The Stats Don't Lie

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Luatua, McCaw lead the way

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Steven Luatua had a strong game in his first test start and was the top tackler for the All Blacks with 13 tackles and five assists. Photo / Getty Images
Steven Luatua had a strong game in his first test start and was the top tackler for the All Blacks with 13 tackles and five assists. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the opening Bledisloe Cup encounter in Sydney.

The All Blacks brought up 100 test wins against Australia with this victory, the first time any international rugby team has achieved this many wins over another nation.

It was Australia's seventh defeat in eight matches at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, and the 47 points they conceded was the third highest scored by the All Blacks have (50 in 2003, 49 in 2010). It is the fourth time the All Blacks have scored 40 points or more against Australia.

Ben Smith's opening try was his first against Australia, and his hat-trick was the seventh by an All Black against the Wallabies. He was also the top line-breaker in the match with three.

Richie McCaw's try took him to nine against Australia, making him the top All Black try scorer against the Wallabies (ahead of Ma'a Nonu, Doug Howlett, Christian Cullen, and Ian Kirkpatrick who have all scored eight tries).

Steven Luatua had a strong game in his first test start and was the top tackler for the All Blacks with 13 tackles and five assists. He also made five carries for a gain of 35 metres, won the All Blacks' first lineout throw, and got a steal at the tackle.

McCaw was the lead player for the All Blacks when it came to breakdown arrivals, being in the first three on 27 occasions. He won two penalties for the All Blacks for having rights to the ball in the tackle situation.

Michael Hooper stood out for the Wallabies for his work at the breakdown, winning three clean steals in the tackle situation and awarded a penalty for his efforts on McCaw who did not release the ball in a tackle in Australia's 22.

Penalties were an issue for the All Blacks, conceding 12 to the six by Australia. The All Blacks conceded five penalties in the first 21 minutes of the match alone. McCaw and Sam Whitelock were the most penalised players conceding three each, with Whitelock also earning a yellow card late in the match.

Lineouts were another area of concern, with the All Blacks losing four of their 12 throws - two were stolen by the Wallabies in the contest, one was overthrown (leading to Will Genia's try), and one was not straight. Three of the lost lineouts occurred when Keven Mealamu was throwing in.

The new scrum laws resulted in both sides conceding one free kick each and then being penalised for not feeding the ball straight. The All Blacks also conceded a penalty for dropping their front row on their own feed.

Aaron Cruden missed just two of his seven kicks for goal on the night, and both those misses hit the upright. Christian Leali'ifano was 100 percent with the boot landing all five of his attempts at goal.

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