Let’s have a look at the statistics from Saturdays match between the Sharks and the Cheetahs, at Kings Park. These numbers, as always, courtesy of Verusco.
In a clear “game of two halves”, the Sharks did little to inspire confidence in the first half, before dominating possession (and the score board) in the second. Overall, they shaded possession (45 minutes with the ball against 35) and made far fewer tackles in total (116 to 195). Tackle completion was a bit low (85%0 but still higher than the Cheetahs’ (83%) and the overall error rate, while still lower than the Cheetahs’, was far too high. The Sharks committed a staggering 22 handling errors and conceded 12 penalties over 80 minutes, with their opponents making 25 fumbles and infringing on 15 occasions. Worryingly, 3 Sharks scrums were lost on their own ball, and 1 line-out lost to the Cheetahs’ 2.
The individual tackle numbers were far from impressive for the Sharks, with captain Keegan Daniel (10 from 11) the best of the lot. Lwazi Mvovo made 8 from 9, with Fred Michalak also managing 8, from 11 attempts. Of the player to get 100% of their tackles, Anton Bresler and Marcell Coetzee did best, but with only 5 successful tackles apiece. Michalak missed the most tackles, with 3, while Ryan Kankowski, Steph du Toit and Frans Steyn missed 2 each. No other player missed more than a single tackle, which is a good result, all-in-all.
Looking at work with ball in hand, JP Pietersen made the most impact, with 122 metres, ahead of Frans Steyn’s 97 and Ryan Kankowski’s 85. Tim Whitehead made the most line breaks, with 2. Huge credit must go to Steyn for 7 offloads, while Whitehead, Kankowski, Michalak and Coetzee each made 2. Daniel amde the most passes outside of the halfbacks (14) with Steyn second (10) and Pietersen third (8).
Bresler hit the most rucks in total (26) followed closely by Jannie du Plessis (25). Tim Whitehead (20) came in third and was obviously also best amongst the backs. Forward! Pull up your socks please!
Charl McLeod lost possession 4 times, ahead of Pietersen (3) and Craig Burden (2). Jannie du Plessis and Kankowski each conceded 2 penalties. Combining the scores for missed tackles, lost possession and penalties conceded, the gong for highest error rate is shared between Kankowsi and McLeod, with 5 total errors each.
Most Valuable Player is not straightforward, given these numbers, but we’ll award it jointly to Keegan Daniel and Frans Steyn, with JP Pietersen and Anton Bresler each getting an honourable mention.Tweet