Richard Ferguson

Sharks v Blues: The numbers

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 2 Mar 2011 at 07:48
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The Sharks beat the Blues quite comprehensively this past weekend, and although it might be a bit late, let’s have a look at what the stats say about the game. Let me just that we are al aware that stats can be interpreted and argued to be both positive and negative, and that the point of this exercise is to just point out potential weaknesses in the Sharks game and to compliment any positives.

Right, first up is always the tackle stats and in a game that the Sharks were praised for their defensive efforts, yet they missed 24 tackles in total. A total of 142 tackles were attempted, meaning the Sharks effectiveness at the tackle has dropped from the previous weekend to 83%. The biggest offenders were Steven Sykes, Meyer Bosman and Stefan Terblanche, who all missed 3 tackles each. The worst offender percentage wise was John Smit, who attempted 3 tackles and missed 2.

In the previous game the Sharks had a mere 24 handling errors, and that was a wet game. This week the number is similarly high in 21, which could indicate poor handling or that chances were taken with fifty/fifty passes on attack. Either way, the worst offender was not surprisingly Charl McLeod with 6 knocks followed not far behind by Odwa Ndungane with 4 of his own. A special mention to Pat Lambie who handled the ball 38 times and not once did he spill the ball. (Again, this can be further analysed as being good distribution from McLeod or whatever it is you want to read into that stat.)

Ground gained in this game was always going to more than in the previous game, but to beat the Blues at the running game does leave a nice taste in one’s mouth when you read that the Sharks gained 972m and the Blues only 777m. The biggest contributors to this were Louis Ludik (116m), Willem Alberts (114m), Ryan Kankowski (111m) and Pat Lambie (105m). The Sharks also had 8 line breaks of which Lwazi Mvovo and Stefan Terblanche provided 2 each.

The breakdown/ruck stats are very ambiguous, so we won’t go into too much detail except tell you who hit the most rucks, which was Beast Mtawarira who hit 26 ruck in total.

Thanks must go to for providing the information used in this article.


  • John Smit, attempted 3 tackles, missed 2. 😯 😯 And he didnt even play that long.

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.03.11 08:10:47 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Most of my FL players were selected through stats like these 😕 Not all of them has lived up to the hype 🙄

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.03.11 08:24:04 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • After yesterday’s touring stats it a relieve to read some positive stats….

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.03.11 08:35:01 by franshark Reply
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 1) : His first game but he’ll need to improve that stat for sure.

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.03.11 08:39:19 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Based on stats alone it could be argued that we may have a defensive vulnerability in our centre channels and yet we haven’t leaked a try in our first two games. Take from that what you will 🙂

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.03.11 10:36:56 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : good scrambling defence from the back 3…

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.03.11 11:21:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • I think half of Big Vic’s metres gained were in that storming run where he forgot to pass the ball 🙄 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.03.11 11:28:27 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 7) : He didn’t forget he just thought he was a centre for a second. 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.03.11 11:31:48 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 8) : he’s a frightening sight on the run though, isn’t he?

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.03.11 11:35:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : It’s amazing how much more powerful he is than his peers… consistently takes 2-3 tacklers to take him down!

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.03.11 12:21:36 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 10) : Big Vic has no peers – only inferiors 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.03.11 13:05:42 by robdylan Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : @robdylan (Comment 6) : Here’s my (positive) take on our slipped tackles stat – a high initial tackle success rate is indicative of good defensive systems and good discipline. The fact that we slipped quite a lot of tackles and yet did not leak any tries, is, as Rob pointed out, a sign of good scrambling defence, which, in my opinion, is generally an indication of commitment and good team spirit; a willingness not to give up and to throw everything you have at it to cover your team mate’s mistakes.

    So, from that we can gather that 1) we can still improve, and 2) all is well with the Sharks. Not that it should come as news to anyone, but how friggin’ awesome is that thought!?

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.03.11 13:08:18 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 12) : Shout it from the rooftops, brother 🙂

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.03.11 13:46:11 by robdylan Reply
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