Sharks v Lions: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Aug 2010 at 08:19
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Time for our series of weekly awards based on the statistics coming out of the Sharks impressive win against the Lions on Saturday. Thanks asn always to for these figures.

Let’s start by looking at defence. The Sharks only had to make 130 tackles in the game, in contrast to the frankly ridiculous 243 from the Lions, whose defence kept them in the game for long periods. Top tackler on the Sharks side was none other than Alistair Hargreaves, with 14 tackles, 5 assists ans no misses. Jacques Botes was not far behind, with 12 tackles and two assists (again no misses). It’s quite interesting to note that Hargreaves’ effort would have only made him the seventh-best tackler in the Lions team, with their defensive MVP Warren Whiteley pulling off an astonishing 31 stops.

In a cruel twist of fate, the two players to whom I gave perfect ratings yesterday were the worst offenders when it came to missing tackles, with Willem Alberts missing four and Pat Lambie three.

Looking at ball carrying stats, you can see that the Sharks team as a whole did superbly in this area; overall, the ball was taken up 174 times, with the line broken 20 times. Alberts (16) and Keegan Daniel (15) are the players who carried the ball most often, with the latter responsible for the most line breaks (4). Lwazi Mvovo was the next best at beating the defence, as he broke the line three times. No fewer than six different players made over 100 metres with ball in hand – a truly remarkable achievement – and Lwazi Mvovo was the destroyer-in-chief here, making an impressive 199 metres. Next best was once again Daniel, managing to progress his side by 152 metres.

There were some big handling numbers as well, with halfbacks Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie getting their mitts on the ball 80 and 43 times respectively. Outside of those two, it was again Alberts who touched the ball most, with a handle-count of 23. Handling errors were generally on the low side, with McLeod and Lambie blamed for three apiece. Other than them, Steven Sykes with two was the only player to have committed more than a single handing error, while looking at overall errors, Stefan Terblanche was the worst culprit with three.

Ruck attendance is the last area we’ll look at and once again, Jacques Botes emerges as the hardest worker in this area. The nuggety flanker added his 98kg to no fewer than 43 rucks (38 on attack and 5 on defence), with Alistair Hargreaves showing his penchant for the donkey work, just behind on 41 (35/6). The statistics recorded here give an indication of how many times a player was one of the first three to get to a particular ruck, whether on offence or defence. The numbers are very high for all of the forwards, with only Craig Burden below 20. The hooker, while very busy in broken play (carrying the ball 10 times for a gain of 118 metres) was given a lot of leeway as a result of the rest of the pack being so dominant. He’ll know that a stronger contribution in the tight aspects will be necessary against better opposition packs.


  • Just to add to the stats Rob, it is interesting to mention that the Sharks only had 3 lineouts during the entire game!!

    Hargreaves really impressed me with his ruck attendance.. he really is proving to be a great player!

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.08.10 08:47:52 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Shocking though is the fact that the Lions made almost double the amount of tackles, yet they missed 19 tackles and we missed 18!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.08.10 08:49:37 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Jacques and Hargreaves in my opinion was two of the best players on the field. Lambie and Alberts stood out and was seen, because of their contribution on attack, also Keegan and Burden, Mvovo, JPP and even McLeod, but I don’t think they would have been free to play like they did if it was not for the hard work Al and Botes put in. They were everywhere on the field.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.08.10 08:59:52 by Letgo Reply
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  • Funny. My non-scientific gut feeling after the game was that Al had been huge. He would have beem my man of the match

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.08.10 09:31:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : I would have been happy for him or Jacques to get the award, but you just never see the guys doing the grunt work ever being rewarded like that. It’s nice to have Al back after a week though, he proved me wrong this week with his work rate, Skeate looked a little more prominent coming of the bench the past few weeks, but then I guess it’s easier to look good for the last 15min of the game.

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.08.10 09:55:59 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : I have to agree.
    But man, what a hit on Taute by Alberts. 😆 Almost deserves man of the match just for that hit alone ❗ ❗ ❗

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.08.10 10:02:45 by SharksRTB Reply

  • Hargreaves was huge. I have had my reservations, despite the pretty fingers Rob keeps babbling about, but he was huge on the drive as well as in the tight. Great to watch.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.08.10 10:06:43 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : I have never been a big fan of Hargreaves but it was definately the best game I’ve seen him play.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.08.10 10:09:12 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @SharksRTB (Comment 6) : What was shocking that he got penalised for a good hard hit – he is working on his allround game, and it is pleasing…

    Have to agree that our D was not what it could’ve been, we allowed The Lions too many opportunities with sloppy defence… But the game was won convincingly… Our fitness and phase play was superb – The team is looking good.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.08.10 10:17:04 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 6) : It’s absolutely beautiful to see a hit like that, and then a ref goes and spoils it with a penalty.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.08.10 10:33:20 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • My first post on this site, looks like a great website with well written and informative articles, well done to all those involved, Robdylan I presume, the main man behind it all.

    What a great game for a spectator to watch on Saturday, fierce tackling, great ball retention and a fantastic sense of urgency and adventure from the players. If only the Bokke protected the ball the way the Sharks did on the weekend, instead of kicking it to the opposition at every chance.

    ps – any info on the seriousness of Jean Deysel’s injury?

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.08.10 10:36:48 by jonnow Reply

  • @jonnow (Comment 11) : Welcome to the site Jonnow!!

    Jean Deysel might be out for 6-8 weeks after he did his PCL in is knee (whatever that may be). Scans were done over the weekend but no news has been released to confirm anything..

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.08.10 10:45:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @jonnow (Comment 11) : PCL meaning posterior cruciate ligament, not as serious as ACL, 6-8 weeks confirmed, won’t feature in this CC season, as he will only be back for semis and final, too much of a risk…

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.08.10 10:51:36 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Guilty as charged, jonnow ;). Welcome. It’s taken you a while to find us. Maybe I need to do more guerilla marketing over on keo 😉

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.08.10 11:06:00 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • rob, you should look at adjusting these figures as they don’t explain the full picture. craig burden and jacques botes figures would have been even more impressive had they been on the field longer. so maybe look at giving the time the player was on the field. for example hargreaves is accredited with more tackles than botes but botes played 10% less. same with burden, he could easily have been up there with alberts and keegan with meters and ball carries, but he played only 60 minutes. so the stats are slighty skewed.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.08.10 12:35:14 by try time Reply

  • @jonnow (Comment 11) : welcome to our site :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.08.10 13:16:46 by chaz Reply

  • @jonnow (Comment 11) : Welcome

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.08.10 14:37:18 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Thanks for the welcome guys, I feel at home already.

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.08.10 07:24:31 by jonnow Reply


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