Rugby – It’s a Game of Numbers

It took 6 weeks, 43 players, 7 tour games and 3 tests, but it all came down to 1 game. The British & Irish Lions won 16 – 41 to take the series 2 – 1 and reinvigorate the famous touring team. As this article is about to show, it’s all in the numbers.

The tour started with a bang, beating the Barbarians 59 – 8 then came the tests; Kurtley Beale and Leigh Halfpenny both missed match winning kicks by 0 seconds, Wallabies legend George Smith returned to the first team and ended with Leigh Halfpenny breaking the record points tally for a Lions Series with 49 points.

Modern sport is won by the finest margins, as the Lions showed and in an increasing desire to show where the game is won the media is turning to stats.

The tweets from @AccentureRugby, the official technology partner of the Qantas Wallabies, below show exactly why the Lions managed to win the series, although as Scott Johnson alluded to when in charge of Scotland, “Statistics are like a bikini, it shows a lot but not the whole thing”.

‘The @LionsOfficial took a 1-0 lead after winning 6 turnovers, beating 16 defenders to #Wallabies 7, achieving an 83% kick success (1/2)’

‘and, @QantasWallabies missed 10 tackles in the opening #LionsTour Test #AUSvLIO #AccentureAnalytics (2/2).’

‘The Aussies fought their way back to level the #LionsTour series in the second Test forcing @lionsofficial to make 117 tackles (1/2)’

‘as a result of their attacking play. They made 864metres, beat 12 defenders and had 100% kicking success #AccentureAnalytics #AUSvLIO (2/2)’

‘Clinching that final third Test was @LionsOfficial from their 97 tackles, 18 defenders beaten and 842metres gained (1/2) #AccentureAnalytics

‘Also, @QantasWallabies didn’t help themselves conceding 4 penalties from scrum offences #AccentureAnalytics #AUSvLIO #LionsTour

By creating a twitter account that live tweeted stats during each game of the tour, Accenture were able to show off their capabilities as a company and engage media and fans alike by providing interesting statistics that enhanced the value of their support for the game.

Above all else, nothing beats a good infographic to show how the Aussies performed over the series:

Further Reading