Sharks v Blue Bulls: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 7 Sep 2010 at 09:33
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Let’s have a look at what the statistics reveal about the Sharks unfortunate loss to the Blue Bulls this past weekend.

The one number that stands out alarmingly is the missed tackle statistic for the Sharks as a team. Whereas we’ve become used to seeing tackle effectiveness percentages in the mid-nineties for the past few weeks, all of a sudden, the Sharks started to fall off an alarming number of hits, particularly in their “nightmare patch” just after half time, where the Bulls scored three quick tries to take the game away. Out of a total of 106 attempts, the Sharks missed 17, giving them an effective tackle statistic of only 84%. That’s nowhere near good enough and apart from all the other silly things – like kicking away possession – goes a long way to explain the loss.

Tackles were low overall, as one would probably expect given the Sharks’ domination of possession in the first half. Best tackler of the day was Beast Mtawarira, with 9 stops, 2 assists and no misses. Dries Strauss was just slightly behind, as he also pulled off 9 tackles and 2 assists, but also had a miss to his credit (or should that be debit?). Bismarck du Plessis, Alistair Hargreaves, Jacques Botes and Willem Alberts also weighed in with a fair few hits. Looking at the missed tackles, I’m afraid I need to report that Pat Lambie was the main culprit, with 3 misses, although a whole raft of players were just behind on 2 each. Lambie only completed 3 tackles, giving him an effectiveness stat of only 50%. The shocking thing is, though, that he wasn’t the worst statistically. Fullback Monty Dumond only made a single successful tackle, while missing 2 others, putting him on 33% for the game.

Moving on to ball-in-hand, it was Willem Alberts who unsurprisingly tops the ball carries stat, with 17 (including two line breaks). Lwazi Mvovo only carried the ball 7 times, but managed to break the line on 3 of those occasions, backing up my view that he really does need to get more involved in the play, because he’s our key strike runner. Alberts also topped the metres gained statistic, with 127 metres made with ball in hand. Mvovo (103) and Lambie (100) were just behind.

Handling figures were pretty low all round, with Alberts and Bismarck du Plessis the players to touch the ball most often (excluding the halfbacks). Each player got his hands on the ball 23 times, yet with Lambie only handling 27 times in total, one has to wonder whether the flyhalf shouldn’t have been given more of a chance to run the game, instead of allowing the forwards to do it.

There are no prizes for guessing who bossed the ruck attendance stat. Jacques Botes, once again, stands head and shoulders above anyone else with a staggering 49 ruck hits (37 on attack and 12 on defence), more than double his opposite number Derrick Kuun’s contribution (28 in total). Steven Sykes (37) and Beast Mtawarira (36) provided good back-up to the red-capped marvel.

Errors – and particular handling errors – was the other factor that killed the Sharks. 10 penalties were conceded in total, which is not a huge disaster, although MVP candidate Beast unfortunately did concede 30% of those all on his own. The 26 handling errors and 24 other errors were the real killer, though and a number of players need to have the riot act read to them here. Charl McLeod, Alistair Hargreaves and Botes were responsible for 4 handling errors each, with Rory Kockott and Bismarck du Plessis each committing 3. McLeod emerges as the real villain of the piece, though, as his 4 handling errors were added to 5 other errors and a penalty to give him a “total screw up” score of 10. Next worst was Botes (7), followed by du Plessis and Kockott, with 6 each.

Thanks, as always, to for these figures.


  • Lambie gains a surprising amount of meters every week.. That’s good to see..

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.09.10 09:42:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
  • Hmmmm, interesting reading, would love to see a breakdown of the stats for before and after our subs were brought on. :sad: I’m sure they were much worse after.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.09.10 09:44:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • McLeod = 5 turnovers in 60 minutes.
    Rory = 3 in 20 minutes (and not a single tackle).

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.09.10 09:46:11 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
  • 3 handling errors by Kockott?? And HOW long was he on for?

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.09.10 09:47:10 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • I’m loving my phone at the moment coz I can get on SW while at work :cool: It does piss me off that I am anal enough to bother typing complete words as opposed to that short form text crap :smile:

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.09.10 09:52:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : that shouldn’t piss you off!

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.09.10 09:57:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @Baldrick (Comment 3) : jeez – you’re right. I missed that.

    Rory made no tackles at all

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.09.10 09:58:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Ksa – Could I ask that you drop me an email, there is a proposal I need to put to you.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.09.10 10:07:15 by Baldrick Reply

    BaldrickCurrie Cup player
  • @Baldrick (Comment 8) : I have replied to your FB mail

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.09.10 10:13:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 5) : We thank you for it…

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.09.10 10:26:44 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    It does. I am super impatient and it frustrates the crap outta me to take so long to type a comment.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.09.10 10:40:11 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : type faster :twisted:

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.09.10 11:08:55 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
    lostfishSuper Rugby player
  • I just knew Jacques and McLeod made too many errors. Those were killers. Someone needed to calm them down. They seemed over eager to make things happen.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.09.10 11:26:39 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Administrator
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • To McLeod’s credit though he was a real menace in the first half, seriously cramping both Ruan Snyman’s and Gerrit-Jan van Velze style at scrum time. I think he’s over-eagerness (as Letgo stated) got the best of him.

    Lambie is accomplishing amazing things for a 19 year old flyhalf. His critics (I’m looking at you commentators) need to remember how young he is.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.09.10 12:06:55 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : that’s why it’s so key that we continue with Lambie at ten and not bow to the temptation to pick Crock in his spot.

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.09.10 12:17:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @vanmartin (Comment 14) : keo’s a joke anyway, lots of the commentators just go on there 2 cause krap and piss people off with racist or political comments. And the authors are so biased towards anything wp/stormers. Tank lanning also has a pair of those blue tinted glasses

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.09.10 12:32:38 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 16) : yes – I kinda aim to be the “antiKeo”

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.09.10 12:37:23 by robdylan Reply
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    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : That’s good to hear! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.09.10 13:11:41 by vanmartin Reply
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    vanmartinAssistant coach
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : It’s not that bad, :shock: I’m using mine 99.9% of the time.

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.09.10 07:15:50 by Jarson Reply
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