JWC 2011 Final ... statistically speaking

(IRB.COM) Saturday 25 June 2011
 
 JWC 2011 Final ... statistically speaking
Who will lift the trophy, England's Alex Gray or Luke Whitelock of New Zealand? - Getty Images

We take a closer look at England and New Zealand, the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 finalists and see how they stack up statistically.

It will be the third time in four years that the two sides have met in the title decider of the Under 20 tournament, New Zealand running out emphatic 38-3 winners in 2008 in Wales and again 44-28 in Japan the following year.

JWC RECORD

The Baby Blacks have won all 19 of their matches on the JWC stage and as such are the only side to lift the distinctive trophy.

The last defeat suffered by New Zealand at age grade level was in the semi finals of the IRB Under 21 World Championship 2006 in France. South Africa, with current Springbok Pierre Spies among their try scorers, ran out 40-23 winners.

Since then, New Zealand have won 25 consecutive matches in IRB age grade tournaments - the Under 21 third place play-off in 2006, five matches at the Under 19 World Championship in 2007 and 19 in the Junior World Championships.

England have lost four of their matches in JWC history, twice to New Zealand in the finals of 2008 and 2009, to Australia in the 2010 semi finals and then South Africa in the third place play-off in Argentina.

England's current - and longest - unbeaten run on the Junior World Championship stage is four, although they have won all nine of their matches under coach Rob Hunter in 2011, five of them in claiming the Six Nations Grand Slam.

JWC GRADUATES

Three players to have played in a Junior World Championship have gone on to become All Blacks - all-time top try scorer Zac Guildford (2008/2009), Aaron Cruden (2009 captain) and Sam Whitelock (2008).

England have seen the same number of players progress to the national team in Ben Youngs (2008/2009), Courtney Lawes (2008/2009) and Alex Corbisiero (2008).

POINTS TALLY

New Zealand need only 40 points to reach 1,000 in JWC history. By contrast England only broke through the 600-point marker in the semi final win over France.

The defending champions are the leading point scorers of JWC 2011 with 241, only 21 points shy of their record for single tournament of 262, set last year in Argentina.

England have scored 131 points in their four matches en route to the final, the fourth highest tally behind New Zealand, South Africa (152) and Australia (136).

England have conceded nearly three times as many points as the Baby Blacks with 81.

New Zealand have conceded only 29 points, one more than their best record from the inaugural Junior World Championship in Wales in 2008.

The most points scored in a single match are 92 for New Zealand earlier in this Championship against Wales and 60 for England, against Canada in the pool stages of JWC 2008 in Wales.

The most points conceded in a single match by England is the 44 scored by New Zealand in the 2009 final in Japan, while for New Zealand theirs is the 28 scored by England in that same final.

TRIES SCORED

The Baby Blacks have crossed the try-line 133 times in their 19 matches, the most tries by any team to play in all four tournaments to date.

The 19 matches have yielded only 74 tries for England.

New Zealand have scored the most tries at JWC 2011 with 34, one more than they have managed in each of the previous title winning successes.

The total number of tries scored by England is 16, less than half that of New Zealand. England's best record is 24 from their 2009 campaign in Japan.

TRIES CONCEDED

New Zealand have conceded only 16 tries in 19 matches - one in 2008 (by Ireland), five in 2009 (two by Australia in semi final, three by England in final), six in 2010 (one by Fiji, Samoa, Wales and South Africa in semi final, two by Australia in final) and four so far in 2011 (one by Italy, two by Argentina and one by Australia in semi final).

England, by contrast, have conceded 41 tries in total - 12 in 2008 (including four against New Zealand in the final), 11 in 2009 (including seven against New Zealand in the final), 12 in 2010 and six so far in 2011.

TOP TRY SCORERS

Two of the leading try scorers at JWC 2011 are likely to be involved in the final in New Zealand wing Charles Piutau and England flyer Christian Wade. Both have scored five tries, although Wade is one of only three players to cross for hat-tricks in the tournament.

Fifteen different players have touched down for New Zealand in Italy, while 10 have accounted for England's tries.

The leading try scorer of all-time is New Zealand wing Zac Guildford with 10, two in 2008 and eight the following year. The most tries scored by an English player in their JWC career is six by Christian Wade, one in 2010 and five this year.

Guildford shares the record for the most tries in a single tournament with another Baby Blacks flyer in Julian Savea, who also scored eight in 2010. Christian Wade is currently tied with Carl Fearns for the most tries by an England player in a single JWC, the number 8 scoring five in 2009.

TOP POINT SCORERS

New Zealand's - and the tournament's - top point scorer in Italy is Gareth Anscombe with 68, which breaks down to two tries, 23 conversions and four penalties.

The fly half has ironically scored 22 points in three of his four matches, the exception being the 48-15 win over Argentina when he came off the bench with 12 minutes to go and only kicked a conversion.

England's leading point scorer is George Ford, the youngest player in the tournament, with 44. The third highest tally at JWC 2011 breaks down to one try, six conversions and nine penalties.

VIDEO: FORD AND ANSCOMBE EXCEL IN SEMI FINALS




Tom Homer of England is the leading point scorer of all time with 118 across his two tournaments in 2008 and 2009. New Zealand's policy of only picking players from one age year means they are unlikely to break that record, the leading Baby Black point scorer is 2010 captain Tyler Bleyendaal with 82.

AVERAGES

New Zealand's average points and tries per match are almost double that of their final opponents England with 60.25 points to 32.75 and 8.5 tries to four. The only average where England is better than New Zealand is for penalties at 2.75 to 1.25.

PENALTY COUNT

The Baby Blacks have kicked only five penalties at JWC 2011, three of them in the semi final against Australia. They have had only one kicked against them, by Argentina captain Brian Ormson.

England have kicked more than double the penalties of their final opponents with 11, although they have had more penalties slotted between the posts against them than anyone else at JWC 2011 with 14.

COACHES CORNER

New Zealand coach Mark Anscombe already has two winners' medal to his name, having been assistant coach to Dave Rennie in both 2009 and 2010. His counterpart Rob Hunter was also in Argentina last year, as assistant coach to Mark Mapletoft, when England finished fourth.