The Sharks beat the Force by 53 points to 11 over the weekend and while the margin of victory was certainly impressive, our weekly statistical analysis provides some interesting – if not concerning – insights into the game. These numbers, as always, are courtesy of our friends at Verusco.
For the second week running, the Sharks achieved victory despite having less of the ball than their opposition (35 minutes with the ball against 45 for the Force) and were again forced to make more tackles overall (217 against 124). While most have praised the defensive effort, it was in fact less impressive that the previous week’s effort, with 89% of tackles being effective (as opposed to 86% from the Force). The Sharks made a whopping 21 handling errors, with the Force again slightly ahead on 23, while the home side conceded 16 penalties against the 22 of their visitors.
Looking at defence, it was again Jacques Botes (20 from 22 attempts) and Anton Bresler (19 from 19 attempts) who got through the most defensive work, with Marcell Coetzee (16 from 17) coming in third. Bresler and Fred Michalak (12 from 12) were the most accurate, although Craig Burden, Lwazi Mvovo, Louis Ludik, Wiehahn Herbst, Tim Whitehead and Meyer Bosman all managed 100% success ratings as well, albeit off a lower total number of hits. Charl McLeod and Pieter-Steph du Toit each missed the most tackles in total, with 3 misses apiece, each from 9 attempts (67%). Jean Deysel, with 2 misses from 4 attempts, had the lowest overall effectiveness, though (50%).
Unsurprisingly, given his two long-range intercept scores, Lwazi Mvovo is a clear leader in terms of metres gained (170m) with Ludik some distance behind him (100m – still impressive) and Pat Lambie third (75m). JP Pietersen is credited with the most line breaks (2), while Lambie, Keegan Daniel, Ludik, Whitehead and McLeod each made 1. Bismarck du Plessis made the most offloads (only 2) while Jacques Botes (10) and Anton Bresler (8) made the most passes outside of the halfbacks.
Botes bossed the rucks, hitting 25 in total, with the next best being 17 by Jannie du Plessis (a big improvement) and 15 from Beast Mtawarira. Paul Jordaan showed his value by hitting 14 breakdowns, more than any other backline player.
Looking at lost possession, Bismarck du Plessis coughed up the ball 3 times, with Keegan Daniel and Mayer Bosman guilty of doing so twice each. It was Daniel who conceded the most penalties (3) with McLeod and Du Toit responsible for 2 each. With a total score of 7 (2 missed tackles, 2 lost possessions and 3 penalties), I’m afraid the captain is the man with the highest total error rate. Dishonourable mentions must go to Charl McLeod, Bismarck du Plessis and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who are all in joint second with 5 errors each.
In picking a Most Valuable Player, we need look no further than Jacques Botes, based on these numbers, with Anton Bresler also deserving praise for standing out in a number of the categories. Lwazi Mvovo receives an honourable mention for his truly magnificent metres gained stat.Tweet