O’Connell’s big 17 tackles and more vital statistics from Ireland’s win over the Springboks
O’Connell’s big 17 tackles and more vital statistics from Ireland’s win over the Springboks

O’Connell’s big 17 tackles and more vital statistics from Ireland’s win over the Springboks

IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt had already taken note of some stand-out stats from the tremendous win over South Africa by the time he reached the press room in the Aviva Stadium.

The big number that stood out for him was the tackle count of his loosehead prop, but Jack McGrath wasn’t the only man to post interesting figures.

Here are some more that caught our eye (via ESPN).

O’Connell and McGrath lead the defensive fight

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Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

As Schmidt points out, it’s tough going for a big man from the tight five to keep getting up to make more tackles. Both prop and second row made 17 tackles, with the captain maintaining a 100% strike rate.

Ireland made 143 tackles

There’ll be plenty of ice around this morning as Ireland had to make do with 43% possession and 38% territory. South Africa made 79 tackles.

Little passing to be seen outside of the half-backs

Numbers nine and 10 will always dominate passing stats, but Ireland’s other 13 players will hope to show better distribution over the next two games.

Source: Colm O’Neill/INPHO

While Murray passed 56 times and Sexton 14, Ireland’s next highest was Peter O’Mahony with three. Robbie Henshaw passed the ball twice, the same number as Devin Toner, Jamie Heaslip and Tommy Bowe.

Ireland did not complete a single offload to the Springboks’ seven.

Rob Kearney made the most carries and metres

The fullback earned a total of 64 metres off 10 carries.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Rhys Ruddock made eight carries for 12 metres while Robbie Henshaw made six carries for four hard yards (metres, but you get the idea).

The Payne Game

Debutant Jared Payne put in a solid performance on his first cap, but he did not have much opportunity to make it spectacular.

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Despite Schmidt highlighting his kicking game as a skill which would earn him a starting slot, Payne was the only back not to kick the ball away in a gameplan that clearly demanded it  (Sexton kicked 11 times in 27 possessions). He was also the only starting back not to pass the ball.

But enough about what he didn’t do. Payne made six carries for 25 metres and put in six tackles.


Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Schmidt’s side were incredibly disciplined during the Six Nations. So last night’s 10 penalties was a rare foray into double figures. That tally was one better than the visitors’ 11, but crucially Ireland took their chances when awarded penalties in kickable area.

Match Statistics via ESPN

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