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Monday, September 28, 2015

U.S. vs. Scotland: Match Stats

Overall, the U.S. and Scotland played to a relatively even statistical match last Saturday. That obviously wasn't reflected in the eventual scoreline and several stats tell us why. First is the amount of territory. Scotland were immensely better in that category having 54% to the Eagles 46%. They also had much more time in the Eagles 22. In the second half the territory battle and possession battle was even more pronounced with Scotland having 60% of the territory in the second half to only 34% for the Eagles. The first half was reverse with the Eagles having 66% to only 40% for Scotland.

The other major stats that stand out include 22 missed tackles for the Eagles to only 11 for Scotland. When the Scots went on their blitz in the second half they were aided by the fact that the U.S. simply couldn't pin anyone down. The U.S. tackle completion percentage was only 79% to Scotland's 90%.  The U.S. won 88 or 89 rucks (99%) while Scotland won 76 of 80 (95%). Scotland won all nine of their mauls (to strong effect) while the U.S. won 3 of 4.

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Another major key stat was the lineout where the U.S. only kept 6 of their 11 (55%) while Scotland kept 14 of 15 (93%). Poor throws from Phil Thiel didn't help but the lineout has been off for awhile, pretty much since Scott LaValla went down with injury. One positive from the Eagles in terms of set pieces was that they were four for four on their own scrums while Scotland were only 7 or 9. In the penalty count the U.S. conceded 12 penalties to 9 for Scotland.

The U.S. did have an edge in kicking at goal in terms of percentage with AJ MacGinty hitting every single one of his kicks. Scotland only hit at a 67% rate. In a close match that would have definitely been the advantage of the Eagles.

Overall Scotland gained 344 meters to 351 for the Eagles. The U.S. connected on 124 passes to Scotland's 113 while kicking from hand 32 times, three more than Scotland. Scotland doubled the U.S. line breaks with 8 to 4 with the same numbers also in offloads.

In the end the stats only tell part of the story but do key in on several factors that helped cost the Eagles the match. 

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