Dingo Deans’ Wallaby Stats (Pt 2)
In part 1 of this series we discussed the statistics of Robbie Deans win ratios. There were many great discussions that arose from this. Thank you Roarers.
If you missed this stats analysis let me reiterate briefly in one paragraph:
Deans’ overall win ratio is fine, some might say par for the course.
He has done well against the Springboks and it has also been great to see a better win ratio than normal against France and the Home Unions combined. But his win ratio against New Zealand needs to improve.
Leaving that aside, I’d like to move on and focus on the Dean’s Wallabies overall try scoring rate.
After all try scoring is the most important act of scoring points.
The IRB 2011 RWC Statistical Review and Match Analysis show that most games are indeed won by the side that scores the most tries (only 4% of all World Cup matches ever played have been won by the side that scored the fewer tries).
I have read much criticism that Deans’ Wallabies don’t score as many tries as in the past. At the moment the Wallabies try scoring average in all tests under Deans stands at 2.8 per game. But is that good or bad?
This is higher than the overall Wallaby Test-match average of 2.6 tries per test. It is also much higher than the Wallabies amateur era average of 2.2 tries per match.
In fact the current Deans average of 2.8 tries per match is indeed higher than the supposed golden period of Mark Ella (1980-1984). During this time the Wallabies scored a surprisingly low overall average of 2.3 tries per match, much less than what we are scoring today.
Now it must be said that 2.8 tries per match is under the Wallaby professional era average of 3.2 tries per match.
However, it’s hard to be harsh on Deans for this dip at try scoring when all top tier nations are now scoring tries at rates much lower than their respective complete professional era averages.
If we look at a combined average try scoring rate of the Six Nation and Tri-Nation sides since the beginning of the professional era it stands at 2.9 per side per match (interestingly it was only 1.9 in the amateur era). But since 2007 this combined average is .7 less at 2.2 tries per side per match. So Deans’ average try scoring rate is relatively high.
It is also important to note that Australia’s try scoring rate has reduced by a smaller margin than any of the Six Nation or Tri-Nation sides, during the Deans era. This includes the mighty All Blacks.
Comparing professional era averages New Zealand for instance had scored .7 less tries per match since 2007. South Africa has also seen their try scoring rate reduce by .7 tries per match in this Deans period.
England’s has reduced by an alarming 1.1, Scotland’s by 1.0, France’s and Italy’s by .8, Wales’ by .6 and Ireland’s by .5. This means less tries per match since 2007.
The thing is with try scoring rates they ebb and flow in relation to new laws, new tactics etc. If we look to World Cups as beacons of statistics we see massive swings in try scoring rates for example.
At the 1987 RWC there were on average 7 tries per match (not per side). At the 1991 RWC this reduced to just 4.6 tries per match the lowest of all world cups. Rates then sharply rose back up to 5.8 and 5.9 tries per match respectively at the next two world cups before sharply rising once again at the 2003 RWC to 6.9 tries per match.
At the 2007 RWC this rate dropped back down to 6.2 tries per match and again dropped at the 2011 RWC to 5.5 tries per match.
It is clear that over the past four or five years professional defences have caught up with professional attack. So Deans’ Wallabies have done well to maintain its own very close to 3 tries a match average of 2.8.
In fact if we look at the try scoring averages of all the 6 Nations and Tri-nations sides in the corresponding Deans era, Australia’s is second in try scoring behind only New Zealand.
Since 2007, the All Blacks have scored, on average, an envious 3.7 tries per match (it’s still a lot less than the 4.4 tries they’ve been scoring on average in the professional era).
In third place, behind Australia’s 2.8 average, is South Africa with 2.6 tries per match. This last point is significant because the ‘Boks’ have normally had a 0.1 higher try-scoring rate than Australia in both the amateur and the professional eras. So we have in comparison improved.
If we can continue looking at the try scoring averages Ireland and Wales follow with 2.2, France with 2.1, England with 1.9, Italy with 1.2 and Scotland with 1.0 average tries per match since 2007.
In the Dean’s period the Wallaby try-scoring rate is indeed not as good as New Zealand’s but we have in a way closed the gap slightly. Alas there’s still a long way to go.
About 0.9 tries per match as it were in the Deans era. In the entire professional era we lag behind by 1.2 tries per match to the All Black’s.
All the relevant data points to one conclusion; Deans overall rate of try scoring is actually quite good despite what critics might think and say.
What do you think?
There will be a part 3 to come on Dingo Deans’ Wallaby Stats.
In the mean time, Roarers: “Statistics may be defined as “a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty.” – W.A. Wallis.