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Tale of the tape: New Zealand 28 England 27

18 June 2014

  • Geoff Parling made 21 tackles and produced two turnovers in Dunedin
  • The ball was in play for 41 minutes, the second longest in three seasons
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster chats to England analyst Duncan Locke at Twickenham

Photo: Getty Images

The score line is the only statistic that matters, evidenced by the disappointment felt by England after the narrow 28-27 defeat to New Zealand in the second Test at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

But more detailed analysis can also provide a view on the gam e 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:

“As was reflected in the scoreline, it was a close game by many of the potential measures. The ball-in-play time was also high at 41 minutes six seconds, only behind the France game in the Six Nations (46 minutes) as second highest under Stuart Lancaster’s reign.

Tom Wood in action against New Zealand in Dunedin

Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand had 42 possessions in the game to England’s 50 and the hosts turned the ball over 22 times (42 per cent) and to England’s 19 (38 per cent). Both teams also scored three tries on the back of a number of line-breaks: New Zealand made 12 and England made nine. The hosts conceded nine penalties overall to England’s seven, while each side won five contact turnovers.

The difference was the All Blacks’ clinical finishing in an intense the third quarter, when they scored three tries in 22 minutes on the back of territorial advantage. By contrast, England had 29 of their 50 possessions in the first half, with 55 per cent of the possession in the game, but only led 10-6 at the break after not capitalising when they were on top. For example, New Zealand conceded a third of their total penalties in the first four minutes.

England’s pack racked up some impressive tackle stats, making 135 tackles as a unit. Geoff Parling led the way on a whopping 21 with three impact tackles, with Chris Robshaw on 19, Tom Wood on 17 and David Wilson on 14. Billy Twelvetrees led the way in the backs with 14, while Dylan Hartley made 10 in half an hour off the bench. Overall, England’s tackle completion rate was 90 per cent.

Parling, Wood and Robshaw also plundered two turnovers each, with scrum half Danny Care also sneaking two balls away from the All Blacks. In terms of hitting breakdowns, Robshaw led the way on 23, with Wood on 21 and Wilson on 19.

Manu Tuilagi on the run against New Zealand in Dunedin

Photo: Getty Images

Manu Tuilagi, making his first start on the wing, was England’s foremost carrier. He took six of this nine carries over the gainline for a clean-break, a half-break and three dominant collisions. Mike Brown also made nine carries, taking seven over the gainline for two clean-breaks.

The set-piece continued to operate with efficiency, especially the scrum. England won four from four put-ins for three playable possessions and a penalty (three points). Two All Blacks put-ins were also turned over at the scrum as they won eight of 10.

England’s lineout performed at 80 per cent, winning the ball from 12 of 15 throws. Parling and Wood each took three balls in the air.