Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Italy v All Blacks preview

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This is just the 12th test between the two sides, the All Blacks having won the previous 11 encounters. The All Blacks have scored 644 points including 92 tries against the Italians, while conceding just 9 tries in the 108 points against.

Italy is one of just five nations to have conceded 100 points or more against the All Blacks, and that happened at the 1999 Rugby World Cup when they lost 101-3. Their best result against the All Blacks came at the 1991 World Cup when they lost 31-21.

The two sides last met in 2009 in Milan, with the All Blacks winning 20-6. That game is best remembered for the large number of penalties the All Blacks conceded at scrum time (8), with Wyatt Crockett receiving 4 and Neemia Tialata 2 plus a yellow card in the 77th minute.

Wyatt Crockett is the only All Black in this weekend's match 23 who played in that 2009 test against Italy. There are 10 Italian players in their match 23 who remain from the 2009 encounter.

That game in Milan was the test match victory that saw New Zealand move back into first place in the IRB World Rankings, and they have not relinquished that spot in the three years and 40 test matches since.

It will be Beauden Barrett's first start in an All Black test, having made three appearances off the bench to date. He has scored 9 points for the All Blacks, all from penalty goals against Ireland in June this year.

Kieran Read will play his first game as All Black captain in what will be his 46th test match. Read has scored 7 tries to date, but has yet to cross the chalk in 2012 with his last test try coming against Argentina in last year's Rugby World Cup quarter final.

Italy's Sergio Parisse (No 8 and captain) and Martin Castrogiovanni (tighthead prop) will be making their 90th test match appearances. Castrogiovanni was the main cause of the All Blacks' scrum woes in that 2009 game.

If the All Blacks can win this weekend it will make it Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith's 35th test win as a midfield pairing, which will set a new record for most wins for a test centre partnership. The record is currently held by England's Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott who won 34 of their 44 tests. This game will be Nonu and Smith's 41st test together.

Italy are currently on their best winning streak since 1998, having won their last three games (Canada, USA and Tonga).

Referee Alain Rolland is making his 64th test appearance this weekend. He has refereed the All Blacks on 14 previous occasions, and it will be the third time this year (South Africa in October and Australia in August). The All Blacks have only lost twice (South Africa 2009 and Australia 2010) when Rolland has officiated.

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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