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England 20 Australia 13: Tale of the tape

05 November 2013

  • RFU.com looks at the stats from England Australia with the team analysts
  • Mike Brown took 10 of 12 carries over gain line with two clean breaks
England analysts Mike Hughes (L) and Duncan Locke

Photo: Getty Images

The score line is the only statistic that matters, evidenced by the fact that England captain Chris Robshaw was the man lifting the Cook Cup after the 20-13 defeat of Australia in the QBE Internationals opener at Twickenham Stadium. But more detailed analysis can also provide a view on the game so RFU.com called on the unique insight of the people analyse the game for the England coaches and provide in-game data, Michael Hughes and Duncan Locke, to see what other stories the match stats have to tell.

This is what that they had to say:

“As expected with a close game on the scoreboard, many overall features of the game were tight too. The territory was exactly 50/50 and although England had more possessions than Australia (62 to 54), the Wallabies edged the possession stats 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

England full back Mike Brown on the run against Australia

Photo: Getty Images

England forced Australia into conceding 12 penalties to England’s nine, which was crucial in relieving pressure and on another day would have seen England to build a score in the first half.

In terms of winning penalties, the scrum was a major plus. Operating at 86 per cent success rate (winning six of seven), England won penalties on five occasions and did not concede any from Australia’s nine put-ins. The lineout success rate was 77 per cent (winning 10 of 13), with Courtney Lawes and Tom Wood each taking three.

A crucial factor in winning the game were the outcomes in each side’s red zone, or 22. Chris Robshaw and Owen Farrell scored their first Test tries after a sustained spell of pressure in Australia’s 22; the first after a lineout deep in their territory on 50 minutes and the second after 14 phases on 59 minutes.

But by comparison, England defended four entries into their 22 and won turnovers on three occasions. Although the other resulted in a try and seven points conceded, that success rate ultimately won the match.

The defence was robust in general; no one in the starting pack missed a tackle and 15 of the 22 who took to the field were at 100 per cent success rate. Robshaw was the top tackler with 16, while Farrell and Tom Wood made 11.

England forwards Tom Wood (L) and Joe Launchbury make a tackle against Australia

Photo: Getty Images

In terms of attending breakdowns, Joe Launchbury hit the most with 30. Also, Wood hit 25, Dan Cole 23 and replacement loose head Joe Marler 12 in 26 minutes off the bench.

Mike Brown was the star man with ball in hand; he received a lot of possession with Australia kicking 54 per cent of their ball. He took 10 of his 12 carries over the gain-line, with two clean-breaks and two dominant collisions. No.8 Billy Vunipola also carried effectively on his first Test start, taking the ball up on nine occasions for a clean-break and two dominant collisions.”