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Thursday, October 8, 2015

U.S. vs. South Africa Match Stats


Warning, this is not going to be pretty. As you would expect after their heavy defeat to South Africa the match stats don't paint a glowing picture for the Eagles. It begins with territory and possession. Despite the U.S. having a solid run of possession early in the match (at one point possession was 79% in favor of the U.S.) the Springboks dominated the possession 54% to 46%. Territory was even more lopsided toward South Africa with 61% to 39%. That stat really underlies how much the U.S. were under pressure from South Africa all match.

In terms of attacking South Africa made 561 meters to only 299 for the Eagles. Clean breaks were 13 to 3 in favor of South Africa and offloads were similar at 7 to 2. The Springboks carried the ball over the mainline 59 times to only 38 for the Eagles and scored one try from a kick. Only Blaine Scully cracked the top five in meters made and that was barely coming in fifth. Both Samu Manoa and Ollie Kilifi show up in the top five for carries across the gainline. That shouldn't be a surprise as Manoa was once again a beast.

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Defensively tackles were relatively even with the U.S. making 134 to 137 for South Africa. However, the stat that really tells the story is the U.S. missing 30 tackles to only 10 for South Africa. The Springboks also won 10 turnovers, including some crucial ones that led to tries, while the U.S. won two. The U.S. also lost 6 turnovers in their own half.

Having to defend for most of the match it should come as little surprise that Chris Baumann was second in the match with 16 tackles and John Quill fifth with 13. Unfortunately four Eagles made up the top four spots on missed tackles with Niku Kruger's five leading the way.

On set pieces South Africa won 9 scrums to 6 for the U.S. although the U.S. were under pressure all match and gave up a penalty try. South Africa did lose a scrum while the U.S. did not, which is a positive. Both teams were perfect in the line out.

Kicking-wise South Africa had the better match kicking 34 times from hand and making 488 meters as a result. The U.S. kicked 28 times for 362 meters.

The penalty count was heavily against the Eagles conceding 17 to 11 for South Africa. 12 of those were in their own half while South Africa gave up 8 in their own half. Four of the penalties for the U.S. came in the scrum while only 1 for South Africa. The Springboks did give up 2 free kicks while the U.S. didn't give up any. 

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