Richard Ferguson

A new statistical outlook

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 10 May 2011 at 12:00
Tagged with : , ,

After the win against the Brumbies, I am not going to look at the normal repetitive statistics like who made the most tackles and who made the most running meters, those are all individual based statistics and do not really mean anything in the team context. So let’s look at the match in comparison to the Stormers loss, and see where the Sharks changed their game and how they did it.

Even thought the Sharks weren’t called upon to make as many tackles as in the previous weekend, they did do a better job by reducing the tackles missed from 1 in every 4 tackles against the Stormers, to 1 in every 10 attempts against the Brumbies. That is a much better effort from the Sharks and is the single most important stat in explaining how the Sharks kept the Brumbies scoreless for the second half.

A lot of work was done around the ruck situation, with a number things improving for the Sharks. The turnovers conceded at ruck time reduced from 6 against the Stormers to only 2 against the Brumbies, and hand in hand with that goes the penalties conceded at ruck time, dropping from a massive 12 penalties to only 4.

Some more concerning stats though, is the fact that the lost the same amount of lineouts in both matches, as well as making the same amount of handling errors. A majority of the missed tackles were missed in the Sharks’ half, with almost half of these missed in our 22m. An interesting stat for those Lambie lovers is that even though he kicked much better, his kicks were easier in comparison to the kicks he made against the Stormers, so if probability is taken into account, he was less likely to miss any kicks against the Brumbies, meaning he should have had 100% kicking stats.

Despite the earlier comment about lineout losses, the Sharks did show signs of being aware of their poor lineouts by changing their approach. More lineout throws went to the middle of the lineout than to the front, yet no throws went to the back of the lineout.

To end off, we look at the territory stakes, where in the Stormers match the Sharks were in their 22m for 16% of the match, compared to the 26% against the Brumbies. All the above shows that the Sharks did improve their general game play against the Brumbies, but it all points to the fact that the Sharks should have beaten the Brumbies by a far bigger margin.

Thanks must go to the guys at for their work in analyzing and putting out such interesting statistics, which makes my job so much easier. Have a look at their site or follow them on twitter (@ruckingoodstats) for some real-time stats throughout the game.


  • How many lineouts did we lose?

    I also vaguely remember one of the lineout balls going to Jean Deysel? Isn’t that considered the back of the lineout?

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.05.11 12:09:52 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : Bizzy conceded 4 turnovers in the game and I remember that he at least 3 of those were lineouts.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.05.11 12:29:43 by Viking Reply
  • Thanks Richard
    so we just have to work on the line outs and change or rotate the call outs

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.05.11 12:34:47 by chaz Reply

  • Statistics are always great to look at. One stat that amazes me is how little the Sharks players offload ball in the tackle. Willem Alberts especially could be far more effective if he off loaded the ball when he takes out two or more defenders. Yet he is far happier taking the ball to ground. This allows the opposition defensive line time to regroup. In 11 games Willem Alberts has carried the ball 132 times, but has only offloaded 13 times. It makes him very easy to defend against. The New Zealand and Red’s players on the other hand put a lot more pressure on opposition defensive lines by offloading in the tackle and freeing players around them up. We often hear John Plumtree talk about how great the opposition’s defence was, maybe the Sharks are just easy to defend against?

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.05.11 12:52:41 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 4) : That is very true and the Brumbies game was a great example. One unexpected Alberts offload resulted in a try and then Bissie’s unexpected offload also resulted in a try.

    Unlike what P Divvy thinks the offload is a very effective attacking weapon

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.05.11 12:55:36 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 5) : Now imagine if he does it more often? He isn’t the only guilty party. It is an area the Sharks seriously need to focus on.

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.05.11 12:59:04 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 4) : You’re right, I remember the commentator mentioning it too during the game.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.05.11 13:29:07 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • i think the off loading is a sa thing not just the sharks

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.05.11 13:50:11 by juba_fan Reply

  • @waje (Comment 4) :
    True, if any of Bissy, Alberts and Deysel offloaded we would already have an advantage because its exactly what is not expected.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.05.11 14:40:52 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Jip,as the commentator mentioned in the adi try ( reply).bissie off-loading rather than going for it on his own,made all the difference .

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.05.11 20:25:33 by bergshark Reply

  • Who watched Sharkbite? Keegan just interviewed Bissie when asked who his rugby hero is he replied he has two, Uli Scmidt and John Smit! So all conspiracy theorist shut up and sit down there is no problems between the two best hookers in SA

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.05.11 20:32:59 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • Nice answer bissie! 🙂
    Read an article in the huisgenoot/you magazine and when asked if they( bissie and jannie) are looking to leave the tank,jannie answered:no.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.05.11 20:38:34 by bergshark Reply

  • Yeah they interviewed Jannie marking his 50th cap for the Sharks and he sais he is so proud to have been able to play 50 games for the Sharks and he hopes to be able to play many more for the Sharks. I think many on here undervalue the Dups. JP is building his house in Durban and also sais that he fell in love with Durban on arrival and is planning his future in DBN and to stay with the Sharks for as long as they whant him

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.05.11 21:07:19 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • @Sharksmad – The Blog’s Dudette (Comment 11) : I always seem to miss Sharkbite. Does it show weekly or monthly? On what days does it usually show?

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.05.11 21:21:32 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 9) : @Pokkel (Comment 5) : The funny thing is that Bismarck only offloaded once (in 11 carries) in the Brumbies game and it resulted in a try. Overall he has only offloaded 8 times in 80 ball carries this season. Not surprisingly that during the Brumbies game the Sharks players offloaded more than in prior games and it resulted in tries. Maybe the team can pick up on this in the remaining games and work on it during practice. Overall this season the Shark’s players have only offloaded 185 balls from 1453 carries. That definitely shows the Sharks aren’t testing defences as much as they should.

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.05.11 08:15:52 by waje Reply

  • @waje (Comment 15) :

    I hear what you are saying, and I agree to a certain extent.

    The thing is, we don’t want to try that 50/50 pass and lose possession when we can take the ball to ground and build another phase.

    But I do agree, Bis and especially Alberts can improve their game even more by passing every now and again.

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.05.11 08:42:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson

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