7 Oct

RWC Quarter Finals – what do the numbers tell us?
by Tracey Nelson
7 Oct 2011

Colin_SladeRugby World Cup history tells us that, with the exception of RWC 1987, penalties rather than tries tend to be the main means of scoring once we reach the knock out phases of the tournament.

There has only been one occasion when the team that scored the most points in pool play has gone on to win the cup, and that was back in 1987 in the inaugural tournament when New Zealand won. But since that time all the winners have been within the top five for defence at the end of pool play.

So if history repeats and games will be won on defence and by those who have the best goal kickers, let’s take a look at the numbers and see if that helps predict who may or may not survive the first round of sudden death in the quarter finals.

Points conceded Total Tries conceded
South Africa 24 2
England 34 1
Ireland 34 3
Wales 34 4
Argentina 40 3
Australia 48 4
New Zealand 49 6
France 96 9

Penalties conceded Total Av per game
England 48 12.00
Wales 43 10.75
Argentina 43 10.75
Australia 41 10.25
New Zealand 40 10.00
Ireland 40 10.00
France 37 9.25
South Africa 37 9.25

Average penalties per game by referee
Steve Walsh 22.75
Craig Joubert 21.50
Bryce Lawrence 20.25
Nigel Owens 19.25
Tournament av 21.15

Goal kickers kicking percentages
Weepu (NZ) 100
Parra (Fra) 90
Priestland(Wal) 89
O’Gara (Ire) 84
Steyn (SA) 83
Yachvilli (Fra) 81
O’Connor (Aus) 78
Flood (Eng) 77
Hook (Wal) 67
Slade (NZ) 63
Contemponi (Arg) 50
Cooper (Aus) 50
Sexton (Ire) 50
Wilkinson (Eng) 45

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