Get Newsletter

What the stats say about Bok win

STATISTICAL ANALYSES: South Africa has the ‘W’ behind their name, but they were perhaps not as convincing as the 18-3 scoreline against Scotland suggests.


According to South Africa’s win probability, they were very comfortable for the whole game, with Scotland’s highest chance of winning in the seventh minute – at just 28 percent.

Both teams dramatically underperformed for the expected points, South Africa achieved just over half their expected 35 points, and Scotland 22 points fewer than their expected 25.

We take a look at the statistics for the Round One encounter in Marseille this past weekend.

Rassie Erasmus with quote

South Africa

Metres made – More than double that of Scotland but fewer than all of their three games in the World Cup warm-up matches. South Africa made more metres, post-contact, (315) than Scotland carried with the ball in total (226)

Turnovers conceded – More (18) than any of their World Cup warm-up matches games, and their lowest positive outcomes of just 61 percent.

Tackles made – Fewer tackles than Scotland and fewer than any of their games in the World Cup warm-up matches. Just three dominant tackles – they averaged 12 in the World Cup warm-up matches – which accounted for 3.3 percent of their tackles compared to Scotland’s 8.5 percent dominant tackles.


Turnovers won – Lost this battle, a perceived strength, five to eight, but conceded just three to Scotland’s four.

Set-piece – Didn’t lose a single scrum in the World Cup warm-up matches. Lost just one here, fewer than Scotland, and had a better line-out success rate.

Gainline success – Nearly double the percentage of Scotland, with nearly twice as many carries over the gain line too – 51-26.

Ruck speed – Typically follows gainline carries as it generates momentum. More than second faster than Scotland on average for all of their rucks and the fastest speed they managed compared to any of their World Cup warm-up matches games.


Red-zone efficiency – Both teams very limited in the danger areas of the pitch with just six entries each, accounting for only 13 percent of their total possessions reaching the opposition 22. The big difference: South Africa came away with two tries.

South Africa individuals

Damian de Allende – The most carries of anyone on the pitch with 14; carried for 70 metres, including 59 post-contact, also the most of any player. Also beat six defenders, more than any other player.

Franco Mostert – Made the most tackles for South Africa and the joint most of anyone along with Jack Dempsey (11), including 1 dominant tackle.

Jasper Wiese – Won two of South Africa’s 5 turnovers.

Cheslin Kolbe – Made 2 of South Africa’s 4 linebreaks.

What the stats say about Bok win


Metres made – Fewer than half of South Africa’s – despite a similar number of carries – well down on their average of 505 metres in the World Cup warm-up matches.

Tackles made – A better success rate than South Africa but down on Scotland’s World Cup warm-up matches levels of 90 percent in three out of four games.

Power in defence – More than triple the number of dominant tackles compared to South Africa, as well as more turnovers won, including 4 from breakdowns.

Set-piece – Let them down today, with 2 line-outs lost today in South Africa’s 22.

Gainline success – Worse than any of their World Cup warm-up matches performances, down to 30 percent from an average of 53 percent.

Ruck speed – 41.5 percent slower than the World Cup warm-up matches with an average of 4.6 seconds per ruck.

Red-zone efficiency – Like South Africa, very few entries, but no points.

Scotland Individuals

Finn Russell – Made the most carries for Scotland with 11, had the 2nd most metres made (37) and the 3rd most post-contact metres (23). Also kicked for 446 metres; South Africa kicked for 616 in total.

Jack Dempsey – Made the most metres for Scotland (49), the 2nd most post-contact (24) just one behind Duhan Van Der Merwe. Made two of Scotland’s four offloads, made the most tackles (11) without missing any.

Darcy Graham – Made two of Scotland’s three linebreaks.


Join free

Boks Office | Jesse Kriel reveals the hardest team he had to play at the Rugby World Cup

Big Jim Walks and Talks with Handré Pollard

My Best Half | Episode Two | Katelyn Vahaakolo & Patricia Maliepo

Bernard Jackman & Stuart Hogg | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

Wildknights v Sungoliath

Beyond 80 | Episode 2

Rugby Europe Men's Championship | Georgia v Spain | Full Match Replay


Write A Comment