STAT ATTACK: England vs Springboks

Let all the talk of Owen Farrell’s last-minute tackle on Andre Esterhuizen not take away from what the match stats confirm: this was a game the Boks should have put away much earlier.

A look at the match stats from Twickenham:

Match information:
Points: ENG 12-11 SA
Tries: ENG 0-1 SA
Goal kicking: ENG 80% – 50% SA
Possession: ENG 46% – 54% SA
Territory: ENG 39% – 61% SA
Ball in play: 40 minutes

Attacking stats:
Ball Carries: ENG 107-111 SA
Metres run: ENG 491-671 SA
Metres per carry: ENG 4.6-6 SA
Line breaks: ENG 5-1 SA
Tackle breaks: ENG 2-0 SA
Passes: ENG 141-154 SA
Good Passes: ENG 124-154 SA
Offloads: ENG 10-0 SA
Rucks won: ENG 78-112 SA
Rucks lost: ENG 2-2 SA
Mauls won: ENG 2-7 SA
Mauls lost: ENG 2-0 SA
Turnovers conceded: ENG 11-19 SA

Defensive stats:
Tackles made: ENG 183-135 SA
Tackles missed: ENG 15-13 SA
Tackle success: ENG 93% – 91% SA
Tackle turnover: ENG 9-1 SA
Dominant tackles: ENG 6-2 SA
Turnovers won: ENG 3-2 SA

Kicking stats:
Kicks from hand: ENG 33-26 SA
Metres kicked: ENG 1007-739 SA
Metres per kick: ENG 31-28 SA

Error stats:
Handling errors: ENG 10-9 SA
Penalties conceded: ENG 12-4 SA
Free kicks conceded: ENG 0-1 SA

First phase stats:
Lineouts won: ENG 6-14 SA
Lineouts stolen: ENG 4-0 SA
Scrums won: ENG 6-6 SA
Scrums lost: ENG 2-0 SA
Own kickoff won: ENG 1-0 SA
Own kickoff lost: ENG 3-5 SA

- All Out Rugby

Let's chat

  • Matthew

    Those stats dont appear particularly accurate, unfortunately, just looking at the scrums lost stat as example alone, where SA did lose a scrum, not to mention other stats.

    • Tank Lanning Tank Lanning

      Fair enough Matthew. Just remember that a penalised scrum is not notched up as a lost scrum. Same with lineouts. That Bok scrum resulted in a penalty which lost the Boks the game. So it was massive, but not a lost scrum in the stats. Instead a scrum penalty. These numbers courtesy of STATS, who’s numbers do often differ with Opta.

      • Jaco

        Just one that can’t be correct. SA penalties conceded = 4. Just for them to get to 12 they needed 4 penalties and Farrell missed one.

        • Tank Lanning Tank Lanning

          Spot on. Must be an error. And that indeed does cast a worrying shadow over the rest

      • Matthew

        Interesting approach to stats. Thanks. Learn something new everyday. I suppose it would be a ‘double count’ to count penalties as losses.

  • Al

    Was at the game and my biggest worry was that it reminded me of the game we lost to Argentina. We were all over them and then let them off the hook by missing repeated opportunities especially via missed attacking line outs. They then grew in confidence and put us away. The similarity doesn’t end there – I am a big fan of PSDT but he was also playing 5 and calling the line outs that day.

  • Herman Schroder?

    If that’s ”traditional SA rugby” then heaven help us. Stampkar and skop with no skill and vision and a serious lack of creativity was there for all to see yesterday. Rassie’s dom krag game plan once again emphasized why Willie and Faf were sorely missed and proved once more that we are on the wrong track.

    Rassie must shoulder a lot of the blame here. His win ratio of a lucky 45% is AC territory and lets be brutally honest despite a fortuitous win in Wellington the inconsistency is horrendous. From a skills point of view the team has shown very little improvement after ELEVEN tests. We are being fooled by the fact that we have merely become competitive whereas as Boks we should be imposing ourselves on our opponents and winning comfortably playing positive expansive rugby. The Wales / Scotland test yesterday will show you what I mean and we play both of them on this tour.

