Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Fiji averages the most carries per game

Latest statistics by World Rugby reveals that the Flying Fijians average the most carries per game 139.5, the second-most offloads 11.3 and third-most metres made 570.5.

Conversely, Fiji are running with the ball a lot and one area that is a bit of a shock, though, is the fact that they are second from bottom for line breaks, with just five per game on average.

However, they’ve also shown that their game has evolved.

They’ve won the most turnovers on average 8.0, with a high proportion coming from the breakdown.

They also play with good discipline, conceding the second-fewest penalties 8.8, and their scrum success 92 per cent is only just behind that of England.

“The quality behind the [Fiji] scrum puts the fear of god into any Test side,” said former Wales centre Jamie Roberts.

“How do you prepare against that in the week? Defensively you are facing Fiji scrums, whether they are in your own half or in their own 22, the capability of the strike runners is absolutely frightening.”

In boxing they say that styles make fights, and this game has all the elements to test that theory on a rugby pitch.

On the other hand, England know how they want to play and they’re sticking with it averaging 33.8 kicks in play per game which is the most of any of the eight teams, and that in turn gives them the highest per cent of possession kicked away is 68 per cent.

Given the amount they kick, they therefore are lacking in most areas of attacking play. They have made the second-fewest carries 108.8 for the second-fewest metres made 461.3, they rank sixth for defenders beaten 22.5 and are bottom of the pile for offloads 5.8.

However, George Ford showed in England’s first game against Argentina that you don’t need to be near the opposition try line to score points.

On top of that they have a solid scrum which is operating at 95 per cent, which puts them second in that department, and their kicking game still equates to ranking second for positive outcomes of their possessions 74 per cent.

While their game plan may not entertain the English fans all that much, it’s brought the team success and therefore they’re unlikely to change that formula.

The quarterfinal between Fiji and England will kick off at 3am in Marseille on Monday.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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