There were a few encouraging signs for the Sharks at Loftus on Saturday, even though the result didn’t go their way. Let’s have a look at the match stats, courtesy of Verusco.
The Sharks narrowly shaded possession, coming away with 42 attacking minutes against 39 (for the second week in a row). They attempted fewer tackles (127 to 186) at a higher percentage (91% to 87%) yet will of course rue the positions in which those few tackles were missed, since a number led directly to Bulls tries. Penalties, amazingly enough, were even at 11 each, although the Sharks tended to concede more kickable ones. They committed an atrocious 32 handling errors against 18 and also lost 4 lineouts, to the Bulls’ none.
Anton Bresler made the most tackles, with 13 from 14 attempts, followed by Dale Chadwick (11 from 11) and Jacques Botes (10 from 12). A number of players returned 100% records of significant numbers of attempts, including Monde Hadebe (6), Sbura Sithole (6), Marius Joubert (7) and Louis Ludik. Bresler was the most active tackler, making a good stop for every 6.14 minutes on the field, followed by Julian Redelinghuys (6.25) and Cobus Reinach (6.67).
No player missed more than 2 tackles, with Francois Kleinhans, Jacques Botes and Charl McLeod each missing that number. Gouws Prinsloo missed the only tackle he attempted, giving him a percentage of 0… other than that, Kleinhans (78%) was the only other player to achieve below 80%.
Odwa Ndungane won possession an impressive 7 times, ahead of Charl McLeod, Riaan Viljoen and Louis Ludik (4 apiece). Riaan Viljoen again made the most running metres (127), ahead of Ludik (107) and Paul Jordaan (75). Ndungane stood out with 2 line breaks, while the most offloads (3) were shared by Steven Sykes, Riaan Viljoen and Louis Ludik.
Most passes outside of the halfbacks went to skipper Jean Deysel (11), followed by Botes and Ludik, who made 10 each.
Moving to the rucks, it was Bresler who hit the most in total (22), followed closely by Botes and Chadwick, with 19 each. Sbura Sithole and Paul Jordaan were the best of the backs, each hitting 8 rucks. The most active rucker was Julian Redelinghuys, who hit an amazing 12 rucks in only 25 minutes for a return of one ruck every 2.08 minutes on the field. Next best was Bry Stander (2.86) and Kleinhans (3.33).
There was plenty of lost possession, but Monde Hadebe’s 4 missed line outs stand out, with plenty of other players losing the ball twice. Dale Chadwick conceded 2 penalties in an otherwise faultless display, with nobody else infringing more than once. The highest combined error score is again a three-way tie, with Hadebe, Kleinhans and McLeod each guilty of 5 total errors.
Our MVP this week is Anton Bresler, for his work rate on defence and at the breakdown. Odwa Ndungane came second, with Riaan Viljoen and Louis Ludik deserving honourable mentions. I’d also like to give Julian Redelinghuys a fair bit of credit for a massive amount of work during his 25 minutes on the field, something which I didn’t pick up when doing the player ratings.Tweet