Sharks v Leopards: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 17 Aug 2010 at 13:51
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Time for our weekly look at how the Sharks team performed, according to the Verusco statistics supplied by

The Sharks weren’t expected to do a huge deal on defence on Friday night, with only 113 tackles made on total. 9 were missed, leading to a very impressive overall tackle success rate of 93%. No wonder John Plumtree was so impressed with the defence this week. The Leopards, forced to tackle a lot more, only managed an 82% success rate. Once again, our man Jacques Botes emerged as the most prolific defender, with 13 tackles, 3 assists and just a single miss. Nobody else came close to that, with Pat Cilliers, Ross Skeate, Keegan Daniel and Dries Strauss pulling of 8 apiece.

Worst tackler statistically was prop Eugene van Staden, who missed 2 of the 6 tackles he attempted, for a completion statistic of 66%.

Skeate was the primary ball carrier this week, hitting it up 13 times to the 11 managed by Alberts, Daniel and Lwazi Mvovo. Line breaks were also very evenly distributed, with Skeate, Daniel, Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane each fashioning a pair. Mvovo was the guy to do the most with what he got, though, making 113 metres with ball in hand, just a shade ahead of man of the match Daniel, who managed 104. Van Staden, despite his defensive lapses, probably deserves some sort of honourable mention here, with the big tighthead getting hands on the ball six times and trundling his way downfield to the tune of 41 metres in total.

There’s an interesting stat when we look at total passes made. Obviously Rory Kockott is streets ahead, as one would expect a scrumhalf to be, with Pat Lambie, Stefan Terblanche and Dries Strauss following in short order. Top among the forwards, though, are Skeate and Alistair Hargreaves, with 13 and 12 passes respectively. That’s pretty impressive for a set of second rowers to be such effective link men in the high-pace game the Sharks are playing. Hats off to Oom Stef for the highest “playmaker pass” count – on five occasions, he created opportunities for other players with a good pass.

Jacques Botes was, as usual, top of the pops when it came to getting to the breakdown, arriving in the first three players on no fewer than 39 occasions (27 on attack and 12 on defence). In combination with his tackle stats, a picture starts to emerge that the Sharks real MVP on the night was probably none other than the unseen flanker, who’s never afraid to get stuck in and do the dirty work while his flashier back-row colleagues run amok. Congrats, Bootsie, you bloody legend! Skeate came second in this department, again reinforcing the subjective opinion that he had a truly superb game.

Bismark du Plessis was an unsurprising winner in the penalty stakes, conceding three, but fellow villain van Staden also conceded the same amount, mostly at scrumtime. The ref, it must be said, was somewhat clueless, though, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Handling errors were on the low side throughout, although Rory Kockott’s 8 errors from 66 touches is far higher than he’d like, at a rate of slightly over 12%.


  • Thanx Rob.. always interesting to read..

    Not much said about Al Hargreaves? He had a legend game.. I think with him and Skeate playing together like they did on the night, we have a bloody good lock pairing..

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.08.10 13:55:37 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Maybe Deysel’s injury is a blessing in disguise. Look how good our loose trio has been playing thus far.

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.08.10 14:15:07 by Jarson Reply
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  • @Jarson (Comment 2) :

    Balance is a thing of beauty.. We have the hard worker (Botes) the flyer (Daniel) and then the steamroller (Alberts)

    Great combo, its a shame somebody has to sit out to make way for Kankowski..

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.08.10 14:22:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Rob, did you see that Oom Stef did not make one single tackle in this game?

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.08.10 16:07:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : I can believe that ;-)

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.08.10 16:44:51 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
  • I saw that, Rich. Leopards hands weren’t good enough to get the ball out that far

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.08.10 17:15:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • Skeate was great against the leopards and worked well with Hargreaves.

    Think Sykes should start on saturday though, bring Skeate on with 20m to go.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.08.10 10:00:26 by jonnow Reply

    jonnowSuper Rugby player
  • It sucks that Botes is on the Bench this week…our loosies Kanko, ALberts, Keegan…though great with ball in hand, doesn’t do much when it comes to the breakdown.

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.08.10 18:25:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • We’ll see how much runs Keegan can make when no ones there to do his job for him…I like Keegan, but I like Botes more.

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.08.10 18:26:09 by Letgo Reply
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