Which team will complete the most tackles in Rugby World Cup 2023?
resolved Oct 28
South Africa
New Zealand
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Once again carries and running is defeated by kicking and tackling. Well done to the Boks, holding their nerve in controversial fashion. A classy outfit.

Wow, England got owned by South Africa. Wales too.

I was going to research how to watch this event but I forgot and now it seems to be over.

Okay everyone, this has been at almost a tie for several days between New Zealand and South Africa. Someone, SOMEONE out there in this market must have some intuition for which team will record more tackles.

@Eliza I put South Africa to 55% on this basis:

I found three matches between New Zealand and South Africa in 2023 and 2022.

In each match, South Africa recorded more tackles than New Zealand.

I have no other basis beyond this.

@Eliza that's pretty strong. Generally South Africa have a reputation for a more conservative strategic approach which plays on their physicality and kicking prowess. This generally means they rely on the other team making mistakes under their pressure with the ball in hand. In tight games in particular this can lead to them making more tackles as the other team runs and runs at the South Africa defence without (they hope) making inroads.

I think it's a stronger than 50% likelihood they make more tackles. If it were me, something like 80% SA makes sense (not to be mistaken for saying 100% SA of course...).

@JulianLees I don't even know what a tackle is.

@Eliza says a lot about the quality of the stats available and your analytical skills then ๐Ÿ˜„ you've done well to be so successful on this question ๐Ÿ‘

80 minutes of rugby left and here is the final update. As flagged below, England have taken the lead with 872 tackles after their Bronze Final win over Argentina. This was a fantastic game and a fitting one to dethrone Wales on top. It is a huge testament to the amount of tackles that Wales had made in the early rounds that it took 2 additional games for a top-flight team to surpass them. Tackling also signals game plan and balance in some ways so I guess it shows Wales were often on defence BUT importantly also making their tackles which is perhaps why they made the quarterfinals in impressive style.

Tomorrow NZ require a minimum of 101 tackles (and at least 1 more than SA) to take top spot. South Africa require a minimum of 108 tackles (and at least 7 more than NZ) to take top spot.

We have a new leader. England's 151 so far takes them to 850 and the lead.

Argentina at 779

You keeping up with this @Eliza ๐Ÿ˜„ finally Wales relinquish their lead


I was pretty confident before today. Even more now ๐Ÿ˜‚

@Eliza nice haha. Trusted you'd be onto it. More twists and turns coming tomorrow too

I have had a lot of fun following this market, I looked at the stats page to see where things sit. There are two games left -- Argentina vs England and New Zealand vs South Africa.

I think it would be extremely unlikely that neither NZL or RSA makes 70-75 tackles in the final match, but I guess anything is possible. It also seems quite unlikely that England or Argentina can overcome a 70-100 tackle deficit with just one game to go, but, again, it seems at least within the realms of possibility.

And now, some notes. Here are the tackle amounts per match for NZL so far:

93 68 108 92 226 185

Out of all their matches, the only one where they recorded more tackles than the opponent was the 226 one against Ireland. They were completely dominating the scoring in several of their matches, though.

South Africa, on the other hand, has recorded more tackles than their opponent several times.

The deficit of just 7 is not too much to overcome, but....

@Eliza thanks for this update - I have to admit, Wales ability to cling to the lead with 1 less game so far has surprised me. However, the 4 chasers are now all lined up below Wales and ready to strike this weekend. Will one of them take the title of most tackles... You would think so but there is a enough of a margin to leave a small amount of doubt!

Glad you've enjoyed this market - it's been such a surprise to me to see it take off as well as it has but I've learnt a lot from it!

It looks like New Zealand might enter the final match in prime position, ahead of all other active teams. They were below 25% but I think this is worth betting them higher.

Update 21/10 NZT:
As @Eliza pointed out, New Zealand's 195 tackles have put them in touching distance of Wales who still cling to the lead. Argentina were only 2 behind with 193 tackles. You assume Wales' long standing control at the top is coming to an end. You presume there could be a lot of tackles tomorrow between South Africa and England. Will one of those teams manage to take top spot tomorrow? We'll have to wait and see!

New Zealand is only about 60 tackles behind Wales now and has one more game to play. I'm afraid it's all over for Wales.

Update 17/10 NZT:
Wales still in charge of the tackle count - although as others have picked up - they are out of games while some of their chasers have a guaranteed two matches to go.

Of the remaining active teams:

  • South Africa (656) trail Wales by 181 tackles

  • England (610) trail Wales by 227

  • NZ (587) trail Wales by 250

  • Argentina (483) trail Wales by 354

The average number of tackles per team in each quarterfinal was: 146 tackles (1164 total / 8 teams). On this you probably expect one of the remaining semi finalists to take this out.

South Africa has 76% of getting to the final. Every game has between 80 and 240 tackles per team => they need 170 in 2 games to overtake Wales

@AzubiLive great point and they're also guaranteed two more games if they make final or not given the other alternative is the bronze final match.

@AzubiLive All remaining teams get 2 more games. Is advancing to the final a strong sign that they will get more tackles than if they lose and go to the bronze medal game instead?

@Eliza I don't know but I assume that Wales will not be first after the finals and the bronze game. And South Africa currently has more tackles than New Zealand.