Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Conrad Smith's impressive winning record

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Conrad Smith dives over for his third career try against Ireland. Photo / Getty Images
Conrad Smith dives over for his third career try against Ireland. Photo / Getty Images

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers ahead of the second test between the All Blacks and Ireland on Saturday.

Julian Savea became the seventh All Black to score a hat trick on debut. He needs just two more tries to equal the record of most tries scored by an All Black against Ireland, currently held by Frank Bunce and Doug Howlett.

The last try of the game last week saw Conrad Smith join Julian Savea, Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock as current All Blacks to have scored three tries against Ireland.

Conrad Smith has won 50 of the 56 test matches he has played, giving him the highest winning percentage of any player in the world with more than 50 test wins at 89.3 percent.

Gordon D'Arcy replaces Keith Earls at second five-eighths this week. It will be the 48th time he has been paired with skipper Brian O'Driscoll in the centres, and their centre partnership is a world record one (their 45th appearance against Australia in the 2011 World Cup beating the previous record held by England's Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott).

Tony Woodcock will make his 76th start at prop (in his 84th Test) which puts him in third place on the all-time list of most test match starts in the position, behind England's Jason Leonard (104) and Ireland's John Hayes (100).

Dan Carter is just 11 points behind Andrew Mehrtens as the top All Blacks points scorer against Ireland. Despite coming desperately close in the dying minutes of the test match last week, Carter is still to score a try against the Irish, while Mehrtens has one in his points tally.

If Ali Williams comes off the bench it will be his 75th test appearance and that will put him just four tests behind the All Blacks' most capped lock of all time, Ian Jones.

Should Sam Cane come on as a substitute he will be one of the youngest flankers to make his debut for the All Blacks, being 20 years and 155 days. Richie McCaw was 20 years and 321 days when he made his All Black debut against Ireland in 2001.

This will be the first test match played in Christchurch since August 2010, following the February 2011 earthquake that devastated much of the city along the stadium at Lancaster Park. The new Christchurch stadium will be at capacity (21,000) for this test.

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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