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Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
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Sharks v Cheetahs: By the numbers


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 20 Sep 2010 at 14:40
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

Time for our weekly statistical analysis of the Sharks game, thanks to the Versuco stats kindly supplied by www.ruggastats.com.

We’ll start with defence, as usual, an area in which the Sharks stood up really well again. Stats are never going to reveal exactly how much impact each tackle had, of course and I feel it was the intensity at the tackle point and the desire to really knock the Cheetahs back every time they touched the ball that was key. The overall tackle effectiveness percentage was about 91% (12 misses from 129 attempts) which was just a fraction lower than against the Leopards last week. The Cheetahs were a few points further back on 87% and with such good defence on both sides, it really was a very close match, everywhere but on the scoreboard. Keegan Daniel was the most prolific individual tackler, weighing in with 13 stops and 2 assists. Coming up just behind that were Alistair Hargreaves (10 tackles and 3 assists) and Andries Strauss (also 10, but no assists). Missed tackles were low all round and the bizarre thing is, the only player to miss more than one was… wait for it… Keegan Daniel. So he was simultaneously the best and the worst tackler, using that measure! Looking at a more sensible statistic, we see that Odwa Ndungane only made a single tackle and missed another, giving him a tackle completion statistic of only 50%, far below Daniel’s 87%. All-in-all, Hargreaves was probably the best guy defensively across the team, since he didn’t miss a single attempt out of 10, giving him 100%.

Looking at ball carries, it was again Willem Alberts (14) and Ryan Kankowski (12) who did the main damage, ably assisted by our main man Eugene van Staden, who weighed in with 8. Top of the pops amongst the back was Stefan Terblanche, really getting very involved at outside centre with 10 ball carries. An interesting stat is that Daniel only carried the ball up 3 times, a far cry from his usual number when playing in the number 8 jersey. The award for most line breaks, somewhat surprisingly, goes to Andries Strauss (3), with Louis Ludik just behind on 2. Ludik also tops the metres gained stat (116), just a shade ahead of Kankowski, who managed 114.

Moving on to the handle count, we see that, outside of the halfbacks, Louis Ludik was actually the guy to get his hands on the ball most often, with 18 touches, just one ahead of both Terblanche and Alberts. Most passes (again, outside of the halfbacks) is a three-way split between Daniel, Kankowski and Strauss, with 9 each.

When it comes to breakdown contribution, two of the supposedly looser members of the pack really stood tall. Well don to Pat Cilliers – apart from demolishing Calldo in the scrum, he also hit the most rucks (32), just a shade ahead of Hargreaves (29). Steven Sykes was surprisingly quiet in this respect, with Louis Ludik a surprise in 3rd place (28 rucks hit!). I’m starting to think that hte fullback should actually have got man of the match, given his all-round contribution.

Errors were pretty low all-round, with van Staden, Hargreaves and Daniel each giving away two penalties. Charl McLeod and Odwa Ndungane were both pretty guilty of knocks (4 and 3 respectively) and it’s also these two players who share top spot in our “combined screw up score” log, with 7 each.



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