Sharks v Blue Bulls: By the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 19 Jul 2010 at 08:11
Tagged with : , , , ,

Often when watching a game of rugby, it’s easy to get carried away with what you see in the heat of the moment (or rather, what you think you see) and form subjective opinions based on that. Having a look at performances in the light of independent statistics can often yield some different insights.

The Bulls like to hand out awards to players after each game – for things like most tackles, most cleans, biggest hit and all the rest and apart from the fact that they have really stupid names for these (which rugby player wants to be called a “bumblebee”, for goodness sake?) I think it’s a pretty good idea. Let’s have a look at the Sharks stats for the game against the Blue Bulls (courtesy of the awesome and hand out a few awards of our own.

Probably the most obvious one to look at is for most tackles in the match. This one isn’t really surprising, in that it goes to Mike Rhodes with 15 tackles completed. I guess it actually is a bit surprising that somebody has beaten Jacques Botes to the award, come to think of it. He actually came third – the surprise runner-up was prop Pat Cilliers! Among the backs, Steve Meyer and Pat Lambie lead with 12 tackles each.

Statistically, the worst tackler was actually Craig Burden, who only completed 5 tackles and missed 2 others. Wiehahn Herbst also missed 2, but completed 10.

The most line breaks were made by man of the match Lwazi Mvovo, as he breached the Bulls defence 3 times. Burden and Lambie were not far behind, with 2 line breaks each.

Ruck attendance was a key factor for the Sharks, as the forwards completely overshadowed their Bulls opponents at most breakdowns. Jacques Botes emerges as the clear star here, participating in 42 rucks (30 on attack and 12 on defence). Alistair Hargreaves came in second with 31 total cleans.

Lastly we’ll look at who handled the ball most (outside of the halfbacks) and again, it’s not really surprising to find that Pat Lambie got his mitts on the pill 27 times. Keegan Daniel was the leading forward ball-handler, with 20, but special mention must go to Hargreaves, who touched the ball 19 times.

Pat Cilliers was the villain when it came to most penalties conceded, giving away 4. Most of these were for scrum infringements.


  • Ruggastats is an awesome site indeed, and I am not surprised by Craig’s tackle stats, he does not feature a defender strategically, he is not pillar defence, nor is he midfield defence… And that is where the Bulls running lines feature… Craig is a support defender and does the job when he needs to… but yep, 2 missed and 2 completed… hmmmm… Great stat about the rucks… We did clean them out there and we were very committed… Great game… I am excited about Mike Rhodes, a real aggressive young lad as well, he has a great future ahead of him…

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.07.10 08:37:42 by DarkDestroyer Reply
  • Great game! Well done boys!

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.07.10 08:55:20 by billy Reply
  • this warrants my crit on the player ratings. jacques botes isn’t seen much because he is working hard in the breakdowns so he always gets shocking ratings. he deserves more recognition.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.07.10 09:08:47 by try time Reply
  • as for lwazi i have been calling for him to be first choice from game two of the s14 this year as jp’s form was rusty. this weekend showed just how good the guy is when he has great centers inside. even jp looked good.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.07.10 09:10:23 by try time Reply
  • Mvovo was awesome to watch, stoked for the youngster, was also good to see JPP back in action and he looked happy to be back.

  • Comment 5, posted at 19.07.10 09:11:18 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • thanks sharksworld for a great weekend.It was well worth the trip. 😆

  • Comment 6, posted at 19.07.10 09:12:01 by pete69 Reply

  • @try time (Comment 3) : Botes gets through a mountain of work and from my vantage point in the stands you can see why he is such an important player for The Sharks… He links, he communicates, he links, he enters a ruck, he links, he tackles, he links… You get the idea, An asset… Enough said.

  • Comment 7, posted at 19.07.10 09:20:23 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • JPP did much better than I expected, but the Whole team did great and well done to the guys. Now go and destroy the Pumas!

  • Comment 8, posted at 19.07.10 09:22:00 by Jarson Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @Jarson (Comment 8) : destroy them just don’t get injured.

  • Comment 9, posted at 19.07.10 09:24:54 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 7) : i have always rated the guy. he will never be a bok, but he plays better than most players that do get the bok jersey.

  • Comment 10, posted at 19.07.10 09:24:54 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 10) : We are blessed with talent in the loose forward department and quite a few Sharks players are Bok worthy… I am not sure why Botes has never got a look in, but Juan Smith and Schalk were too “clicky” to drop when Botes still had age on his side…

  • Comment 11, posted at 19.07.10 09:35:12 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @DarkDestroyer (Comment 11) : agreed but there have been times those players have been injured and he is overlooked. but my only purpose in my comment was to give the guy the credit he deserves.

  • Comment 12, posted at 19.07.10 10:04:40 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 12) : Yep…

  • Comment 13, posted at 19.07.10 10:16:39 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • How difficult is it to be a sharks supporter? One week down, next week up . . .

    Beating the bulls is great though, made my month!!

    Had some quiet visitors saturday night after the game . . . or maybe I was just loud, hard to keep track after so many shooters 🙄

  • Comment 14, posted at 19.07.10 10:41:58 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @try time (Comment 3) : I agree. Id also argue with Robs rating for Pat Cilliers. The stats show he was a monster in the loose, but a bee-yatch in the scrums. Hes definitely not the kind of guy you want packing down in the super15. His capitulation also puts pressure on Herbst as Burden is not exactly known for his scrumming. With the exception of Burdens storming runs, lets be honest, the Sharks won despite the tight 5, not thanks to it, which is a real turnaround from the super14. Bodes well for when the Sharks get some of the big boys back up front.

  • Comment 15, posted at 19.07.10 11:47:58 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero

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