In his weekly StatAttack, Tank points out that the Boks made 2 more kicks out of hand than the Aussies, but the home side were able to collect 21 of those 29 kicks – mostly via Israel Folau, who then punished the Boks.
The defensive stats of the two sides who played at Suncorp in Brisbane are identical, with both the Aussies and the Boks missing 13 of the 111 tackles they were asked to make.
The kicks from hand were similar, neither team got a massive upper hand in the primary phases, both the territory and possession were largely 50/50, and even the attacking stats – although edged by the home side – are of the same hue.
Having enjoyed a 14-3 lead after just 18 minutes via two breakaway tries, against a side massively low on confidence after successive hammerings against the All Blacks, this was a Test for the Boks to lose.
And lose they did, via a litany of errors and a kicking strategy that saw them kick directly at Israel Folau, perhaps the best aerial exponent in the game right now.
The Boks made 4 more handling errors than the Aussies, conceded 2 more penalties, and made a whopping 8 more knock ons than the home side. And while the Boks made 2 more kicks out of hand than the Aussies, the home side were able to collect a massive 21 of those 29 kicks – mostly via Folau, who was then able to launch counter attacks.
As such, a side that was quite literally on the ropes, awaiting the knockout blow, were drip-fed a little CPR on the field by a Bok side that just did not have the artillery to take control of the situation themselves and deliver the killer blow.
Instead, right before our very eyes, the confidence seeped back into the Wallaby game, with the visitors taking the spoils via more turnovers, carries, offloads, metres run and passes made.
Points: AUS 23-17 SA
Tries: AUS 2-2 SA
Penalty tries: AUS 0-0 SA
Penalty goals: AUS 3-1 SA
Conversions: AUS 2-2 SA
Drop goals: AUS 0-0 SA
Missed penalty goals: AUS 0-1 SA
Missed conversions: AUS 0-0 SA
Possession: AUS 51% – 49% SA
Territory: AUS 53% – 47% SA
Yellow cards: AUS 0-1 SA
Red cards: AUS 0-0 SA