The Breakdown: A statistical look at the third round of Rugby Championship matches

By Sports Desk August 09, 2019

New Zealand will be expected to continue their dominance of Australia and Argentina are eyeing back-to-back wins over South Africa in the final round of the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks' hopes of pulling off a clean sweep in the tournament were ended when they were last month held to a 16-16 draw by South Africa, who are a win away from clinching the title.

New Zealand have won 10 of their last 11 Tests against the Wallabies heading into the Bledisloe Cup showdown in Perth on Saturday.

Argentina entertain the Springboks in Salta on the same day after losing 16-10 against Michael Cheika's men in round two.

Take a look at the pick of the Opta stats ahead of round three.

 

Australia v New Zealand 

- New Zealand have won their last six Rugby Championship games against Australia on the bounce, despite having trailed at half-time in two of the last three encounters.

- This will be the first rugby Test played at Optus Stadium. The Wallabies are undefeated in their last six games played in Western Australia.

- New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 Tests away from home. The only loss in that span came against Ireland in Dublin last November.

- Cheika's side Australia are chasing back-to-back wins in the competition for the first time since 2016, when they defeated South Africa 23-17 and Argentina 36-20.

- World champions New Zealand have failed to score more than two tries in four of their last five Test matches, this after a run of 12 consecutive matches in which they scored four or more times.

- Australia have the best line-out success rate (89 per cent) of any team in this year's Rugby Championship 2019, nine percentage points higher than the All Blacks, who have the lowest rate.

 

Argentina v South Africa

- The Pumas will be on the hunt for consecutive wins against South Africa for the first time after a 32-19 win in their last encounter.

- Two of the previous three games between Argentina and South Africa at Estadio Ernesto Maltearena have been decided by a margin of just two points.

- South Africa's past seven Tests on the road have all been decided by a single-figure margin; the Springboks' results have been evenly split during that run, winning three, losing three and drawing once.

- Argentina have conceded 14 penalties in the tournament, the fewest of any team.

- South Africa have scored the most tries in this year's Rugby Championship, their tally of six being twice as many as any other side.

- Herschel Jantjies is the only player to have scored multiple tries (three) in the opening two rounds, the scrum-half has made just seven carries.

Related items

  • Toner replaces Henderson for Twickenham clash Toner replaces Henderson for Twickenham clash

    Devin Toner has been promoted to the Ireland team to play England in the Six Nations on Sunday after Iain Henderson was ruled out.

    Coach Andy Farrell had initially named an unchanged team for the crunch Twickenham clash, with Ireland joint-top alongside France after winning their beating Scotland and defending champions Wales.

    However, the continuity has been disrupted, as family reasons mean Henderson will be unavailable.

    Towering lock Toner, who was surprisingly left out of Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad under previous boss Joe Schmidt, comes into the side for his 70th cap.

    The change sees Ultan Dillane take Toner's spot among the replacements.

  • Under-pressure England must beat Ireland – Moody Under-pressure England must beat Ireland – Moody

    England are under huge pressure heading into what Lewis Moody has described as a "must-win game" against Ireland in the Six Nations.

    Eddie Jones' side were lacklustre in a shock loss to France before getting their campaign up and running by beating Scotland in torrid conditions at Murrayfield.

    The Rugby World Cup runners-up welcome Andy Farrell's Ireland to Twickenham on Sunday and former England flanker Moody believes the onus is on the hosts to get a result.

    Speaking to Omnisport ahead of the England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, Moody said: "Without a shadow of a doubt we all expected England to drive on after the World Cup. They faltered in the first game, the Scotland game allowed us to see they can knuckle out a victory in diabolical conditions. 

    "All being the well the weather conditions will be favourable this weekend and we can really see where England are at.

    "Ireland will come with confidence from the first two matches, they have the energy and enthusiasm of having a new coaching staff.

    "For England it's a must-win game, because otherwise all of a sudden you're going into your fourth game having lost two, only just won one and staring down the barrel of a seriously disappointing Six Nations, which they started with big expectations.

    "Without a shadow of a doubt there is a lot of pressure on this England side and coaching staff, which there always is, but we need to see them crack on and Eddie take them forward."

    Moody, who made 71 appearances for his country and was part of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, feels England – who won in Dublin last year – are slight underdogs for this weekend's match against an Ireland side who received a visit from U2 frontman Bono this week.

    "I have to admit I'm not overly confident, I even think Ireland will come in as slight favourites," he said.

    "England have not really fired so far in the Six Nations, they had that really disappointing start in France, they got what they needed in Murrayfield – which is a very difficult place to go and win.

    "To knock out a win in those unbelievably horrific weather conditions was impressive, but this is the true test, this is the game that matters. They [Ireland] have a very well-organised side, with a new coach who seems to be instilling some real belief and I'm sure they've got a slight degree of vengeance from last year's upset at home to inspire them."

    While England still have not found what they are looking for in this year's Six Nations, Ireland's desire to win may have been boosted by the presence of Irish singer-songwriter Bono at the team hotel.

    Moody does not know exactly how the away side will benefit from that experience, but he suggested some song lyrics might provide some inspiration. 

    He said: "I'm not sure what motivation that will provide, but it'll be interesting for sure. Perhaps there may be a few of his lyrics quoted beforehand, but I'm not so sure what impact that might have."

    - The England v Ireland Rugby Legends Charity Match will take place at Twickenham Stoop on February 22, kick-off 17.30 and will be raising money for Restart Rugby, RFU Injured Players Fund and the Tom Smith Testimonial Committee. Visit http://tickets.quins.co.uk for tickets and more information.

  • Tuilagi back as Joseph starts on wing for England against Ireland Tuilagi back as Joseph starts on wing for England against Ireland

    Manu Tuilagi returns to England's team for the Six Nations clash with Ireland on Sunday and Jonathan Joseph will line up on the left wing at Twickenham.

    Head coach Eddie Jones moves Elliot Daly from out wide to full-back, where he replaces the injured George Furbank, while scrum-half Ben Youngs is recalled at the expense of Willi Heinz for what will be his 100th Test appearance - including two caps for the British and Irish Lions.

    Lewis Ludlam drops out as Courtney Lawes returns in the back row, and with Mako Vunipola absent for family reasons, Joe Marler comes in at prop as Ellis Genge has to settle for a place on the bench once again.

    Tuilagi's return after missing the victory over Scotland with a groin injury beefs up England's midfield, but the selection of Joseph on the wing catches the eye, given he is a centre by trade and Jones had more orthodox options.

    Joseph will win a 50th England cap, while centre Henry Slade is on the bench, having not yet played this year due to an ankle problem.

    England began their campaign with a defeat to France in Paris before getting the better of Scotland at Murrayfield.

    They play a first home match of the tournament against an Ireland side who have beaten Scotland and Wales already, so will be seeking to stay in contention for a Grand Slam.

    Jones said: "Ireland are a very good team, extremely well coached. They are a team we respect a lot. They will bring their usual physicality and under Andy Farrell they've opened up their game a little bit.

    "They are a tactically smart team. [Conor] Murray and [Johnny] Sexton, who have played 170 Tests between them, at nine and 10 will manage the game well. We've got to make sure we match their physicality and their emotion on the weekend."

    England: Elliot Daly, Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonathan Joseph, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry.

    Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.