DYLAN JACK looks at where the World Cup clash between the All Blacks and Springboks in Yokohama on Saturday was won and lost.
While the All Blacks had less possession (47%) through the entire match than the Boks, they made the most out of what they had, managing more runs, gainline carries and passes.
While there were doubts about playing him at fullback, Beauden Barrett had an effective Test in the No 15 jersey, running 49m and beating seven defenders. Anton Lienert-Brown and Sevu Reece also shone on attack for the New Zealanders.
The Springboks’ most effective players in this regard were Cheslin Kolbe and Damian de Allende. Kolbe remained a threat throughout the game and ended with the most running metres (124), clean breaks (3) and defenders beaten (11).
The All Blacks’ defence was incredibly effective and hardly allowed any opportunities for the Springbok back three to attack. The All Blacks made a total of 126 tackles, missing only 28 for an 82% success rate and won eight turnovers in their own half.
Ardie Savea put in a potential Man of the Match performance in this area, making eight tackles and winning four turnovers, two of them in his own half.
The Springbok defence was far less effective, and unlike in the Rugby Championship clash in Wellington, could not be saved by an effective scramble. The Boks only managed a 72% success rate, missing a total of 35 tackles, while they only managed to make three turnovers in their own half.
Unlike the Springboks, the All Blacks used the boot as an attacking weapon in Yokohama, most notably when Barrett found Reece with a beautifully weighted cross-field chip over the top in the build-up to George Bridge’s try.
The All Blacks made a total of 35 kicks in the game (nine more than the Boks) but most importantly regathered the ball more often than the Springboks, 19 times to be precise.
While Bok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk made the most kicks from hand of any player in the match (13), they were often erratic and either under or overcooked, making it tough for Kolbe and Mapimpi to chase.
As has been widely spoken about after the Test, the Springboks found themselves on the wrong end of referee Jerome Garces’ whistle.
The Springboks conceded a total of nine penalties and were most notably dominated at the scrum, making it difficult to lay a platform for the attack.
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