The Stats Don't Lie

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Nonu's card third of 2013

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Ma'a Nonu received his third card of 2013. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Ma'a Nonu received his third card of 2013. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from Saturday's test between the All Blacks and South Africa.

The All Blacks conceded 15 penalties to the Springboks' eight in this test match. Six of those 15 penalties were for the tackled player not releasing the ball, while scrums and lineouts contributed to four. Ma'a Nonu and Kieran Read both earned yellow cards - it was Nonu's third card, second yellow, for 2013.

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There was only one ruck penalty awarded in this game, and it went against the All Blacks when Conrad Smith was lucky not to be yellow carded for playing the ball with his hands from the side of a defensive ruck late in the game.

Bismark du Plessis became just the second Springbok to be sent off against the All Blacks since Andre Venter, but has since had that red card rescinded after Sanzar found that the decision made by referee Romain Poite to issue a yellow card as a result of his tackle on Dan Carter was wrong, as it was within the Laws of the Game.

The Springboks had the slight edge at the breakdown, winning 93 percent of their ruck ball while the All Blacks won 89 percent of theirs. The All Blacks lost seven breakdowns, while the Springboks lost four. Ben Smith, Matt Todd, and Wyatt Crockett won breakdown turnovers for the All Blacks, while Bryan Habana and Bismark du Plessis each won two turnovers for the Springboks.

Scrums were an untidy affair in this test match. The 15 scrums that were set (nine to the All Blacks and six to the Springboks) took up a total of almost 10 minutes of play. The All Blacks' scrum feeds took an average of 48 seconds from set-up to the ball either exiting or the referee awarding a penalty or free kick, while the Springboks' scrums averaged 28 seconds. There were four scrum resets, all on the All Blacks' feed.

There were 35 lineouts in this match, the All Blacks winning 14 of their 16 throws while the Springboks won 17 of their 19 throws. Kieran Read was the top lineout jumper for the All Blacks winning all five of his throws, while Sam Whitelock won three from four, and Liam Messam three from three. Eben Etzebeth was the top jumper for the Springboks winning nine out of 10 of his throws.

The All Blacks made 99 tackles and 23 assists in the tackle during this test match, and missed just seven. They did not have to make their first completed tackle until the sixth minute of the game, and the first tackle inside their own 22 did not occur until the 26th minute. In total the All Blacks had to make 36 tackles in their own 22, 16 in the first half and 20 in the second. They missed just one tackle inside their 22 (Nonu).

The Springboks made 97 tackles and missed 18. Their top tackler was Francois Louw with 13 tackles and just two misses, while their worst tackler was Jannie du Plessis with three tackles and four misses - three of those misses resulted in tries to Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read.

Sam Cane (12 tackles and two assists) and Kieran Read (10 tackles and four assists) were the top tacklers for the All Blacks, with neither player missing a tackle. Sam Whitelock (eight tackles and three assists) and Liam Messam (eight tackles and two assists) were the next best, but both missed one tackle.

Brodie Retallick was the top ball carrier for the All Blacks making seven carries for a gain of 50 metres, while Liam Messam made six carries for a gain of 27 metres, and Kieran Read made five carries for gain of 21 metres.

Sam Whitelock and Tony Woodcock were tops when it came to being in the first three to breakdown, both making 24 arrivals - Woodcock's workrate the more impressive given he was subbed in the 69th minute. Sam Cane made 20 arrivals, while Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Julian Savea all made 10.

The All Blacks kicked the ball from hand more than the Springboks in this game, making 15 kicks in each half and only kicking the ball into touch once in the second half. The Springboks kicked 17 times in the first half, but just eight times in the second half.

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