Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the weekend's Rugby World Cup semifinals where once again an All Black prop was the most mobile around the field.


The foundation for the All Blacks' win was yet again laid by their tight five, with Owen Franks standing out for the second week in a row as the busiest forward being in the first three arrivals at the breakdown on 40 occasions - eclipsing his captain yet again. Brad Thorn was the next best with 35 arrivals, followed by Richie McCaw with 30 and Tony Woodcock with 28.

There were plenty of lineouts in this game, with 13 thrown by New Zealand and 17 by Australia. Top lineout jumper for the All Blacks was Kieran Read with four from four, while for Australia it was replacement lock Rob Simmons also with four from four.


Both teams lost just one lineout on their own throw with Brad Thorn stealing one off the Australians, while it was a sloppy throw by Keven Mealamu to Sam Whitelock that saw New Zealand lose their only throw in the first half.

The All Blacks had nine scrum feeds and won all of them. Australia had six feeds and won four, conceding penalties on the other two feeds.

Top ball carriers for the All Blacks were Keven Mealamu and Richie McCaw with 11 carries each. Mealamu gained 42 metres with his carries, while McCaw managed 30 metres.

Top ball carriers for the Wallabies were David Pocock and James Horwill both with nine carries. Both gained similar territory with 30 and 29 metres gained respectively.

Richie McCaw was the top tackler in the game with 16 tackles and three assists, while the second best was David Pocock with 15 tackles.

The All Blacks made 142 tackles in the game and missed 19 (13 per cent), while the Wallabies made 150 tackles and missed 29 (19 per cent).

Radike Samo and Anthony Faingaa missed the most tackles in this match with four each, while Sam Whitelock and Richie McCaw both missed three tackles each. David Pocock missed none of his tackles.

Cory Jane cleanly fielded no less than six high kicks, plus took two restarts.

Top linebreakers in this game were Israel Dagg with three, and Digby Ioane and Quade Cooper with two each.

There were 17 penalties in total awarded by Craig Joubert. New Zealand conceded seven, with four at the breakdown, two at the scrum and one for foul play with a yellow card awarded against Sonny Bill Williams for a shoulder charge. Austrlaia conceded 11 penalties, seven at the breakdown, three at the scrum and one for accidental offside from a knock on.

David Pocock conceded the most tackles of any player in the match with 3 breakdown penalties, but also won two breakdown turnovers.

The All Blacks turned the ball over on 15 occasions, which included nine handling errors and four breakdown turnovers conceded. Australia turned the ball over 17 times, which included eight handling errors and 6 breakdown turnovers conceded.

Australia had just one shot at goal in this match, with James O'Connor slotting a penalty in the 16th minute of the game. Their only other scoring came from Quade Cooper's first test drop goal in the 31st minute. Thereafter the Australians were kept scoreless.

Piri Weepu had an off night with the boot, after coming into this game having landed 11 of his 12 shots at goal previously. He landed four from seven penalties, and missed a conversion. Aaron Cruden landed a drop goal in the 21st minute of the game, but missed a penalty goal in the second half.


This match will be remembered for Welsh captain Sam Warburton's tip tackle on Vincent Clerc in the 18th minutes which earned him a red card, and saw Wales play with just 14 men for the remaining 62 minutes of the game.

It was a case of history repeating, because the last time Wales made a RWC semi final (1987) they also had a player red carded (Huw Richards) which was incidentally the first red card ever awarded at a RWC tournament.

There were only 13 penalties awarded by Alain Rolland, with seven conceded by Wales and six conceded by France.

Despite being down a man for over three quarter of the match Wales still managed to have 48 percent of the possession and spent 49 minutes of the game attacking, while France could only manage 31 minutes on attack and spent the majority of their game defending.

Welsh No 8 Toby Felatau was the top ball carrier in the game with 18 carries and a gain of 92 metres.

Mike Phillips, Welsh halfback and the sole try scorer in this match, made six runs for a gain of 45 metres. He also passed the ball 99 times, while his French counterpart Dimitri Yachvili only passed 30 times.

The Welsh backs made 77 runs and kicked the ball 27 times, while the French backline only made a paltry 19 runs as they seemly preferred to kick putting boot-to-ball 33 times.

The Welsh pack, minus their captain, made a staggering 100 percent of their tackles and overall the team only missed five percent of their 70 tackle attempts. Top tackler for Wales was their blindside flanker Danny Lydiate with 12.

France, in comparison, had to make 180 tackles and completed 90 percent of them. Their top tackler was captain Thierry Dusautoir with 19 tackles and no misses.

There were five clean linebreaks in total in this match, with France's Morgan Parra making two of his team's total of three. Mike Phillip's linebreak for Wales led to his try.

There were plenty of handling errors in the game, with Wales knocking the ball on 10 times while France knocked it on 11 times.

The one area France excelled in was contesting the lineout, where they stole six of the Welsh throw-ins.

Had their goal kickers been on song Wales could still have won this match. James Hook missed two of his three penalty attempts and an attempted drop goal, Stephen Jones shaved the uprights with his conversion attempt, and Leigh Halfpenny's long range penalty attempt fell just short after his plant foot slipped on the turf.

In comparison, France's Morgan Parra landed all three of his penalty attempts. He and Maxime Medard both missed a drop goal attempt.