14 All Blacks vs Wales facts ahead of bronze battle

2019-10-29T15:10:53+02:00October 29th, 2019|

Opta Sports’ facts for the World Cup third-place playoff between the All Blacks and Wales on Friday (11:00 SA time).

– The All Blacks have won 31 of their 34 Tests against Wales (lost three); their three defeats coming in the first four clashes between the sides, the most recent of which was in 1953.

– The All Blacks have won their last 30 matches against Wales, the longest winning run any side has ever held over a tier-one nation in Test history.

– New Zealand and Wales have faced each other three times previously at the World Cup (1987, 1995, 2003), the All Blacks coming out on top in each fixture and outscoring Wales 136-52 in the process.

– Wales have played in the third-place playoff on two previous occasions at the World Cup, beating Australia in 1987 but losing to them in 2011. New Zealand have participated at this stage on three occasions, they won against Scotland in 1991 and France in 2003 but lost to the Springboks in 1999.

– New Zealand’s record 18-game winning run in the World Cup came to an end against England in their semi-final, their third-place playoff defeat to the Boks in 1999 remains the only time they’ve lost consecutive matches in the tournament.

– The All Blacks have scored at least one try in each of their last 31 World Cup matches, a record in the tournament; the last time they failed to cross the tryline was in the 1999 third-place playoff, however. New Zealand’s 57th-minute try against England in the semi-final was the longest they’ve ever taken before registering a single point in a match at the tournament.

– Wales averaged just 1.6m per carry in their semi-final against the Boks, the lowest average gain ever by any side in a World Cup match (182m from 114 carries).

– Wales have slotted 87% (27/31) of their kicks at goal at this year’s World Cup, despite those kicks having an expected success rate of just 67%; their 20 percentage points difference is the best of any side to attempt three-plus place kicks at the tournament.

– The All Blacks have averaged the most metres (641), breaks (20), defenders beaten (38) and offloads (16) of any side at this year’s World Cup, scoring the most points (42) and tries (six) per game in the process.

– New Zealand boast a 100% scrum success rate at this year’s World Cup, winning 34/34 scrums on their own feed; in fact, the last time they lost a scrum on their own ball was in June 2018 (vs France), winning 133/133 since then.

– Winger Josh Adams is now the outright top try-scorer at the 2019 World Cup, his haul of six tries is the joint-most a player has managed for Wales in an edition of the tournament (Shane Williams six in 2007).

– Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones has made the most tackles (70) of any player at this year’s World Cup, while no player has made more carries than New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett (74, level with Ireland’s CJ Stander).

– Alun Wyn Jones is set to win his 143rd Test cap (including Lions), moving past Sergio Parisse to become the outright second-most capped player in Test history behind Richie McCaw (148).

– All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read is set to win his 127th Test cap, taking him into the top 10 most capped players in Test history, level with Victor Matfield (joint 10th most).

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