Richard Ferguson

Sharks vs Chiefs: Statistical insight

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 22 Mar 2011 at 11:26
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The Sharks suffered their first loss of the 2011 season on Friday, going down to the Chiefs in wet conditions in Hamilton. For some more insight into what exactly went wrong for the Sharks, we turn to the stats to find some answers.

The first factor that pops up, and we don’t usually cover this, is that the Sharks had a mere 38% possession on the day. Now you could put this down to loss of possession through handling errors, but the Chiefs had twice the number of knocks on the day. Not even the kicking stat from the Sharks is more than the Chiefs. The turnovers were also evenly matched, which doesn’t clarify the lack of ball at all.

To give you an idea of the amount of ball the Chiefs had in comparison to the Sharks, the Sharks made 97 passes compared to the 170 of the Chiefs, the Sharks had 51 ball carries whereas the Chiefs had a staggering 129.

This leads us nicely to the tackling stats for the game, which just enhances the above. The Sharks were forced into making 194 tackles, of which they only misses 15, which gives them a good 92% completion stat, but compared to the 67 tackles the Chiefs had to make, you can understand that our players might have been rather tired towards the end of the game. The worst of the tacklers were Hargreaves (3 missed out 16) and Lambie (2 missed from 12).

The amount of tackles the forwards ended up making is staggering, with 125 of the 194 tackles made amongst the 11 forwards used on the day. Alberts managed to get through 20 on his own, with each of the locks contributing 16 of their own tackles.

With the amount of ball the Chiefs had, you can understand that they would have made many more handling errors, exactly double in fact. The Sharks dropped the oval ball 21 times on the night, with Charl McLeod and Louis Ludik each chipping in with 4 knock. In the wet weather on the day, these errors can almost be excused, although we all expect the Sharks players to be perfect.

The ground gained stat follows on from the rest of the stats above, where the Sharks made 440m compared to the 808m gained by the Chiefs. None of the Sharks gained that much, with Alberts and Ludik the only players to break 50m.

Looking at everything said above, the Sharks lost the game because they were never in the game. One could argue that you need the ball to score points, and that is absolutely correct, but my opinion is that should the Sharks have seen more ball, they could easily have won the game as they did the basics quiet well.


  • I still have to decide if this stats make me feel worse or better…..

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.03.11 11:40:12 by franshark Reply
  • @franshark (Comment 1) :

    It’s aim is to put it in perspective..

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.03.11 11:45:21 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • I did not go through the trouble to watch the game I recorded – so I suppose I am the last one that can comment – but it looks plain as simple to me : The Sharks did not pitch..?

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.03.11 11:48:55 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 3) :

    I wouldn’t say that..

    They just did not have any ball.

    Why that is I cannot say? I do not understand it to be honest..

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.03.11 11:52:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : The ref??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.03.11 11:55:17 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 5) :

    🙂 If only we could blame him..

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.03.11 12:09:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • they pulled a bulls one over us!!
    Kiwis have always been good at retaining possesion.
    What are the kicking stats like ,where did we play most of our game ?
    So in essence they protected the breakdown like mad men, obviously they wathced tapes and made a game plan to commit more players to the bd, having our forwards make that many tackles means they kept the ball close to their forwards-pick and drive

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.03.11 12:17:18 by Talent Reply
  • richard spot on but you missed some vital stats. discipline cost the team dearly as all the chiefs points came from penalties. of the 9 penalties given away by the sharks, the du plessis brother were responsible for 5, and considering that jannie was on the field for less than half the game and he gave away 2, some serious talking needs to be done to these guys. secondly you mention the kicking stat wasn’t different between the teams, but what the stats don’t show is the chiefs kicking was better directed and gave the sharks less usable ball. but the biggest concern was the ball the sharks got from first phase. the sharks blew too many lineouts.

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.03.11 12:20:24 by try time Reply

  • I don’t mean to be negative but is anyone else feeling a bit worried for the sharks we could loose three in a row here the saders should beat us but I think the stormers will also wanna make a point against us

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.03.11 12:22:35 by sharkbok Reply

  • @try time (Comment 8) :

    We won 77% of our lineouts and 90% of our own set pieces..

    Its not much worse than in previous weeks though..

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.03.11 12:23:54 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @sharkbok (Comment 9) : Okay – let’s not jump the gun by that much!! 😐

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.03.11 12:26:17 by Ice Reply
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  • Maybe it was just the wet weather.

    Anyone know the weather forecast for Twickenham come sunday night yet?

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.03.11 12:26:30 by Original Champion Reply
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  • @sharkbok (Comment 9) :

    I dont think we have anything to be worried about..

    We have to remember that the game we lost was an away game!

    We will lift our game vs the Crusaders, and should we lose against them, again its an away game..

    We will beat the Stormers next weekend, we are playing much better rugby than they are.. They just-just won each of their games. Last week the Stormers were poor when they just got away with a win against the Highlanders, and now they beat a poor Bulls team.

    I dont see the Stormers threat…

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.03.11 12:27:08 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 10) : it is when the team you are playing is better. lets be honest and admit the rebels are a kak team. the sharks and brumbies made them look good. clinical teams have thrashed the rookies. we even struggled against a 14 man force team. the question that needs to be asked is just how good are the sharks players. kankowski has been pedestrian. keegan and botes have battled to make great breaks, and poor alberts is left to crash into ten defenders cause they know he is the poor sucker left to carry the teams attack. even our locks don’t seem to be pulling their weight. let me not get started on our backs.

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.03.11 12:30:26 by try time Reply

  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : I feel we can match them everywhere except mid-field.

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.03.11 12:30:34 by Original Champion Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : how many home games have we won over the last few years? i would stick my neck out and say we have a better away record.