    All the talk before this game was how we need to soften them up physically and pepper them with high balls, in other words play our traditional dom krag rugby which has failed us since 2009, lol. Lack of skills is a by product of being brought up on a diet of no risk rubbish bourne out by the fact that we didn’t even attempt one offload yesterday. Even worse was the fact that this England team was woefully under strength with 19 first call players out and relatively inexperienced whereas we were practically at full strength.

    Which brings me to the make up of this team. I’m sorry to bring in Provincialism here but wasn’t it rather strange that the two worst performing teams in SR had 16 representatives in a squad of 23 ?? I know it’s ones individual skills that usually gets you into a test team but what about the mindset and mental strength of that player. Being klapped week in and week out in SR hardly builds up a winning mentality. This may explain the inconsistency in the Boks performances and Rassie’s Stormers / WP and Bulls overkill must be challenged.

    I’ve said before that Rassie is trying to serve too many ‘masters’ and it will catch up with him. His transformation goals are still way out of line with white dominance still very apparent, yet we are still losing regularly. With six tests to go before WC the 50 / 50 ‘must have’ seems to be a pipe dream at the moment.

    I’ve previously stated that bringing in overseas players for tests is not the way forward despite Willie and Faf saving us on numerous occasions. You cannot build a team culture with bits and pieces flying in from Europe at the behest of their ‘owners’ to think you can create a formidable Bok team with a unified team culture. NZ and Ireland don’t do it and that’s good enough for me.

    Rassie is a great guy no doubt but as a coach he is extremely naive. Provincialism is apparent, transformation is floundering and ‘mercenaries’ are affecting continuity and doing more harm than good. Couple that with an outdated pre dinosaur game plan and quite a few players lacking basic skills, mental strength and a vision for modern rugby then you will get what we have now, mediocrity. In my opinion nothing has changed since the EOYT of 2014. We are still in the doldrums and hero’s are now urgently required. Cheers.

    • SweetAz

      Sheesh,–why don’t you just save this in Notepad and copy and past it to the next article? It will save you from having to remember all the crap you spew, mind you,-you repeat it so often it’s probably just like a broken record stuck on one track.

      Why don’t you actually WATCH a game and try to see the micro-skills that have improved enormously before you run off on your usual tangent of Domkrag, Provincialism, Bad Coach? I have yet to see you come up with a solution other than “expansive game”, “score lots of tries”,—DUHHHHHH. How about DETAILING HOW to do those things?

      By the way,—the WORST players on the field were probably Whitely and Marx and Marx most definitely lost us that game with his CLEAR overthrows.

      • Herman Schroder?

        Poor old not so SweetAz, can’t ignore my posts can you. Criticize me if you will because you obviously have your own agenda in this but no skin of my nose pal, fire way.

        What micro skills are you talking about please advise me. These guys can’t even get the BASIC skills right as was patently clear on Saturday never mind micro skills. The reason why my posts are repetitive and have been for four years is simply because no matter who runs the show the results remain the same. HM’s last two years, AC’s disastrous two years and Rassie’s one year ( he’s been ‘planning’ for a year ) have had exactly the same outcomes for the Boks losing 50% plus of their games playing the same old c..p game plan since 2009. How can I change my tune when the record ( Bok rugby ) is permanently stuck, to borrow from your expression. Nothing will please me more than to see a real change in the way we play the game but not even Wellington can convince me we are on the right track.

        Of course I predicted this would happen on Saturday which must really have put your nose out of joint and your petty tirade above is the result. Poor form old chap but I’m fully entitled to express my opinions so kindly respect my right to do so.

        And as for your almost vindictive opinion on Marx and Whiteley I take it from whence it comes. Marx had an off day but hey even the BB’s of this world have, not so ? As for WW well the solitary try scored was due to his silky skills ( as he did in the Wellington test ) and he tackled his heart out. He did more than most. No one left that field covered in glory. It was a pathetic effort as pointed out by many scribes and pundits on these forums but hey you saved your arrows for me, well done I hope you feel satisfied. Cheers.

