Sharks quarter final numbers to ponder

Written by Head Train Spotter (RuckinGoodStats)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 24 Jun 2011 at 10:59
Tagged with : , , , ,

I waited writing this piece until later in the week as I had sensed the weather, if not the volcanic ash, was going to have a say in the game.

The outlook for the game is very wet. I write from Wellington where Nelson is 20 minutes by very light plane. It usually has much better weather, but this week the rain has come and continues to fall as I write this and you read it.

Wet weather means handling errors and a kicking game for territory. Over the last couple of weeks the Sharks have tidied up handling errors. In the first 12 games the Sharks made double digital handling errors in 10 of the games. In the last 4 games they have made single digital handling errors. Put another way out of the 177 handling errors in SuperRugby, only 30 were in the last 4 games (last quarter of the season). However they are still the number one team for handling errors at an average of 11.1 per game. Higher than the Crusaders who have made 39 in their last four games. Last time they played, the Sharks made 17 handling errors to the Crusaders 11.

A wet game will mean the Crusaders will kick (from the hand) to gain territory. Certainly in the last two games that were wet (Blues and Hurricanes respectively) the Crusaders kicked 28 and 27 times each, higher than the 22.3 average at that time. The Crusaders make an average of 2 errors per game when kicking from the hand. The Sharks are averaging 1 per game in this regard.

Scrums time will be interesting as the Sharks and Bulls scrum last week ended up being reset 5 times, all on the Sharks feed. This was the usual number of resets for Kaplan who was the ref. The Sharks conceded 4 scrum penalties well above their 1.2 average. The Crusaders scrum is solid and I expect the scrum to be a focal point based on the Bulls game, which I’m sure the Crusaders have analysed.

The Crusaders concede about 1.5 penalties more on average than the Sharks, and it is likely to be at the ruck/maul. The Crusaders concede an average of 6.5 ruck/maul penalties per game making them the 3rd highest in the competition. The Sharks concede 5.2 per game and are 10th highest.

Penalties and scrum are reliant on the referee controlling this aspect. In this game it is Bryce Lawrence who also has got the final as well. Lawrence is 13th out of the 17th ref (1 is highest/most) to reset scrums, and awarded ruck penalties. He is 11th highest overall for penalties so he is not likely to want to get involved unless required, or at least that is what the stats are saying.

Coding each and every game it is clear the Crusaders will go backwards from the advantage line and wait for an opening. For this to happen players need to come out of the line, or miss tackles. Last week by my count the Sharks missed 29 tackles against the Bulls. This area has not been improving over the last few games. In fact it has been getting worse. Rain is a great leveller, and typically a wet game is played around the ruck (i.e. pick and go’s), this reduces the number of missed tackles, in my experience and may favour the Sharks.

On rucks the Crusaders are one of the best teams at holding the ball in rucks despite counter rucking. The 2.5 on average they lose taking the ball into a ruck is the lowest in the competition. The Sharks conceded an average 3.1 and are 10th highest.

Stats that favour the Sharks are clearly place kicking. Lambie, has a higher percentage that Carter. Further the Sharks score more tries against Australian and New Zealand teams than South African Super15 teams. Sharks average 1.9 tries against South African teams and 3.3 tries when playing New Zealand and Australian teams.

Will try and post stats during the game if I get time, but will be giving preference to my tweets, so follow me along. It is also nice to note that most of South Africa is behind the Sharks (Crusaders fans are everywhere..).


  • Great article – thanks!

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.06.11 11:08:43 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • GO SHARKS !!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.06.11 11:15:09 by Charlie Reply

  • the wet weather will be a leveller and may favor the Sharks.

    Clever selection with Alberts at 8

    would have been ideal to have Sykes in the mix

    big pity

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.06.11 11:52:18 by grant10 Reply

  • Hey guys. Great article, and good point. I just want to make a suggestion… I think you mean single DIGIT handling errors and double DIGIT handling errors. Drop the “ital”. 😉 Shot!

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.06.11 12:18:15 by JamesPreston Reply

  • Man the stats I give is easy:
    Saders vs Sharks = sharks victory
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.06.11 12:25:32 by franshark Reply
  • @JamesPreston (Comment 4) : Yup and I just wanted to see who spotted that first 😳

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.06.11 12:27:13 by RuckinGoodStats Reply

  • @grant10 (Comment 3) : not sure I agree…. I feel Sykes has been off his best pretty much all season

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.06.11 12:28:24 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @JamesPreston (Comment 4) :

    Welcome to the site!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.06.11 12:29:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Great stats as usual excellent.

    What is your twitter username?

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.06.11 12:30:12 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • From Lawrence being so low on the penalty count “log” I would say the Sharks should do well and Neither Bismarck or Daniel should hold back for fear of being penalised.

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.06.11 12:33:13 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.06.11 12:43:06 by RuckinGoodStats Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 10) : yeah as long as Lawrence stays consistant

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.06.11 12:44:02 by RuckinGoodStats Reply

  • @RuckinGoodStats (Comment 11) : thanks.

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.06.11 13:03:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Sharks are definitely the underdogs. Just hoping they don’t go prone tomorrow :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 24.06.11 13:09:42 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @franshark (Comment 5) : i can live with that lol

  • Comment 15, posted at 24.06.11 14:01:34 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • How good will the sharks scrum be this time around?have still not seen the saders vs sharks at twickenham game,but heard sharks were given a scrumming lesson.

  • Comment 16, posted at 24.06.11 14:12:57 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 16) : that was where we lost that one and where we’ll win this one.

  • Comment 17, posted at 24.06.11 14:31:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : I agree!The arrival of freddie ‘mercur-ial’ michalak at flyhalf seems to have given Lambie a bit more time on the ball at fullback & enables him to be more devastating when he joins the backline.

  • Comment 18, posted at 24.06.11 15:38:20 by nimalen316 Reply

  • Apparently only 11 000 tickets have been sold so far.

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.06.11 19:07:48 by McLovin Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 16) : Some media said yesterday that the Sharks lost 2 tughtheads, so I went back to the my stats, no tghtheads, went to TWO other train spotter who also didn’t have tighheads so be careful looking at scum stats in the Crusader v Sharks London game…

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.06.11 21:06:03 by RuckinGoodStats Reply


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