JWC- celebrating our tomorrows stars
Action a plenty was on display in Wales for the Junior World Championship 2008. Normally tries win matches & this year the winning team scored the most tries in 37 of the 40 matches or in 93% of the case. South Africa topped this record with a staggering 37 tries all up, eventual winners New Zealand bagged 33 as did Australia. NZ danced away with their wins with margins of 25, 35,39,55 and 60 respectively. This was backed up with only one try being conceded in the entire tournament thereby resulting in the best defensive record.
40 games were played and the abundance of talent spat out some amazing statistics for us to marvel in. The fewest number of tries scored in any game was 4, entertainment was high as on average 48 points were scored in each match. Of tries scored by the top 4 teams - New Zealand, England, South Africa and Wales - 72% were scored by backs.
Most tries were as expected from close range and in the attacking 22 meter line, there are of course frequent exceptions this rule and this is one of the reasons why the game of rugby has such an exciting appeal. An example of this concerns the Pacific Islands. Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, they collectively scored 24 of their 36 tries from over 40 meters out. This finishing prowess is always why they are crowd favourites.
This was in complete contrast to USA, Canada, Argentina and Italy who, between them, scored only 7 out of 28 tries from such a distance. Similarly, while Italy scored twice as many penalty goals as tries, Fiji on the other hand scored 5 times as many tries as penalty goals.
The Flying Fijian's tapped their penalties and free kicks on 25 occasions - New Zealand tapped just twice. Fiji scored 8 of their 13 tries from such taps. New Zealand, South Africa and Australia scored 102 tries but did not score a single try from a tap penalty or free kick
Only five teams scored more penalty goals than tries - USA, Tonga, Italy, Canada and Ireland. All 5 teams ended in the bottom half of the table. There were some noticeable contrasts.
NZ passed the ball 144 times on average per game, the next best was france with 114, Samoa was 5th with 105 and Australia 6th with 102. The data also shows that Australia had just 11 passing movements with more than 3 passes. This contrasts with New Zealand who had 40 and Ireland who had 29.
The average number per game was 49. The most open play kicks in a game was 110 - Ireland v Italy (normal time); the fewest 24 (Australia v Fiji). The most by a team was 58 - the least 10- It should be noted that the 110 kicks that were made in normal time in the Ireland v Italy game were greater than any figure recorded at any international level over recent years.
Numbers to remember for JWC trivia nights in the future.
5 the amount of drop goals in te competition
267 overall tries
155 tries converted
48 average points scored per game
66 the percentage of backs that scored the tries
19 mins 7 secs the amount of time France controlled the ball in every game, the best any team in the Comp.
1985 the amount of points scored in total
242 how many points NZ scored
48 yellow cards
2mins 07 secs time between every try south africa scored 4 red cards
72mins 10 secs time between every try scored against NZ
81 percent strike rate of the best kickers from Ireland