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More Bok cracks emerge after Auckland defeat

STATISTICAL SPOTLIGHT:  Some more key stats have emerged showing how well the All Blacks utilised the ball against the Springboks in Auckland.

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Ian Foster’s side outscored their opponents by four tries to three on their way to an impressive 35-20 win in Round Two of the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks caught the Boks off guard with a high-tempo game in the first quarter and they got plenty of metres with ball in hand in the middle of the park.

According to Opta stats, the All Blacks “opted to keep the play narrower than the Boks, with just 28 percent of their phases going beyond the first receiver, compared to South Africa’s 39 percent, with the All Blacks instead exerting control via a strong kicking game and drawing players in before attacking wide areas”.

As previously reported the All Blacks had 28 kicks in play compared to the Springboks’ 14. However, “New Zealand retained possession from 11 of their kicks, compared to South Africa’s 0”.

The story continues below…

NZ kicks retained 2023

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New Zealand’s 10 clean breaks in the win over the Springboks also says something about the home side’s incisiveness on attack compared to last year’s meetings between the two sides.

“The All Blacks made more line breaks (10) than in their two Rugby Championship matches against South Africa in 2022 combined (nine).

“Will Jordan made four of those, the most by any player in a Test match against the Springboks since Teddy Thomas in November 2018 (four).”

The half-time score at Mount Smart Stadium was 20-3 to the All Blacks and that was also significant in the stats column.

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The way Opta explains is that “New Zealand restricted South Africa to just three first-half points, a week after holding Argentina scoreless in the opening 40 minutes – the All Blacks have now limited their opponents to three first-half points or fewer in each of their last five Rugby Championship matches”.

The Rugby Championship ends on Saturday, July 29 with the Wallabies at home against the All Blacks and the Springboks are up against Argentina in Johannesburg.

Stats by: Opta

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