England’s ‘very average red zone return’, attack ‘still very limited’

The England attack under Steve Borthwick has been labelled as “still very limited” with a “very average red zone return”. That’s according to the performance analysis of last weekend’s entire set of eight round-two match statistics at the Rugby World Cup, added to the previous weekend’s opening series of games.

England followed up their 27-10 September 9 victory over Argentina in Marseille with Sunday night’s 34-12 success against Chile in Nice and while it leaves them top of Pool D and on course for reaching next month’s quarter-finals in Marseille, they have plenty to work judging by the latest raft of performance stats:

  • Attacking output is still very limited; they are in the bottom half of the teams for carries, metres made, clean breaks, defenders beaten and offloads.
  • 17th for collision dominance (27 per cent) and 16th for gainline success (45 per cent). Average ruck speed is 13th (4.39secs) and they have the second-most rucks lasting longer than five seconds (29 per cent).
  • Very average red zone return, seventh for entries with 10 per game, ninth for phases (19) and time spent there (03:24) and ninth for efficiency (2.23 points per entry), second-most points scored from outside the 22 (9) per game which is one-and-a-half behind France.

On a brighter note, there were some positive performance stats issued as well:

  • Have the best positive outcomes of their possessions (77 per cent) mainly down to how much they are kicking, they have the most kicks in play (34.5 per game) and the highest percentage of their possession kicked away (84 per cent).
  • Discipline is also very good with the fourth fewest penalties conceded (8.5 per game).
  • George Ford leads the way in the tournament from the boot in terms of points scored, kicks in play and kick metres.
  • Maro Itoje is showing his work rate, having cleared the most rucks for his own team (62).

Click here to see the performance stats for all 20 teams at Rugby World Cup