The statistics that prove Australian rugby is not dead!

I get it, it’s the end of rugby in Australia as the Wallabies managed to suffer a wet-weather thrashing to *checks notes* the All Blacks!? Yes, I know this was a team we used to compete against, but can we all please take a deep breath and remember that in the world of international rugby, […]

The statistics that prove Australian rugby is not dead!

I get it, it’s the end of rugby in Australia as the Wallabies managed to suffer a wet-weather thrashing to *checks notes* the All Blacks!?

Yes, I know this was a team we used to compete against, but can we all please take a deep breath and remember that in the world of international rugby, losing to the All Blacks isn’t actually unusual.

At the very least, rugby fans in other countries wouldn’t be declaring the death of their sport if they lost to an Kiwi side playing like they did on Saturday.

The problem we have is we lose to the All Blacks a lot.

The media has a simple standard to declare if Australian rugby is alive again: winning back the Bledisloe. And I get it, surely we can just beat that team we used to beat like old times?

But if every other nation had a Bledisloe Cup with New Zealand, requiring at least two victories in a single year, how many would actually get close to getting their hands on the trophy?

Since 2010, no team has beaten the All Blacks more than the Wallabies. Let that sink in.

Now, there is the awkward accompanying fact is that no team has been beaten by the All Blacks as much, but let’s dig a bit deeper into the stats.

From 2010 to the end of 2019, Australia played the All Blacks 30 times. We won five of those games and lost 23, with two draws. But keep in mind, 13 of those losses came in New Zealand, where they are incredibly hard to beat. In fact, the Kiwis only lost five games at home over these ten years and two of those were to the Wallabies.

Overall, our average match score for that period is 31-19, an equal deficit to South Africa’s average of 29-17, and better than every other nation except England, who average 23-20. However it is relevant to note that of England’s nine games, only three were played in New Zealand.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It is also worth a mention that the graveyard of Eden Park, where New Zealand have only lost ten times since 1921 and are undefeated since 1994, is usually where the Wallabies are forced to try their luck. Over the last decade, the Wallabies played at Eden Park more than any other team (eight times). South Africa only had to enter the cauldron twice!

The fact is we should aim to beat the All Blacks every game and we should be disappointed if we don’t, but let’s not lose our understanding of where we are in the game because we don’t get to play regularly against Six Nations teams on our home turf.

During that decade, when our ranking fell to its lowest point, the Wallabies only lost seven home games to Six Nations teams, with ten victories, a win rate of just under 59 per cent.

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There are few teams across any sport with the consistent ability to win like the rugby-obsessed nation of New Zealand.

We are blooding a young team, with most in their first year of professional rugby. Writing off our sport because they failed to win back the Bledisloe on their first go is ludicrous.

Please, let’s keep perspective. Australia has been doing OK and a lot of us have a good feeling that things are about to get a lot better.

Source : The Roar More   

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Inspecting the last 50 matches since the Wallabies held the Bledisloe

It’s been an almighty age since the Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup. Embarrassingly long. Against one other team (albeit, a very good one), the task is to win more games than you lose. A task that eludes the Wallabies. More often than not, it’s not even really that close. After the weekend’s performance – a […]

Inspecting the last 50 matches since the Wallabies held the Bledisloe

It’s been an almighty age since the Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup. Embarrassingly long.

Against one other team (albeit, a very good one), the task is to win more games than you lose. A task that eludes the Wallabies. More often than not, it’s not even really that close.

After the weekend’s performance – a record loss of 38 points – I thought what better way to dwell on the loss than by unpacking the statistics of the 50 Bledisloe Cup matches that have transpired since Australia last had the honour.

These numbers may stoke the flame of the emotions rendered from that match and either make you even more disappointed in an abject Wallabies loss or make you revere the All Blacks in a slightly higher manner, knowing full well that it isn’t just this current young crop that is struggling to match it with rugby’s premier team.

Starting with the basics, from those 50 matches played, the All Blacks have won 39, the Wallabies have won eight, with three matches drawn.

You read that right – eight wins from the last 50 attempts dating back to 2003.

In that time, the Kiwis have amassed 1478 points for an average of 29.56 per match. The Aussies have a much more humble 889 points across this time – that’s 589 fewer points, which is worth slightly more than 84 converted tries. This averages out to 17.78 points per match.

New Zealand just banked their biggest winning margin against us, 38 points, but last year Australia managed their biggest win against New Zealand with a margin of 21 points. This exact margin had been recorded by Australia in the early 2000s, but most impressively, 21 remains the most points by which a team has been able to beat the All Blacks.

However, the All Blacks have beaten the Wallabies by 21 points or more in 13 of their 39 wins. That’s once in every three times.

Furthermore, only two of the Wallabies’ eight wins have been by more than ten points, while 26 of the All Blacks’ wins have been by ten or more. Two in every three matches they win fairly comfortably.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Factoring in how hard it is to beat the Kiwis for any team, I set out to see how often we were competitive but didn’t quite get there.

Looking at the results, only ten of the 39 results saw the Aussies lose by seven points or fewer, which isn’t terrible given how easily the All Blacks can stack on points, but it definitely isn’t worth celebrating.

Further exaggerating that issue is that the most recent bonus-point loss occurred in 2014 and the one before that in 2010. In recent memory, when we’ve been losing, we’ve been losing convincingly.

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This gets exacerbated when it isn’t just the All Blacks’ attack that is so dominant, but their ability to defend as well.

The lowest score that the Wallabies have held them to in this period is 12 points, yet that didn’t even result in a win. Australia have been kept to 12 or less on 16 different occasions, including two matches where they failed to register a point.

Plenty of doom and gloom if you’re an Australian rugby fan, but this too shall pass.

It won’t be this year, it may not be next year, but there’s something simmering away nicely in the cauldron that is dying to be unleashed.

Source : The Roar More   

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