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Sharks v Bulls – by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 10 Jul 2012 at 11:00
Tagged with : , , , ,

Let’s have a look at the match statistics from the Sharks’ superb 32-10 win over the Bulls on Friday night. These number, as always, brought to you by Verusco.

We’ve seen in the past that statistical dominance and results on the scoreboard often don’t quite tally up and I think it’s the same this week; running the rule over these numbers alone would probably create the impression of a far closer game than the one that actually unfolded. The Sharks only narrowly shaded possession over all, with 43 minutes in control of the ball against 37, while the Bulls actually tackled better, completing 89% of their 203 tackles against only 85% of 175 by the Sharks. The Bulls did make more handling errors (20 to 15) and concede more penalties than the Sharks did (12 against 8), while the set pieces were mostly even, with 2 lineout losses each and a single scrum lost by the Bulls.

Looking at the individual tackling stats on the Sharks side, few were blameless when it came to misses; only Jandre Marais, Meyer Bosman and JP Pietersen made all of their hits count, with Marais’ 10-from-10 the best of those. Marcell Coetzee, as usual, made the most tackles with 19, but he was way off his best on the day, having missed 4 others. Next best was Anton Bresler, with 15 from 16 attempts with Keegan Daniel (13 from 14) and Timmy Whitehead (13 from 15) sharing third place. Frans Steyn was fourth, with 12 from 13.

Statistically, the worst tackler was Charl McLeod, with 3 from 7 giving him a 43% success rate. Those 4 misses see McLeod and Coetzee share the dubious honour of missing the most individual tackles.

The centres came to the fore with ball in hand this week; Frans Steyn topped the metres gained stat with 95, just ahead of Whitehead with 70, while Coetzee was third with 66. Steyn and Lwazi Mvovo each managed a line break, while Coetzee (8) and Steyn (6) contributed hugely to the offload total. Mvovo was third with 3 offloads. Ryan Kankowski and Steyn made the most passes outside the halfbacks (14 each), with Coetzee (9) and Keegan Daniel (7) the next best.

Daniel did the dirty work at ruck time, hitting 27 in total to the 24 managed by Bismarck du Plessis. Beast Mtawarira was third with 23, while a very honourable mention must go to Louis Ludik, who hit 21 from fullback.

When it came to errors, Bismarck du Plessis, Daniel and Steyn each conceded a brace of penalties, while du Plesses lost possession 3 times to the 2 losses by each of Steyn, Mvovo and Pieter-Steph du Toit. With a single missed tackle added to 2 penalties and 3 losses of possession, it’s that man Bismarck who sneaks in just ahead of Frans Steyn in terms of total combined error score.

We’re going to give MVP to Frans Steyn, though, based on combined contributions in a number of areas, with Marcell Coetzee, our regular winner, pushing him very hard indeed this week.


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