robdylan

Loosies lead the way


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 7 Apr 2010 at 12:59
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The Sharks were forced to do a LOT of tackling on the way to a satisfying victory over the Reds on Saturday. The team made 182 tackles in total, but even more amazing was the fact that almost a quarter of those were made by only two players, both of them loose forwards.

The Sharks forwards – and the loose trio in particular – were truly superb against the Reds and the stats (which, by the way, I’ve borrowed from the awesome RuggaStats site) show exactly how well they did. Leading the tackle count, unsurprisingly, was blindside flank Willem Alberts, with 23 completed tackles and 4 assists. That’s more than one tackle every four minutes and if you consider that the ball is probably only in play for less than two minutes out of every four, it’s amazing that Alberts actually managed to do anything other than tackle. He did, though, carrying the ball an impressive 14 times, breaking the line three times in the process. One area in which he didn’t excel according to the statistics was ruck attendance, only hitting ten rucks on own ball and six on defence. Then again, as the primary forward strike runner, I guess hitting rucks wasn’t his priority.

Alberts did miss five tackles, though, making him the worst missed-tackle offender in the team, along with John Smit.

Not far behind in terms of overall tackles was Jacques Botes, who completed 20 on his own and assisted another player three times. Botes missed not a single tackle, though and attended a staggering 30 rucks on own ball and ten on opposition. 40 rucks in a game! Not to mention the lineout steals, ball carries (five, with one line break) and overall ball handles (15). It’s not hard to see why the pint-sized flanker was given man of the match.

Other forwards to weigh in heavily on defence were Alistair Hargreaves (16 tackles, six assists) and Bismarck du Plessis (15 tackles, five assists) while John Smit and Steven Sykes were the next best after Botes when it comes to overall ruck attendance. The skipper was pretty anonymous on defence, though, completing only 8 tackles, meaning that he missed somewhere just south of 40% of the tackles he attempted. Seems that Barney needs to put in a little extra work on defence in training…

Among the backs, it was, quite surprisingly, Andy Goode who weighed in with the most completed tackles – a respectable twelve. He missed four others, though, giving him a tackle completion rate of only 75%. If one adds the two missed by Riaan Swanepoel and the one that Stefan Terblanche missed, we’ll see that Quade Cooper and his bunch were allowed through our midfield on no fewer that seven occasions in all, which is far too many. A definite area for improvement.

What I find truly amazing, though, is that Swannie only handled the ball five times all game. That is nowhere near enough for an inside centre (a playmaking position) and seems a pretty sure sign that the current 10-12 combination isn’t working as it should on attack either.



22 Comments

  • Botes has suddenly come out of his shell and is playing some fantastic rugby…I wonder what brought around the sudden change? Alberts also looks a lot better at 8 than 7…now we just need a 10,12 and 13.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.04.10 13:10:47 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 1) : you reckon Plum told JB he was going to get dropped if he didn’t pull finger? Cos the last two weeks he has simply been superb. It’s like a lightbulb just went on in his head and he rolled back the years.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.04.10 13:15:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • Best game by Botes in a Sharks jersey to my mind ever.

    Man of the match performance.

    Who got that BTW?

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.04.10 13:16:18 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) : Botes did.

    And while it was his best game for 3 seasons, he really did put in some immense performances back in 06 and 07…

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.04.10 13:21:41 by robdylan Reply
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  • would like to see stats for other backs to compare with goode.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.04.10 13:31:42 by rekinek Reply
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  • Ruggastats, what a site! You realise from those stats that most if not all linebreaks were made by Kankowski and Jacobs. Perhaps resorting to forward-based attack is pretty much our only option now considering they are injured!

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.04.10 13:42:57 by neilster Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 3) :
    2 MOM awards in a row for Botes.

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.04.10 13:43:35 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @neilster (Comment 6) : forwards need to lay decent platform. full stop.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.04.10 13:51:55 by rekinek Reply
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  • @neilster (Comment 6) : shit, good point! But manufacturing a line break need not be so difficult. Get a guy like Alberts, Deysel or even Swannie to cross the advantage line and then offload to somebody else running a clever angle.

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.04.10 14:01:05 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : For sure but that method is based forward ascendancy, which we’ll require in every remaining game. The clever angles and the ability to spot space and manufacture a line break even off the back foot, are in short supply now! I agree though, someone needs to step up and take the responsibility.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.04.10 14:06:57 by neilster Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) :

    Too far back to remeber!! :)

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.04.10 14:12:54 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 11) : So Morne..do you think the Stormers can pull of a win against the Blues this weekend?

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.04.10 14:22:05 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 12) :

    No.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.04.10 14:29:59 by Morné Reply
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  • If the Force can beat the Stormers in the collissions, imagine what a Blues team will do who beat the Bulls in the collissions.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.04.10 14:30:50 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 14) : So my LMS pick for the Blues should be safe…I recon the Blues are the dark horses for the title…they actually have some relatively easy couple of games ahead. Still have to play Stormers, Force, Lions, Cheetah’s Sharks and Chiefs

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.04.10 14:51:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 14) : While I’m picking your brain….Who do you think will win the Highlander/Force match?

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.04.10 14:52:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 16) :

    Highlanders playing at home?

    Then them.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.04.10 15:04:47 by Morné Reply
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  • My LMS is safe with the Brumbies!

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.04.10 15:06:04 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 17) : good call

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.04.10 15:19:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • :mrgreen: got the superbru yellow cap last week

    :shock:

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.04.10 11:22:59 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : nice work

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.04.10 11:45:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 20) : :cool:

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.04.10 12:23:08 by rekinek Reply
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