Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: McCaw errors overshadow high workrate

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Richie McCaw continued his high workrate for the All Blacks but his handling let him down, with four knock-ons in the second half. Photo / Getty Images
Richie McCaw continued his high workrate for the All Blacks but his handling let him down, with four knock-ons in the second half. Photo / Getty Images

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the second test between the All Blacks and Ireland.

The three point winning margin in this game equals the second-closest winning margin in test matches between New Zealand and Ireland (24-21 to the All Blacks at Carisbrook, 1992). The smallest winning margin is just one point, a 6-5 win to the All Blacks at Landsdowne Rd in 1963.

It was third time lucky for Dan Carter with the winning drop goal in the 79th minute of the game, having missed with two previous attempts in the 58th and 78th minutes. It was just his fifth drop goal in 87 test matches.

Carter's haul of 17 points sees him overtake Andrew Merhtens as the highest scoring All Black against Ireland, with a total of 87 - all from the boot (18 conversions, 16 penalties and one drop goal).

Sam Cane made his All Blacks debut in fine style, making three ball carries in his first two minutes on the field. Overall he made seven carries for a gain of 21 metres, seven tackles and three assists. He was also in the first three to the breakdown on 15 occasions.

Richie McCaw continued his high workrate being the All Blacks' top ball carrier with a total of 17 for a gain of 72 metres. He also made seven tackles and one assist, missing just one tackle in the game. However, for the second week in a row his handling let him down, with four knock-ons in the second half.

Andrew Hore topped the chart for arrivals at the breakdown, being in the first three to clean out on 39 occasions. McCaw was a close second with 38, while Brodie Retallick carried on from where he left off in the first test with 35 arrivals in his 65 minutes on the field.

Adam Thomson was the top tackler for the All Blacks with 11 tackles and one assist. He was also their second highest ball carrier with a total of 10 for a gain of 45 metres.

The All Blacks were made to defend in their own half for long periods in this test match, and held out the Irish for sets of 12 and 11 phases in the third quarter of the match.

Overall the All Blacks missed just eight tackles, with Tony Woodcock the chief offender with four misses.

Discpline was problematic at times for the All Blacks, conceding a total of 11 penalties to Ireland's nine. Only six penalties in total in this test match were not conceded at the breakdown.

For the second consecutive game the All Blacks' lineout ran at 100 percent, with Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick the main jumpers taking three balls each. Retallick also took the only lineout steal of the match, winning Ireland's fifth lineout throw.

The All Blacks worked 13 phases from the lineout on the Irish 10 metre line to set up for the winning drop goal, playing with just 14 men after Israel Dagg was yellow carded in the 72nd minute for leading with the elbow in an aerial charge.

- For more stats go to haka.co.nz

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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