IRB: We have returned to running rugby
December 1, 2011
Israel Dagg lit up the World Cup with some great running rugby © Getty Images
The International Rugby Board has published their statistical analysis of the recent Rugby World Cup which indicates that running rugby is back on the menu.
Stats have been compiled from all 48 matches during the 2011 World Cup and the results paint a picture which dictates that the gap between the haves and have-nots is decreasing while teams are favouring passing rather than kicking. Scrums, lineouts and kicks were much lower in the recent showpiece event than the 2007 tournament in France with passes on the up - an average of 262 in 2011 compared to 224 in a match in 2007 - which the IRB argue signifies teams favouring running rugby.
And running rugby seems to reward the teams who attempt to throw the ball around as in almost 80% of the matches; the team who scored the most tries prevailed. Despite concerns over scheduling issues throughout the tournament, the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 2 nations also seems to be narrowing. While at the 2007 tournament, the average point's difference in matches between the two Tiers was 41, in 2011 it was 20. The smaller winning margins were also prevalent amongst the larger nations with Tier 1 matches against Tier 1 opponents producing narrower results than seen before. And yellow cards were halved from the 2007 showpiece.
The stats compiled also show a drastic change to the game since the 1995 tournament:
* Ball in play has increased by 33 per cent
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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