Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: McCaw outdone on arrival-rate

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David Denton pushes aside Richie McCaw. Photo / Getty Images
David Denton pushes aside Richie McCaw. Photo / Getty Images

Despite averaging just five points per game in their last five tests against New Zealand, Scotland can now boast that they have scored the most tries and most points in a match against the All Blacks in 2012.

Prior to this test the most points the All Blacks had conceded this year was 19 (against both Australia and Ireland).

The restarts were untidy area of the game for both sides, with the All Blacks managing to win just four of the 11 kick-offs made by Scotland and none of their own. Scotland won all four of the kick-offs made by the All Blacks, and managed to win two of their own. A total of five restarts were not taken cleanly by either side in this test.

With Scotland having the better of both territory and possession throughout the game, the All Blacks had to make a total of 101 tackles and 33 assists. They missed 15 tackles, with seven of those misses coming in their own 22.

Between the 58th and 60th minutes of this game the All Blacks were called upon to defend 15 phases in their own 22 - during this time they only missed two tackles, conceded no penalties, and eventually won the turnover when a Scottish ball carrier ran into one of his own players.

The top tackler for the All Blacks was Richie McCaw with 11 tackles, one assist and two misses, while Wyatt Crockett was the next best making 10 tackles, four assists and no misses. Tamati Ellison led the way for the backs with 10 tackles, one assist and one miss, while Dan Carter was close behind with nine tackles, two assists and one miss.

For the first time in 2012, McCaw did not come in first or second for arrivals at the breakdown for the All Blacks. This week he was beaten in that role by Luke Romano (25), Wyatt Crockett (23), Adam Thomson (22) and Victor Vito (21). McCaw was in the first three players to the breakdown on 19 occasions.

Other than their first lineout of the night, which was a miss by Adam Thomson, the All Blacks won their remaining seven throws. Scotland were less successful with their lineouts, with Romano, Vito and Sam Whitelock all stealing a throw.

The All Blacks' forwards made 49 ball carries in this game, with Vito the standout with 10 carries for a gain of 57 metres. McCaw also made 10 carries but only gained 28 metres by comparison.

The battle of the breakdown was definitely won by the All Blacks, with McCaw winning three turnovers while Romano chimed in with one of his own. The All Blacks turned over just 2 of their own rucks with both being kicked through by Scotland, with the second resulting in Tim Visser's second try of the night.

Dan Carter was at his sublime running best, making three clean linebreaks for a gain of 53 metres and setting up tries for Israel Dagg and Ben Smith in the process. Carter was also on target with the boot, landing nine of his 10 attempts at goal for a personal tally of 21 points.

Although the All Blacks only made 13 errors leading to turnover of possession, two (an intercepted pass and spilled ball out the side of a ruck) led to tries for Scotland. The All Blacks made a total of nine handling errors, three breakdown turnovers, and kicked the ball out on the full three times.

The two tries scored by Visser is the first time since 1996 that a Scottish player has scored twice in a test against the All Blacks (lock Doddie Weir scored two tries against the All Blacks during the 1995 Rugby World Cup).

The three tries scored by Scotland in this test lifts their total tally against New Zealand to 30, while the six tries by the All Blacks takes them to 124 against Scotland.

Tracey Nelson

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

Tracey Nelson is a rugby statistician who looks closely at the numbers of every Super 15 and All Blacks test to give a concise answer to which players and teams are leading the way on the field.

Read more by Tracey Nelson

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