    • D John

      Yawn… another bemoaning by Mr Schroder. In my opinion, we have not seen a different comment from you since articles on Supersport 2014.

      • Herman Schroder?

        And Springbok rugby hasn’t changed since then hence my repetition, lol. See my response to SweetAz above for amplification. Cheers.

    • Greg Shark

      hermie, long winded again…but its welcome to see after an absence you’ve found favour with your favourite word…”domkrag”….

      YET, in all you’ve commented and despite your reference to provincial bias (and I agree to a large extent) you failed to mention probably the greatest contribution to the Bok failure. Yes, maybe too many kicks too far and not well directed BUT that’s not the real issue…..the REAL ISSUE was not converting dominance and opportunity into tries….. 3 went begging! Ooops….. the REAL CULPRIT there for all to see, not the ‘domkrag’ mentality but one singular lions player in the world renown and best player of all time Marx! Whitely was marginally better but for most he was unseen….

      • Herman Schroder?

        I’ve been using dom krag for five years now and as far as SA is concerned it never seems to run out of style, we even saw it today in living colour, lol.

        One cannot single out one person for this loss but you and I know full well he is not totally to blame. Who called the lineouts was it Stef, Siya or Rassie via disco lights ? No one seems to know but what I do know is we were playing against 14 men and we threw to the back of the lineout five metres from their line with a dominant pack. In one instance they even had old small in height but overweight DV doing the jumping. Why wasn’t there a bean pole like Whiteley at the back if they were going for that option ?? And then to repeat it three times ? This game was never lost there alone we had plenty of time to recover and we choked but what’s new for the 2018 Boks. By the way when Mostert plays and calls the lineouts there are no stuff ups. How’s that ?

        And just to piss you off a bit more I note that Faf, Marx and Dyantyi are up for a few top rugby world awards later this month. All are Lions players past and present if I’m not mistaken. Wow at least the neutrals know a good thing when they see one.

        On the plus side I see you do agree on Rassie’s Stormers / Bulls overkill. He needs to reevaluate his options and quickly. Cheers.

        • Dean

          It had nothing to do with calls. There was no contest when we lost the ball. Jumpers and lifters were fully extended, it was clear over throws! Nothi g wrong with the game plan. We are playing to our strenths. Cant dissagree more, we very seldom did not make meters with our carries. Not converting pressure into points and soft monents cost us.

          • Herman Schroder?

            As I’ve been saying all along it’s no use muscling your way forward and gaining front foot ball and then stuff up when real skills are required to finish it off. That means naturally skilled players are being overlooked for the dom krag variety who lack creativity on attack.

            Pollard does not create and seems to lack BMT ( like Jantjies ) with his kicks, lol DDA passed once in 15 stampkar efforts, No’s 10, 12, 13, plus AE off the bench ALL dom krag experts. Two blistering wings and a two step dancer at 15 and they never saw the ball. That was the main problem imo. Cheers.

        • Matthew

          You really should consider a career in standup Herman.

          Cant single out a single player? Seriously? Just cannot except when a Lions player is the weak link, but oh so happy to blame individuals whenever you can when others.

          Use to consider you with respect on your views, as were quite right in the past, but just cant take you and your comments seriously about ‘Domkrag’ anymore considering you just beating a deadhorse silly these days, fully blinded by your provincial bias blinkers, refusing to see reality anymore.

          • Herman Schroder?

            Thanks for that Mathew I’m sure it’s well intended but to save me repeating myself ( what’s new ) please read my various responses to posters on this thread who also seem to have missed my point. Please respond if you wish. Cheers..

  • Barry

    Most of the answers will lie in individual stats rather than team, because as you say team stats just don’t stack up. Here’s one of interest:

    Damien D Allande – made 15 runs, passed once!

    • Herman Schroder?

      It’s the dom krag way. Cheers.

  • Greg Shark

    stats mean Jack Schitt, the game was LOST, period

    people/fans who rely on stats to boast their team miss the point….. end of the day, its the score!

    • Greg Shark

      in this instance I refer to team stats

      • Barry

        Greg, I would agree that team stats often do not have significance particularly if they are not correlated with style of play and game plan. We beat new Zealand in New Zealand with stats that were saying we should have received a clap, rather than the winners medal!

