Goalkicking statistics show difference between Dan Carter and Beauden Barrett

Dan Carter is by far the best kicker in the All Blacks squad.

Dan Carter is by far the best kicker in the All Blacks squad.

In depth goalkicking statistics show just how important Dan Carter is to the All Blacks' cause come the Rugby World Cup knockout stages.

Simply put, should Beauden Barrett have to suit up in the 10 jumper for a knockout match his poor accuracy off the tee could be the difference between a win and a loss.

Carter is by no means the top kicker at the cup, but he is good enough to earn the All Blacks points the average professional goalkicker could not, where Barrett is losing the team points others would have kicked.

If not the All Blacks, then Wales

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South African website goalkickers.co.za rates the goalkicking performances of professional kickers, including every player taking aim off the tee at the Rugby World Cup.

Using a wealth of previous goalkicking data, the goalkickers team have been able to rank the difficulty of each and every kick on the field of play based on angle, distance, altitude, side of field and foot used, score difference (to indicate pressure) and more.

They can determine the probability of success for each kick, in turn showing when a player has kicked better or worse than the average professional player.

In the All Blacks' opening match against Argentina, Dan Carter kicked six from six off the tee to earn a kicker rating of 5.620 out of 10. The average rating at the World Cup to date is 4.75.

It's important to note that the kicker rating is not a simple percentage, but a rating taking into account the success and the difficulty of each kick.

Carter had an average kick difficulty of 1.41 out of 10 in those six attempts at the posts, but by nailing each kick he scored one point above the average goalkicker.

Against Namibia, Beauden Barrett had a kicker rating of only 2.960 while making five of nine kicks of an average difficulty of 5.16.

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Based on that kicking effort Barrett actually lost his team two points compared to what the average professional goalkicker would have done.

Having each played one game, that is a three point swing between the two kickers. That could easily be the difference in winning a tight game come the knockout stages.

Barrett made all three of his easy kicks from within 12 metres of the posts but when the angle got tougher he was found wanting.

He nailed his first conversion from out wide, a 41m kick at a 34 degree angle to the posts with an average success in professional rugby of 50.76 per cent, and his second, but then the radar started to malfunction.

First there was a 39m kick with a 58.69 per cent success rate, then one with a 47.95 per cent success rate, then a 57.7 per centre, and one with a 50.76 per cent rate.

They were all hard kicks, but the average goalkicker would have nailed at least one of those.

You can't afford to have a below par kicker when the pressure is on.

If you want to know how important a good kicker can be, look no further than Dan Biggar's effort against England.

Biggar nailed eight from eight for a kicker rating of 9.08 against England. His kicking earned Wales seven points above what the average kicker would have. There was no margin for error.

The average kick had a 5.1 difficulty, and his final 50m bomb had a 56.09 per cent chance of success.

Would Kiwis be confident in Beauden Barrett nailing that same kick in a knockout match?

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