Let’s look back at the match statistics from the Sharks’ victory over the Blues last week, courtesy of the number made available by Verusco.
That the Sharks pulled off a 4-try-to-2 victory was somewhat surprising, given that they didn’t really stand out in any of the areas that mattered. The Blues had more ball (42 minutes in possession against 38) and had to make far fewer tackles (128 against 177). They made more ground with ball in hand and conceded around half as many penalties (6 v 13). They also only lost a single line out, as opposed to the Sharks who lost 3 line outs and 2 scrums. In fact, handling errors (18 v 29) and tackle completion (88% v 85%) were the only numbers working in the Sharks’ favour.
Looking at defence, Keegan Daniel was the star, with 14 hits from 15 attempts. Next best were 4 players who each managed 12 stops – Anton Bresler and Marcell Coetzee each managed 12 from 13, while JP Pietersen and Tim Whitehead each managed 12 from 14 attempts. Best overall tackler was Dale Chadwick, who made 11 hits with no misses, while Louis Ludik’s 100% record off 9 attempts is also worthy of a mention. The worst tackler, percentage wise, was (shock! horror!) Pat Lambie, with 60% success from 10 tackles. He missed 4 in total, the same number as Jannie du Plessis (9 from 13, or 69%).
Daniel was again the go-to man when it came to metres gained, with a massive 155. Mr Burden’s intercept sprint added nicely to his total, seeing him come in second with 85 metres. Lambie was third on 72. Timmy Whitehead was again the main line breaker, with 2 to his credit, ahead of 1 each from Daniel and Lambie. Burden boasted the most offloads (2) with Daniel and Lambie again featuring too (1 each). Daniel made the most passes outside of the halfbacks (9) with Sykes coming in second (5).
Dale Chadwick was the workhorse at ruck time (22 hits), just ahead of du Plessis (20) and Sykes (19). Pietersen was the best rucker amongst the backs, hitting 13 breakdowns.
Craig Burden lost possession twice (line out throws going astray) with a whole host of others giving away possession once. Daniel and Sykes each gave away 3 penalties, with a number of other players conceding 1. The dubious honour of highest total error count is thus split an impressive 4 ways this week, with Daniel, Sykes, Lambie and du Plessis each making 5 errors.
Keegan is, of course, our MVP this week, though. Nobody else comes close to the captain, so good work on an outstanding individual performance.Tweet