        By contrast though, I think individual stats do help to cross reference or substantiate personal view points and give a greater insight into player effectiveness. For example, the stat I gave above for Damien, Ran 15, passed once, kind of tells a story of individualism and certainly not one of trying to put a fellow team member into space!

        Many South Africans rate player performance on flash and panache, but they do not consider how the performance impacts the collective! Rob Houwing in his Sports 24 column rated Damien at 7.5, the highest rating of the day!!! Stats would suggest that he got that horribly wrong!

        • Herman Schroder?

          Spot on Barry. We also know Rob is a huge WP / Stormers fan. Could explain his rose tinted spectacles and ignorance of what is required in the modern game. Cheers.

  • Mark

    There should be a Ref stat after each game as well.
    No of stoppages – with a break down and the reason.
    Then with that, was it a good call or a bad call….and lets see the stats of good vs bad or incorrect calls…..
    Refs have to be held accountable based on their performance… can all four of them get it wrong?

    • Herman Schroder?

      Maybe they got it right. Cheers.

      • Mark

        Herman – I know you are anti SA, however, If they did get it right, then we should employ the leading shoulder and no arms tackle immediately as it is now clearly legal and you think so as well. That tackle was high (shoulder into the neck), with a leading shoulder, and no arms.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Anti SA ?? You surely jest Sir, Think about it. Who would spend four to five years on these forums in order to try and change the mindset of the general public, scribes, coaches and players if he wasn’t totally convinced SA rugby is on the wrong track. Isn’t he more patriotic than those who choose to do nothing and accept their fate without dissent ?

          The fact that in these five years most of my dire predictions have come to pass and Saturday ( as I again predicted ) was just about the last straw. This factor of course tee’s off some posters who have been reading my posts these past few years and can be seen from some of the responses here. By the way I take no satisfaction from being proven right most of the time only saddened that the powers that be continue to trample on the once proud Springbok jersey through their own incompetence. Bok fans deserve much better.

          But how much longer must we put up with incompetence from coaches and players who earn millions to entertain us ? Rassie is making an effort no doubt but he has not got the plot right, he is basically a HM / AC clone imo, especially where game plans and selections are concerned. Is Rassie ( and SARU for that matter )going to be held accountable if the rest of this tour goes belly up ? No the fat cats are well looked after and old long suffering fan must just continue to bite the we had to do once more on Saturday.

          As for the tackle well at best we can call it 50/50 which seems to be the attitude of World Rugby as he has not been cited. Could well have gone our way for one wearing a Bok cap but two bodies hurtling at each other with AE a powerful fellow in his own right and expecting the tackler to get it just right is maybe pushing it a bit. The way Farrell was skittled in the tackle made it look worse for him but AE ain’t no lightweight. Even at that speed Farrell gets his left arm around while the impact and AE’s fend has prevented the right arm from enclosing the body. So really a 50’50 if ever there was one. Remember the operative word was intentional or not. He intended to stop him no doubt but let’s be honest here if the situation was reversed and AE had tackled Farrell like that what would our response have been ? I rest my case. Cheers.

  • Tobokani

    The one noticeable difference between this game and all the others was the speed of the Boks’ ruck ball(how quickly it was cleared from the base to runners or even kicked as an up and under). What makes Faf de klerk so good is the speed at which he does everything. Ivan van Zyl was pretty pedestrian yesterday ( not to say he was bad because he was more than decent at what he did but the slower pace at which he did it meant the English defence had that extra second to get set, although they were very offside a lot)… Embrose Papier may still have some rough edges but at least therez some speed to what he does..i would have had Cameron Wright in the squad as well in place of Louis Shreauder for the same reasons… I hope Papier starts the next game coz at some point he has to play and make the mistakes if hez gonna make them..

