The Sharks bounced back in fine style to win against both Western Province and woeful rookie ref Louwrens van der Merwe, in the pouring rain at Newlands on Friday night. Let’s have a look at the match statistics, kindly provided by www.ruggastats.com.
Set piece retention, on the whole, was down yet again (84.6%), with the lineout stat of of 77.8% one that needs work. Then again, given the atrocious conditions and a referee who was awarding penalties at random at the scrum, perhaps we should read too much into the numbers here. Far more impressive was the overall defensive efforts, which saw only 10 missed tackles in 138 attempts, for a season-best effectiveness of 93%. That’s a whole 7% better than last week and a truly magnificent return. The penalty count was again much better, with 8 conceded rather than the 14 last week, but overall errors (49 handling and other errors) can only partially be blamed on the wet weather.
Marcell Coetzee emerged as the best tackler, with 16 hits and no misses. Ross Skeate (14 hits, 1 miss) and Dale Chadwick (12 hits, no misses) came in second and third respectively, while Pat Lambie was the best of the backs (11 hit, 1 miss) with Stefan Terblanche (10 hits, none missed) and Fred Michalak (10 hits, 1 iss) also doing themselves proud. Very few players missed more than one tackle, with Anton Bresler, Odwa Ndungane and Wiehahn Herbst credited with 2 misses apiece. Herbst was, statistically, the worst tackler, with a 50% success rate (2 hits, 2 misses) with Ndungane also not coming out above the team average as his 2 misses from 9 attempts gave him 78%.
On a night when far more kicking was done than running, Coetzee emerged (for the second week running) as the most active ball carrier, with 10 carries. Skeate, Lambie and Ndungane were all some way further back, with 6 carries each. Coetzee also made the most ground, with 56 metres, followed by Louis Ludik’s 47 from only 5 carries. Skeate again featured prominently with 46 metres gained and along with Eugene van Staden, he was responsible for one of only two line breaks.
Pat Lambie handled the ball most often (apart from the halfbacks) with 19 touches, just ahead of Ryan Kankowski (16) and that man Coetzee (14). Keegan Daniel made the most passes, letting the ball move on 7 times in the 14 that he got his mitts on it.
Ross Skeate was the boss of the breakdowns, hitting a total of 32 rucks, which was just one ahead of Daniel, who showed he’s not one to shirk when wearing the opensider’s jersey. Third place went to prop Dale Chadwick, with 29 hits, while Lambie deserves an honourable mention for clearing out 20 times from the inside centre position.
The error rate, as mentioned, was huge, with Eugene van Staden responsible for 4 of the 8 total penalties, even though a few were dubious. Lambie, Kankowski and Daniel weighed in with 3 handling errors each, but even combined, their total is just slightly ahead of the 8 fumbles attributed to Charl McLeod. We tend to give scrummies a bit of leeway, since they handle the ball so much more than other players, but McLeod’s handling error rate of 14% is too high, although the horrible conditions clearly offered some mitigation. Alas, with five other errors, a penalty and a missed tackle, it is the unlucky McLeod who tops the “combined screw-up score” for this week with a count of 15, far higher than anyone else on the day.
Our statistical man of the match is, of course, none other than Marcell Coetzee. Nobody else came close.Tweet