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Tale of the tape: New Zealand 20 England 15

10 June 2014

  • England set-piece delivers excellent return
  • James Haskell tops tackle count
Chris Robshaw

Photo: Getty Images

The score line is the only statistic that matters, evidenced by the disappointment felt by England after the last-minute 20-15 defeat to New Zealand in the first Test at Eden Park, Auckland.

But more detailed analysis can also provide a view on the game so called on the unique insight of the people analyse the match 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 they had to say:

"There were lots of positives to take out of the performance, not least the fact that England were minutes away from becoming the first team to prevent New Zealand winning at Eden Park in 32 matches.

The side only had six starters from the away win in Italy that rounded off the Six Nations campaign but the pack set a solid platform to work from, hitting a 100 per cent success rate at scrum and lineout.

Joe Launchbury

Photo: Getty Images

The front row of Joe Marler, Rob Webber and David Wilson delivered six from six put-ins for two penalties (three points) and four playable possessions. The new lineout combination of Webber and Geoff Parling provided the ball every time from 13 throws, with the Lions lock taking seven throws and stealing one from the All Blacks.

The hosts won 11 of 12 scrums and eight of nine lineouts. The pack matched New Zealand for long periods but will want to step up their intensity and decision-making at the breakdown after the team conceded five turnovers on the deck and only took one from them.

Overall the penalty count was largely even – England gave up eight to New Zealand’s seven – with overall turnovers lost at 15 for England (32 per cent of possession) and 13 for New Zealand (25 per cent of possession). That ultimately made the difference in a tight game.

James Haskell was impressive in defence, making the most tackles (13) and producing the most turnovers (four). Elsewhere in the forwards Ben Morgan made 12, locks Parling and Joe Launchbury 11 each and Joe Marler 10. In the backs, two-Test centre Kyle Eastmond made nine and fly half Freddie Burns made eight – nearly half them on Ma’a Nonu.

Mike Brown carries

Photo: Getty Images

Overall, the tackle completion rate was 94 per cent, with nine of the starting 15 not missing a single one. In terms of the contact area, captain Chris Robshaw hit the most rucks on 25, followed by Parling on 24 and Morgan on 23.

England made 10 line-breaks to New Zealand’s six over the course of the 80 minutes. Centre Manu Tuilagi was the top carrier, taking 10 of his 13 carries over the gainline to make a clean-break, two half-breaks and achieve five dominant collisions.

Mike Brown made 10 carries (eight over the gainline) with Quins teammate Robshaw also making 10 for one clean-break and one half-break."