Stats review of international weekend

Andy Baber
11 June 2018

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A bumper weekend of rugby action saw plenty of thrills and spills as Guinness PRO14 stars showcased their talent on the international stage.

Matteo Minozzi

The Wallabies ended Ireland’s unbeaten run, Italy came unstuck against Japan, Scotland ran out comfortable winners over Canada and Wales beat Argentina in San Juan.

We’ve had a look at the key stats from the opening games of the summer Tests and picked out some of the top performers from the Guinness PRO14.

Ryan outstanding in defeat

Despite dominating possession and territory, Ireland’s 15-month run without a loss on their record came to an end in Australia as they were beaten 18-9 at the Suncorp Stadium.

That meant a first defeat in 24 professional games for Leinster’s James Ryan, whose remarkable season saw him lift the Guinness PRO14, Champions Cup and NatWest 6 Nations trophies.

But while the lock was on the losing side, he still delivered a high-octane performance, which included 16 runs with the ball in hand (making 43 metres) and 15 tackles out of 15.

Munster No.8 CJ Stander also worked relentlessly against the Wallabies, racking up 16 tackles, 13 runs and 77 metres, but he was left to rue the try that got away in the second half.

Wainwright makes quick impression

After enjoying his breakthrough season with Dragons in the Guinness PRO14, Aaron Wainwright showed his class at international level in a 27-minute cameo against Argentina.

The 20-year-old back rower came on in the 53rd minute and got to work quickly as he made an astonishing 13 tackles in his short spell on the pitch in the 23-10 win for Wales.

He was not alone in having a high tackle count, though, with Ospreys powerhouse Adam Beard and Scarlets’ James Davies both finishing with 17 tackles each.

But even their efforts paled in comparison to Ross Moriarty, who was the top tackler with 26 as the resolute rearguard action of Wales made up for the tourists only having 35 per cent possession.

Edinburgh double act in defence

While Glasgow Warriors hooker George Turner took the headlines with his hat-trick, Edinburgh duo Jamie Ritchie and Grant Gilchrist were huge in defence against Canada.

Ritchie made 17 tackles and missed none and back row partner Gilchrist contributed 11 as Scotland triumphed 48-10 in Edmonton in the first Test of their summer tour.

Another performance of note came from Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, with the Edinburgh scrum-half making the most passes out of anyone on the pitch as he controlled the Scotland attack.

Edinburgh’s Lewis Carmichael, who came off the bench to make his debut, ran 78 metres and beat six defenders as he capped off a fine cameo to score a runaway try.

Minozzi runs riot

Japan turned on the style as they extended Italy’s winless run to eight games with a stunning display of attacking rugby, claiming a 34-17 victory at the Oita Dome in Kyushu.

Yet while it was not the result the Azzurri wanted, Zebre full-back Matteo Minozzi continued to show his brilliance and remained a constant threat for the tourists.

The 22-year-old was a livewire throughout and completed ten runs, managing 85 metres and beating five defenders as he caused the Brave Blossoms problems.

Benetton Rugby’s Braam Steyn was another bright spark for the Italians, opening his international try-scoring account and make nine runs for a total of 55 metres.


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