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Statistics compiled over the course of the group stage at the Rugby World Cup may offer an insight into the nature of the match-ups which will occur in the weekend quarterfinals.
While the styles of each of the quarterfinalists are relatively well known, the pool phase data can be mined for deeper insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the various teams in Oita and Tokyo.
There are several obvious bullet points ahead of matches between England and Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, Wales and France and Japan and South Africa.
Defending champion New Zealand leads the way in most of the main attacking statistics; it has gained more meters, made more clean breaks, beaten more defenders and provided more offloads than any other team. Those factors may be tempered by the fact that with the cancellation of their last pool match, two of their three games where high-scoring and against Tier Two nations.
The All Blacks also have a 100% success record at scrums, the best of the tournament, though they haven’t been tested by a scrum of Ireland’s quality and experience.
In contrast, Australia is ranked 15th among the 20 teams which started the tournament on the basis of scrum success rate, well behind the much more accomplished England scrum.
Ireland has the best defensive record of the eight quarterfinalists, conceding only two tries in four pool games and m
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