Opta’s statistical ‘Team of the Round’

New Zealand have three players in the ‘Team of the Round’ after they beat Samoa 42-24 in their opening World Cup match.

Captain Simon Mannering, centre Dean Whare and hat-trick scoring winger Manu Vatuvei are the three Kiwis to make the team, which is derived from Opta’s statistical analysis.

Another player to score a hat-trick, Fijian Akuila Uate, is the other winger named in the thirteen.

Uate’s teammate Kevin Naiqama is the full-back of the round, whilst Italy and Tonga also have two players in the side.

Despite their dramatic victory over Tonga, there is no place for any of Scotland‘s players in the team.

After every match Opta completes a video analysis of every touch of the ball in RLWC matches.  Each action in the match is awarded a points value depending on the relative importance of the action.  So for example a try scores more points than a tackle but a player loses points for a missed tackle.  

The points are then weighted against the score at the time when the action took place (higher points if the score is closer), the time in the match (higher points at the start of the match) and the position on the pitch where it took place (higher points for actions closer to the goal line).  

The player is then given a score for the match by adding up all his actions while he was on the field.  

The total match score is then weighted to take account of the strength of the opposition so that performances across many matches can be judged fairly.

Opta Team of the Round:

1. Kevin NaiqamaFiji

2. Manu VatuveiNew Zealand

3. Dean WhareNew Zealand

4. Aidan Guerra – Italy

5. Akuila Uate – Fiji

6. Daniel FosterTonga

7. Cooper CronkAustralia

8. Mark OfferdahlUSA

9. Eloi PelissierFrance

10. Paul VaughanItaly

11. Ben EvansWales

12. Sika ManuTonga

13. Simon ManneringNew Zealand

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