World Cup In Words: Quarter-Finals

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Rugby World’s Paul Morgan takes a sideways look at the facts and figures and best and worst moments from the the World Cup Quarter-Finals...

How Did That Happen... The Wallabies had just 24% possession, 22% territory, made 75% of the total match tackles (151 compared to South Africa’s 54), and yet somehow managed to beat the Boks

Firsts....England’s first kick at goal wasn’t until the 55th minute and NZ didn’t score a try until the 66th minute

Yellow Fever...Just one yellow card was dished out during the four games; Argentina’s scrum half Nicolas Vergallo the recipient

Fact #1...The team that beats the World Cup holders always goes on to win the Cup. So, is ‘Bill’ heading to Australia? ....although...

Fact #2...No team that has lost a pool match has ever won the trophy. So, that would mean an All Blacks victory. Either way- one tradition is going to give way!

Empty Seats...A shame not to have capacity crowds for the quarter-finals!

Regrets...Ireland, England and South Africa all had chances to kick for points instead of taking the tap or lineout. Was this reluctance to take the points on offer costly?

Coincidence...Wales, New Zealand, France and Australia are the same semi-finalists that appeared in the 1987 World Cup

NH v SH...The Northern Hemisphere clashes tallied 8 tries compared to just 4 in the Southern Hemisphere matches. The Southern sides kicked from hand a total of 118 times, compared to the North’s 109. With more tries and less kicks, can they really keep saying the North plays ‘boring’ rugby!?

Half-Time Winners...The four teams that led at half time, all went on to win their matches

Trumps...Wales defeated Ireland and Australia beat South Africa, so, does that mean youth trumps experience?

Top Tackler...Dan Lydiate made a massive 24 tackles, 6 more than his nearest rivals; Warburton and Farias Cabello

Ineffective...Ireland spent twice as much time in the opposition’s 22, (15minutes compared to Wales’ 7 minutes), yet lost the game 22-10

Records...The South African side was the most experienced in their test match history, Mils Muliaina won his 100th Test cap, Ledesma equalled Ibanez’s world cup record for appearances (18 matches) by a hooker, and Contepomi and Ledesma were the first Argentinean’s to play in 3 World Cup quarter-final’s

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