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.03.11 12:32:00 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 14) :

    I agree with parts of your assessment there, but I think your comment about our locks is unfair. Those two have been really good. You can’t blame them for some of the poor lineout throws our hookers have been having..

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.03.11 12:32:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Original Champion (Comment 12) : Forecast: Days 6-10Days 1-5 Days 6-10 Days 11-15 Weekends All 15 Days Sunday, Mar 27More Details mostly sunny. Winds from the N at 6 km/h.Realfeel®: 16 °CHigh: 13 °CSunday Night, Mar 27More Details mainly clear. Winds from the NW at 4 km/h.Realfeel®: 2 °CLow: 2 °C

  • Comment 18, posted at 22.03.11 12:33:53 by Ice Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 16) :

    Are you referring specifically to Super Rugby or Currie Cup?

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.03.11 12:35:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • lineouts are about timing between hooker and lock. if bissie was throwing them skew i would agree with you, but i feel both parties are to blame.

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.03.11 12:36:03 by try time Reply

  • I’m getting irratated with the Stormers this, Stormers that. Grow some nads will you 🙄

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.03.11 12:37:14 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 19) : super rugby. currie cup is a tournament our sharks are good at. super rugby seems to be a step too far for some of the players.

  • Comment 22, posted at 22.03.11 12:37:24 by try time Reply

  • @Original Champion (Comment 15) : The same Stormers midfield that didnt do anything against us last year 🙄

  • Comment 23, posted at 22.03.11 12:39:45 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 22) :

    In the 2010 Super 14:

    7 away games – lost 4 – 43% win rate
    6 home games – lost 2 – 66% win rate

  • Comment 24, posted at 22.03.11 12:44:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) :and those 2 where in the beginnig 5 in_a_row that we lost, we had an exelent run at home and don’t have to expect anything els this year. We are still well on track to end on top

  • Comment 25, posted at 22.03.11 12:54:24 by franshark Reply
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 24) : ok cut the neck off. 😆 i do know they lost the first 5 games most of those were overseas. actually that is interesting, so the sharks won all their home games after the tour. maybe that is a good omen for the rest of the season.

  • Comment 26, posted at 22.03.11 12:55:05 by try time Reply

  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 23) : – agree the stormers is not that bigga thread to the sharks at home

  • Comment 27, posted at 22.03.11 12:55:50 by franshark Reply
  • @franshark (Comment 25) : so the next question is do we treat this weeks game as a home game? same time zone, equal support if not more. in which case it is imperative for us to win it.

  • Comment 28, posted at 22.03.11 12:57:20 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 16) : Sharks have won their last 13 home games across all competitions

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.03.11 12:59:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 27) : i really am not that concerned about the stormers. yes they can beat us. but on current form both teams are pretty much on a par. stormers have played one overseas team. we have had to adapt to the varying game styles since week one. we should be the better team (injuries dependent) in two weeks time.

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.03.11 13:00:25 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : I think the last time they lost at home was to the Cheetahs just before going on tour last year so we have our own fortress Kings Park 😎

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.03.11 13:02:34 by Danman110 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 29) : i don’t look at the currie cup. sharks haven’t done that badly in that competition under plumtree, could have been 3 in a row had the bok sharks not messed up the well oiled shark machine in the 2009 semi. it is superrugby that concerns me.

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.03.11 13:03:24 by try time Reply

  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 23) : No, they didn`t have Jaque Fourie in the team for us last year.

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.03.11 13:10:28 by Original Champion Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 8) : Agree with you try time. We gave away too many penalties that cost us. The Dup brothers have to keep the discipline this week. Also our lineouts was a mess, we can’t give them any ball there this week.

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.03.11 13:11:16 by Puma Reply

  • @Original Champion (Comment 33) : Twg13? He is overated 😈 Yes the Stormers can beat us, but we can just as easily dispose of them.

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.03.11 13:15:30 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 30) : Yes we can, but how much travel will Stormers have done compared to us? Don’t underestimate the tiredness that comes with continous travel. Also we have to hope no more injuries this week. Think we will miss something without having Lambie.

    We ony have 5 days after coming back to face Stormers. Remember Stormers too have not played the same amount of games that we have. Hope this playing in London does not put us back. We need to win all our home games. Our bye only comes after playing Lions at home.

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.03.11 13:17:07 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 36) : ony = only

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.03.11 13:17:50 by Puma Reply

  • @Puma (Comment 36) : if we decide to play defenders again this week, i agree we will be too tired to beat the stormers. the sharks have to be stingy with their possession and no 50-50 passes must be thrown. everything has to be calculated risk. then we will be fresher and head home stronger. if we kick away hard earned possession and knockon due to stupid decision making, another 190 tackles will leave the team drained and useless against the stormers.

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.03.11 13:21:02 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 29) :

    The Sharks haven’t lost a game with me in the press box..

  • Comment 39, posted at 22.03.11 13:24:31 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Original Champion (Comment 33) :
    Im sure Fourie played, I remember Stef Terblanche marching him backwards in a tackle at an unholy rate of knots.

  • Comment 40, posted at 22.03.11 13:40:20 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Salmonoid (Comment 40) :


  • Comment 41, posted at 22.03.11 13:41:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 38) : Spot on, agree.

  • Comment 42, posted at 22.03.11 13:48:37 by Puma Reply

  • Interesting reading this. its clear we had no momentum – we did well to keep the game so close.

  • Comment 43, posted at 22.03.11 15:24:59 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 43) :

    Good point..

  • Comment 44, posted at 22.03.11 15:26:24 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Well one could say the chiefs only made 67 tackles coz the sharks were sidestepping them like crazy lol

  • Comment 45, posted at 22.03.11 15:38:35 by bergshark Reply


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