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The Breakdown: A statistical look at the first round of Rugby Championship matches

New Zealand will be expected to continue their dominance of Argentina and the Rugby Championship when the tournament gets under way on Saturday.

The All Blacks have won the trophy in each of the last three years and are favourites to retain it with the Rugby World Cup fast approaching.

Argentina have never beaten the world champions in 32 attempts and will have to produce something special to make history in Buenos Aires this weekend.

South Africa host Australia at Emirates Airline Park, and the Springboks have won nine of their previous 10 encounters with the Wallabies at the Johannesburg venue.

Take a look at the Opta numbers ahead of Saturday’s opening round of matches.

 

South Africa v Australia

– South Africa have lost only one of their last five Tests against Australia, although two of those meetings ended as draws.

– The Springboks have won 13 of their last 16 games played at Emirates Airline Park, including their last three on the bounce, scoring an average of 36 points per match.

– Australia will be looking to secure back-to-back Rugby Championship wins for the first time since 2016 after ending their 2018 campaign with a 45-34 success over Argentina.

– The Wallabies’ win rate of 24 per cent when playing in South Africa is their lowest in any nation. Indeed, it is the lowest win rate of any of the six nations to have played more than 20 Tests there.

– Australia back Dane Haylett-Petty gained 397 metres in the 2018 Rugby Championship, the most of any player and 130 more than South Africa’s best, Siya Kolisi (267).

 

Argentina v New Zealand

– Argentina’s only positive result against New Zealand came in a 21-21 draw in November 1985. Since that match in Buenos Aires they have lost all 10 home games against the All Blacks.

– New Zealand are on the cusp of their 450th win – 43 more than any other team – and require just 26 points this weekend to become the first nation to score 16,000 international points.

– The All Blacks have won 15 of their last 17 games, including a 66-3 victory against Italy in Rome in their most recent fixture.

– Argentina full-back Nicolas Sanchez scored the most points (67) of any player in the competition last year. He scored four tries, 16 of 17 conversions, four of seven penalty attempts and a drop goal.

– Argentina have lost their last four games played at Velez Sarsfield, including defeats to New Zealand in their last two games at the venue.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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