Richard Ferguson

Springbok stats tell a story


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 10 Nov 2010 at 09:40
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I have finally managed to found some statistics from the Springboks v Ireland match over the weekend, this after our regular site has decided not to cover the end of year tours. Thanx to ESPNScrum.com for their stats.

Starting off with the tackling stats, the Springboks made 68 tackles and missed only 3. The tackle heroes of the day are Deon Stegmann and Juan Smith, who each managed 8 tackles. Bismarck comes in with 7 of his own hits. The worst tackler on the day was surprisingly Jean de Villiers, who attempted 5 tackles and missed 2. Interesting stat to come from the game was that Basson and Aplon did not make any tackles on the day, with Aplon attempting one and missing it.

Running with ball in hand was not a big part of the game on Saturday, and this is clear from the running meters gained. Juan Smith wins this category following his break away run, with 72 meters credited to his account. Second best was Aplon with a mere 35 meters, and Spies rounding the top three on 31 meters. The forward possession was evident as Juan Smith again tops the tables, this time with ball carries. He ran the ball up 12 times, but did not pass once. Spies and Bismarck each ran 11 times with the ball, with Spies the only one who passed any of his possession, with 3 passes.

10 penalties in total were conceded, with a few players each conceding 2. Bismarck, Janie and Beast were the main contributors with 5 between them, all of which I suspect are scrum infringements. Matfield and Smith each conceded 2 other penalties, with the last one coming from Steyn.

Lineout time was a dominated stat with Victor Matfield winning 11 lineouts and stealing two from Ireland. In total, the Boks stole 5 lineouts from Ireland.



20 Comments

  • If you want to know how to define a player look at his kick/pass/run stats.

    It shows any coach planning against a player in the opposition team what a specific player is more likely to do.

    Needless to say if these stats are varied, it is difficult to plan against such players as their play is unpredictable to a large extent.

    But if a player for instance passes 80% of the ball he receives on average, you can easily plan strategies against him, or the people running off him.

    In my years of studying this it is the closest I could come to explain what is so commonly referred to (but mostly misunderstood) as the X-factor.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.11.10 09:46:32 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 1) :

    So the x factor is the abaility to mix your play betwenn kick/pass/run so that the opposition teams are kept guessing?

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.11.10 09:55:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) :

    Let me explain it in another way.

    Great players are not defined by the amount of ball they get, but what they do with it each time they get it.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.11.10 09:56:53 by Morné Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) :

    Have a look at what Morne Steyn did in 60 minutes of rugby (looking at K/P/R stats), then look at what Lambie did in 20, and see if you can define those two players…

    (You Sharks guys will love the result of that exercise… ;) )

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.11.10 10:02:48 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 3) :

    Fair enough.. Have you had a look at the k/p/r stats from this game?

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.11.10 10:03:09 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 5) :

    Yup I did yesterday already.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.11.10 10:04:22 by Morné Reply
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  • To add to my comment at 4, once you look at those stats, put yourself in a coach’s shoes whose team will be up against either one of those players in a week’s time, and imagine the strategies he will need to come up with to keep each of those players in check.

    Then ask yourself, which player is easier to plan or strategies against…???

    And you guys thought coaching was just chasing players around the field!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.11.10 10:06:05 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 4) :

    I see what you are getting at..

    Lambie has a ratio of running 50% of all ball he gets, where Steyn runs less than 10% of his ball.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.11.10 10:08:07 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 7) :

    Haha.. Coaching is much more than we can ever imagine!

    But good points made. It really got me thinking as to which of the two I would rather face.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.11.10 10:09:34 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Conditions also come into it. I mean on Sat you were hardly wanting to be throwing any passes around. On another day you would.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.11.10 10:15:06 by Sportbilly Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 7) : Agreed but it also the exception that is hardest to defend.

    If you plan for John Smit to never kick the ball, and then suddenly he puts through a grubber, no one is up for defending against that. Ask the Lions ;-)

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.11.10 10:22:24 by Sportbilly Reply

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  • Some very valid points Morne. Lambie mixes up his game much more than Steyn which at his young age shows that he reads the game well as he adapts to the situation. Steyn is more robotic..although I have seen his make a few good breaks for both the Boks and Bulls…but yes agree that much easier to defend against Steyn than Lambie!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.11.10 14:28:29 by Villie Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 6) : so who is most unpredictable. can you actually say? or do you need to look how it varies over few games?

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.11.10 20:04:45 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Villie (Comment 12) : not sure whether you can just say it. perhaps steyn sticks to the game plan better or conditions require little variation.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.11.10 20:05:52 by rekinek Reply
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  • @Sportbilly (Comment 11) : :lol: though I doubt that morne steyn plans to kick all the time until world cup and then suddenly start passing .

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.11.10 20:08:39 by rekinek Reply
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  • KSA – where are you ?? seems I’m talking to myself here :lol:

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.11.10 20:09:41 by rekinek Reply
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  • So do they subtract meters for the times that Spies was tackled backwards? :smile:

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.11.10 21:23:16 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 17) : bwaaa :)

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.11.10 00:43:16 by robdylan Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 17) : yeah :D sort of like how they do when kanko crabs hehe

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.11.10 01:59:58 by Megatron Reply

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  • @Morné (Comment 1) : I smell another interesting article. Hope you’re already working on it!

  • Comment 20, posted at 11.11.10 15:35:08 by vanmartin Reply
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