 December Wales 24 – 22 South Africa
November 2017
25 November Italy 6 – 35 South Africa
18 November France 17 – 18 South Africa
11 November Ireland 38 – 3 South Africa
October 2017
07 October South Africa 24 – 25 New Zealand
September 2017
30 September South Africa 27 – 27 Australia
16 September New Zealand 57 – 0 South Africa
09 September Australia 23 – 23 South Africa
August 2017
26 August Argentina 23 – 41 South Africa
19 August South Africa 37 – 15 Argentina
June 2017
24 June South Africa 35 – 12 France
17 June South Africa 37 – 15 France
10 June South Africa 37 – 14 France
November 2016
26 November Wales 27 – 13 South Africa
19 November Italy 20 – 18 South Africa
12 November England 37 – 21 South Africa
05 November Barbarians 31 – 31 South Africa
October 2016
08 October South Africa 15 – 57 New Zealand
01 October South Africa 18 – 10 Australia
September 2016
17 September New Zealand 41 – 13 South Africa
10 September Australia 23 – 17 South Africa
August 2016
27 August Argentina 26 – 24 South Africa
20 August South Africa 30 – 23 Argentina
November 2015
07 November South Africa 46 – 10 World XV
August 2015
15 August Argentina 12 – 26 South Africa
08 August South Africa 25 – 37 Argentina
July 2015
25 July South Africa 20 – 27 New Zealand
18 July Australia 24 – 20 South Africa