The big stat is the one that counts in the end – Kiwis 22, Kangaroos 18 – but the tale of the Four Nations final can be pieced together through all the other numbers.

While the Kiwis lost the penalty count 3-6 – and that was a bone of contention – they were ahead everywhere else.

They completed more sets (29 to 27) and had an overwhelming advantage in total runs (197-136), dummy half runs (20-10), metres gained (1792-1305), linebreaks (6-3) and offloads (21-9) while they had to make far fewer tackles (294-371) and missed 22 to 31. They also forced four goal-line dropouts while Australia managed none.

Many of the Kiwis’ individual numbers were outstanding with Manu Vatuvei making 212 runs from 20 runs on a night when his two tries gave him the Kiwis’ all-time Test try-scoring record, moving to 20 in 27 Tests, one ahead of Nigel Vagana’s 19 in 38 Tests. Vatuvei also had three tackle breaks, an offload, two linebreaks and no errors.

Simon Mannering was up to his exemplary standards in his 29th and final match of the year (having played each of the Vodafone Warriors’ 24 NRL games, the Kiwis’ Anzac Test against the Kangaroos and all four games in the Four Nations). He delivered 111 metres from 11 carries, made 37 tackles (and missed just one) as well as two offloads and a linebreak assist. No numbers, though, could measure the depth and breadth of his effort or, above all, his inspirational leadership.

Shaun Johnson, of course, delivered the magic touches with his breath-taking try, that massive pass to Vatuvei – suitably enhanced by the Beast’s astonishing pick-up – and two critical conversions. He ran the ball 10 times for 94 metres, had seven tackle breaks, a line break, a line break assist and an offload.

Right through the team, there were impressive numbers to be found. Check out the details below.

 

MATCH DETAILS | WESTPAC STADIUM, WELLINGTON

New Zealand 22 (Manu Vatuvei 2, Jason Nightingale, Shaun Johnson tries; Shaun Johnson 2 conversions).

Australia 18 (Michael Jennings, Sione Mata’utia, Ben Hunt tries; Cameron Smith 3 conversions).

Halftime: 14-6 New Zealand.

Referee: Phil Bentham (England).

Teams:

New Zealand | 1 Peta Hiku; 2 Jason Nightingale, 3 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Manu Vatuvei; 6 Kieran Foran, 7 Shaun Johnson; 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Adam Blair; 11 Simon Mannering (c), 12 Kevin Proctor; 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Greg Eastwood, 16 Martin Taupau, 17 Tohu Harris. Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Australia | 1 Greg Inglis; 2 Josh Mansour, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Dylan Walker, 5 Sione Mata’utia; 6 Daly Cherry-Evans, 7 Cooper Cronk; 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Josh Papalii; 11 Sam Thaiday, 12 Greg Bird; 13 Corey Parker. Interchange: 14 Boyd Cordner,  18 Ben Hunt, 19 Josh Jackson, 20 David Klemmer. Coach: Tim Sheens.

Statistics (from NRL Pro):

Team:

Completions: New Zealand 29/38 (76%), New Zealand 27/34 (79%).

Penalties: New Zealand 3, Kangaroos 6.

Total Runs: New Zealand 197, Australia 136.

Dummy half runs: New Zealand 20, Australia 10.

Total Metres: New Zealand 1792, Australia 1305.

Linebreaks: New Zealand 6, Australia 3.

Tackles: New Zealand 294, Australia 371,

Missed Tackles: New Zealand 22, Australia 31.

Off loads: New Zealand 21, Australia 9.

Errors: New Zealand 9, Australia 7.

Individual:

Most Runs: New Zealand – Jesse Bromwich 21, Manu Vatuvei 20, Greg Eastwood 15, Shaun Kenny-Dowall 14, Peta Hiku 14, Tohu Harris 14, Jason Nightingale 12, Simon Mannering 11, Martin Taupau 11, Jason Taumalolo 11, Issac Luke 11, Kieran Foran 10, Shaun Johnson 10. Australia – Dylan Walker 14, Greg Bird 14, Sione Mata’utia 13, Michael Jennings 12,Greg Inglis 12, Corey Parker 12, Josh Papalii 11, Josh Mansour 11.

Most Metres: New Zealand – Manu Vatuvei 212, Shaun Kenny-Dowall 190, Jesse Bromwich 165, Peta Hiku 163, Greg Eastwood 125, Tohu Harris 121, Simon Mannering 111, Jason Taumalolo 104, Martin Taupau 104. Australia – Greg Bird 144, Josh Papalii 122, Corey Parker 120, Josh Mansour 108, Greg Inglis 106, Dylan Walker 102.

Most Tackles:  New Zealand – Simon Mannering 37, Kevin Proctor 35, Tohu Harris 31, Jesse Bromwich 27, Kieran Foran 20. Australia – Cameron Smith 51, Corey Parker 40, Sam Thaiday 38, Josh Papalii 31, Cooper Cronk 26, Josh Jackson 27, David Klemmer 26, Greg Bird 24, Aaron Woods 22, Boyd Cordner 21.

Linebreaks: New Zealand – Manu Vatuvei 2, Shaun Kenny-Dowall 2, Jason Nightingale 1, Shaun Johnson 1. Australia – Michael Jennings 1, Dylan Walker 1, Cooper Cronk 1.

Tackle breaks: New Zealand – Shaun Kenny-Dowall 9, Shaun Johnson 7, Martin Taupau 5, Manu Vatuvei 3. Australia – Daly Cherry-Evans, Greg Inglis 4, Josh Mansour 3, Dylan Walker 3.

Offloads: New Zealand – Martin Taupau 4, Jesse Bromwich 3, Jason Taumalolo 3, Simon Mannering 2, Shaun Kenny-Dowall 2. Australia – Greg Bird 2, Corey Parker 2.

Missed Tackles: New Zealand: Peta Hiku 0, Jason Taumalolo 0, Lewis Brown 0, Greg Eastwood 0, Martin Taupau 0, Tohu Harris 0, Jason Nightingale 1, Manu Vatuvei 1, Shaun Johnson 1, Adam Blair 1, Simon Mannering 1. Australia: Michael Jennings 0, Aaron Woods 0, Josh Mansour 1, Daly Cherry-Evans 1, Cameron Smith 1, Josh Papalii 1, Ben Hunt 1, Josh Jackson 1, David Klemmer 1.

Errors: New Zealand – Jason Nightingale 0, Manu Vatuvei 0, Jesse Bromwich 0, Adam Blair 0, Simon Mannering 0, Kevin Proctor 0, Jason Taumalolo 0, Greg Eastwood 0, Martin Taupau 0, Tohu Harris 0. Australia – Greg Inglis 0, Sione Mata’utia 0, Daly Cherry-Evans 0, Aaron Woods 0, Cameron Smith 0, Josh Papalii 0, Sam Thaiday 0, Greg Bird 0, Corey Parker 0, Boyd Cordner 0, Ben Hunt 0, David Klemmer 0.