  • Augusto

    From Argentina… Can’t believe the game SA lost. The decisions to go for the line instead the three points in the first half, were made by the players in the field, or it came from the coach? Vermeulen had a quiet game, is 7 still a good fit for him?
    Nevertheless, I’m loving the SA reinsurgence… Willemsen, Dyanti, Nkosi… It looks there is a new wave of test level talent in SA…
    By the way, there were at least two off sides before Farrell no-arm-should-had-been-yellow-card tackle… Good luck next week, fellas!

  • SweetAz

    Boks should have won that game by 20,–3 tries lost due to poor lineout overthrows from the Lions faux hooker. Then Gardner does his usual thing and duds the Boks at the close,—again, the man is starting to make a habit of it and at some stage, the question needs to be asked, -is it bias or incompetence?

    Is Farell going to get cited or is that honour reserved for Southern Hemisphere players only? It was clear the point of contact was SHOULDER FIRST,–pretending to wrap your arms after the fact does not make it legal.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Yes and I ‘should have’ taken the winning numbers on the lottery last Saturday. Hard luck pal no citing and Marx soon to be crowned Rugby Player of the Year ( hopefully ). Final score England 12 Bokkie 11 and Rassie goes back to the drawing board to think again. Cheers.

    • Barry

      As I understand it, the citing commissioner (a New Zealander) only deals with red card issues. The offence is regarded as yellow card, so it’s out of his scope of authority – it should have been dealt with on field.

      What I would like to ask Agnus is, why did Farnell find it necessary to apologise to Edterhuizen if the tackle was legal?

    • Baylion

      Just too many mistakes.

      Yes, the lineout misses early in the game were the obvious ones but there were so many other mistakes through the game. Here are a few

      – Nkosi took a great catch from a Pollard crosskick but failed to score, and then van Zyl tried to go on his own with players on both sides in better possitions

      – Before Nkosi’s try Pollard ran into contact near the England tryline while Marx was running clear on his outside but Pollard didn’t pass

      – Kolisi knocking on in a dominant driving maul near the England tryline

      – Pollard missing first an easy conversion of Nkosi’s try and then a fairly straightforward penalty near the end

      – De Allende made 15 runs, 2 clean breaks and beat 6 defenders but only passed the ball once, dying with the ball almost every time

      – Too many knock-ons by various players (19 turnovers conceded)

      – Lack of support for the ball carriers

      – Pollard failed to find touch a number of times with his exit kicks

      – A number of poor passes and offload attempts giving away possession

      Fact is, the Boks were poor on Saturday

      • Herman Schroder?

        Finally an objective look at the REAL problems besetting SA rugby all drawn from a single test. ‘Poor’ is perhaps too nice a word under the circumstances. Thank you Sir. Cheers.

    • Mark

      Don’t be silly. The Anti-SA Bias by World Rugby and it’s officials will continue. There will be no citing. Roles reversed, a penalty and yellow for SA with a citing and 4 – 6 weeks ban – ask Bakkies. #worldrugby

      • Wesley

        Whatever the stats, whatever the analysis, whatever the thoughts on the Farrell tackle, we were poor in execution. But let me say this. Rassie had a good reply to that question on the tackle. He said we must learn to defend like that. Now if you believe that tackle was legal but feel unconfortable on Rassies reply that an international team should learn to tackle all runners like that, well then i believe that answers it.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Only one comment on yours and Mark’s post above. What if the scoreboard and the roles were reversed on Saturday and Esterhuizen had klapped Farrell like that and got away with it ? Would AE be a national hero today or a villain ? A hero no doubt, lol. Cheers

          • Wesley

            Very much doubtful, as i could truely and honestly say i would call the same Herman. I really dont care about only winning, stopped doing that since my tv screen and the general mood in my house was in jeapordy. Even if it happened in the 1st minute of the match. I would never condone that type of foul to be called as fair. I want my kids to play rugby, within the laws and safe as possible. This is important if rugby as a game is to survive in the new age and it is World Rugby’s duty to manage the game to that end.

  • Baylion

    Passes: ENG 141-154 SA
    Good Passes: ENG 124-154 SA

    All SA’s passes good passes? Not in the game I watched

    • Herman Schroder?

      Agreed some were decidedly ropey. Collective skill levels in most facets pretty low by my reckoning. Cheers.

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