The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 15:29:53
Having disposed before of the Steyn kicks way more than other 10s myth.....it's time to look at the inside centre crash ball myth. The theory being posited is that Jean is just a crash ball centre and kills our backline play. If that were true you would expect 13 to get the ball much less than 12.....on a percentage basis of course.
Well against Ireland the possession stats were 13/12 for Ireland....inside/outside. For the Boks it was 11/10.
Against Scotland the numbers were 9/8 versus 6/4 for the Boks. A slightly higher percentage than the Boks, but all explainable by a single move.
What is far more noted is our centres got the ball half as much as the Scots. Is this Lambie's fault....has the Machiavellian Meyer just changed names and kept faith with the boot?
Well it's true the combination of Lambie/Pienaar kicked almost twice as much as the Scots 17 to 9. We did rely more on the boot.
But incredibly their loose forwards ran 36 times to our 18..... a stat that was totally counter intuitive. I thought initially the lower centre possession numbers would be offset by more forays by our loosies. That directed me to the possession stats as a whole and there we find another amazing number Scotland had 63% of the possession.
Statistically the Scots should have won this game, except for one damning number....the metres per carry. The Scots ran 116 times to our 60....but gained almost exactly the same yardage. At 3.67 per carry our "crash balling, unimaginative, robots" out gained the Scots at 1.92 per carry....almost two to one.
It turns out superior running effectiveness saved a test we should have lost....how's that for a surprise.