Get all the important numbers that matter provided by Opta for the Rugby Championship opener between the Springboks and All Blacks in Mbombela on Saturday.
– New Zealand have won nine of their past 12 men’s Tests against South Africa (D1, L2); the All Blacks have won each of their past four matches on South African soil, however, their last two such victories have come by margins of just two points or fewer.
– South Africa have won six of their past seven men’s Tests on home soil (L1), conceding 20-plus points in a match just once during that period; three of their past five wins at home have come after leading at half time on the day.
– South Africa have won five of their past seven men’s Tests (L2) after losing three in a row previously; however, the Springboks have scored four-plus tries in a game just once during that period and led their opposition at half-time on just one occasion.
– New Zealand have won just one of their plast five men’s Tests (L4) and suffered defeat in each of their last two; the All Blacks have not lost three Tests in a row since a run of five straight defeats between July and August 1998, a sequence which included two defeats by South Africa.
– The All Blacks have lost each of their past two Tests played outside New Zealand after winning eight of their previous nine (L1); they have not lost three away matches in a row since a run of three straight defeats between July and August 1998, a run which included a defeat by South Africa (24-23).
– No tier-one nation averaged a greater share of possession during this year’s July Test matches than South Africa (57%), while the Springboks also ranked third for percentage of time spent in opposition territory (54.5%).
– South Africa made the fewest knock-ons of any tier-one nation during this year’s July Test matches (4), while no tier-one side made more knock-ons than New Zealand (13).
– New Zealand and South Africa ranked joint first for line breaks amongst tier-one nations during this year’s July Test matches (12); with the two sides also ranking second (1,277m) and fifth (1,158m) respectively for carry metres gained.
– South Africa’s Damian Willemse ranked in the top five for both metres gained (190m – 3rd) and line breaks (3, =4th) among players from tier-one nations during this year’s July Test matches, while Springbok teammate Lood de Jager ranked second for own lineout takes (15).
– New Zealand’s Ardie Savea was the only player to score three tries against tier-one nations during this year’s July men’s Tests, while teammate Sam Cane made more tackles than any other Rugby Championship player during this period (41) and the third most of any tier-one player overall.
Photo: EPA/DAVE HUNT