The Stats Don't Lie

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: ABs eye history

Conrad Smith will play his 75th test match for the All Blacks on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images
Conrad Smith will play his 75th test match for the All Blacks on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images

Can the All Blacks end a 16-year drought? Tracey Nelson looks at what history and statistics say ahead of this Sunday's vital Rugby Championship clash between New Zealand and South Africa.

SPRINGBOKS v ALL BLACKS (Johannesburg, Referee Nigel Owens)

The All Blacks have played 11 times at Ellis Park, losing eight games and winning just three. The last time they played at this stadium was in 2004, when they lost 26-40. Their last win at Ellis Park was in 1997 when they won 35-32. Prior to that, their only other two wins came in 1992 (27-24) and 1928 (7-6).

The Springboks have a 73 percent winning record at Ellis Park having lost just 13 of their 44 test matches there, and have notched up 1157 points at an average of 26 points per game.

Andrew Hore is the only player in the All Blacks' 23 who has experienced a test match at Ellis Park - he was on the bench in 2004 but never made it onto the field.

Bryan Habana is just one try away from equalling Christian Cullen's record of 16 Rugby Championship/Tri-Nations tries, while last weekend Ben Smith equalled Habana's and Cullen's joint record of seven tries in a Rugby Championship/Tri-Nations season. Smith is yet to score a try against South Africa.

It's a momentous game for Conrad Smith - not only do he and Ma'a Nonu set a new world record of 51 test matches as a mid-field combination, but it is also his 75th test match.

Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira will play in his 50th test for the Springboks. He is the fifth South African prop to achieve this number of tests following Os du Randt, CJ van der Linde, Ollie le Roux, and current prop Jannie du Plessis.

The All Blacks have conceded an average of 12 penalties per game in away matches in the Rugby Championship, while the Springboks are conceding an average of just eight penalties when playing at home. On average the home sides in this year's Rugby Championship have conceded 9.6 penalties per game while the visiting sides have conceded 11.5 penalties.

The All Blacks can still lose this game yet win the Rugby Championship by securing a single bonus point (either by losing within seven points or scoring four tries).

The Springboks need to win the game with a four-try bonus point as well as keep the All Blacks from achieving a bonus point to secure the Rugby Championship. Even if the Springboks win this game they cannot remove the All Blacks from the number one position in the IRB rankings.

The All Blacks have had referee Nigel Owens in 11 test matches for nine wins and two defeats. Those two losses were both against South Africa, in Durban and Hamilton in 2009.

If the All Blacks beat the Springboks this weekend it will be their 50th test victory over the South Africans, and they will become the first team to have achieved this feat.

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