Sharks v Blue Bulls: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 18 Jul 2011 at 11:54
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During the 2011 Currie Cup, we’ll do a regular statistical analysis of the Sharks players’ individual performances based on the Verusco statistics supplied by Let’s have a look at the first round game against the Blue Bulls in Durban, which the Sharks won 35-16.

Starting with defence (and the Sharks did a lot of that, particularly in the second half), we see that the team, as a whole, did superbly. Apart from limiting the Bulls to a single try, there were only 14 misses in 194 attempts, giving an overall tackle success rate of around 93%, which is pretty good. More than half of the players (in fact, 15/22 which is more like two thirds) missed no tackles at all. Clear top of the pops when it comes to both tackle rate and effectiveness was Marcell Coetzee, who made 25 hits, 6 assists and missed none. Next up were the two props, Dale Chadwick and Wiehahn Herbst, who made 15 tackles each, Chadders with no misses and Wors with 1. The best tackler amongst the backs was Ross Cronje, with 11 stops and no misses.

Heroes are one thing, but there were villains too, with 8 of the 14 missed tackles belonging to the two centres. Meyer Bosman was the worst, with 5 misses out of 14 attempts, giving him a success rate of just 64%. Marius Joubert missed 3 and made 6, making his rate only marginally better at 67%.

Moving on to work with ball in hand, Coetzee again shines carrying more often than anyone else on the park (14 times). Keegan Daniel and Craig Burden were just a bit further back, each taking the ball up 13 times. Marius Joubert was the back who did the most carrying, with 10. Daniel emerged as the hero when it came to progress made, though, with his 148 metres gained the best of any player on the day. Coetzee and then Joubert came second and third, but the difference between them and Daniel was massive. Line breaks were few and far between, with no player making more than one. Ross Cronje deserves a mention, though, since his break lead directly to a great try.

Looking at handling numbers, Daniel again stands out as the player (outside of the halfbacks) who touched the ball most often – 22 times. Coetzee was second with 18, while Joubert and Stefan Terblanche shared the honours amongst the backs with 16 handles each. Again excluding the halfbacks, Daniel made the most passes (15) with Bosman (8) the best of the backs. It’s interesting to note that after Daniel, the next highest pass count amongst the forwards was 4, showing just how vital Daniel is to the Sharks’ continuity on attack.

Looking at ruck attendance, our man Ross Skeate towers above all others, with a total of 38 rucks hit (24 on offence and 14 on defence). Jacques Botes was next best, with 29 in total, while special mention must go to both Louis Ludik (15) and Mark Richards (13), who hit plenty of rucks for wings!

Errors were on the low side, with Ross Cronje (as one would expect given how often he touched the ball) making the most handling errors with 6. Out of 70 handles, though, that still leaves him with an error rate of below 10%, which is perfect for a scrumhalf. Penalties were pretty even, with Skeate, Coetzee, Joubert and Terblanche each conceding two. The player with the highest Total Screwup Score is Joubert, with 2 penalties, 3 handling errors, 2 “other errors” and 3 missed tackles giving him a score of 11. The next highest was quite a long way back.

Looking at these numbers, our own award for the best player overall goes to none other than Captain Keegan Daniel. Good to know that, just occasionally, the man of the match award goes to the correct player!


  • Couldn’t agree more on Keegs! i have rated him for a long time, the man is a blessing and pure class.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.07.11 12:27:31 by G West Reply
    Competition Winner Author
    G West
  • NICE! πŸ˜€

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.07.11 12:56:26 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @G West (Comment 1) : against a rubbish bulls team keegs shines bright πŸ˜›

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.07.11 13:12:53 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 3) : gotta play what’s in front of you, Megs… what else did you expect of him?

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.07.11 13:14:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • “The player with the highest Total Screwup Score is Marius Joubert, with 2 penalties, 3 handling errors, 2 β€œother errors” and 3 missed tackles…”
    Glad to see my eyes did not deceive me from where i was sitting in the stands. Thought he was absolute rubbish on the night. Hope he gets better from here onwards; still can’t fathom what he brings to the game at Currie Cup level that a hungry youngster couldn’t.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.07.11 13:35:53 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Megatron (Comment 3) : you never get a rubbish bulls team. Keegs were just outstanding with all the youngsters. It might have been a lot closer if sleepy van den heever scored his try. And then again not, if Visser was sent off. What a shocking and dangerous attack in the air on old stef.

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.07.11 14:08:32 by Reebok Reply

  • I gave Keegan my personal MOTM award but it wasn’t straightforward as Coetzee, Burden and Cronje all had top games.

    Definitely Ross Skeates best game for the Sharks. Nice to see him getting stuck in and doing some hard work in the tight phases!

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.07.11 14:12:50 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Reebok (Comment 6) : He did take Oupa out in the air but think it deserved a yellow card. Red would have been too harsh!

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.07.11 14:15:15 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Villie (Comment 8) : yes, good call… should have been yellow, but red would’ve been harsh

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.07.11 14:20:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : There were a couple of bad calls in the match by the ref! But it didn’t count against us so who are we to bitch and moan? :mrgreen: πŸ™‚

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.07.11 16:13:50 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 10) : A team should play a game in a manner that even if there are serious bad calls, it does not affect th outcome…we did do just that…In my opinion! πŸ˜€

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.07.11 16:17:53 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 10) : Rob actually, revered to my comment that state that the blue supporters @ my work claims the ref indiscretions for the loss

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.07.11 16:21:52 by Franshark Reply
  • @Franshark (Comment 12) : As usual I have found another Bull supporter with sight depreviations… :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 18.07.11 16:27:14 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @Ice (Comment 11) : Yes exactly, but if we hadn’t of won I will gaurantee that I would be the first one to bitch about it!

  • Comment 14, posted at 18.07.11 16:28:12 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 13) : πŸ™‚

  • Comment 15, posted at 18.07.11 16:36:47 by Franshark Reply
  • Cronje must speed up his play and give cleaner ball.That is a 9’s job.

    Marcell played a great game but must just cut out that silly mistakes.

  • Comment 16, posted at 18.07.11 22:57:31 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • Well done to all the “youngsters”. I think the Sharks will live on successfully.

  • Comment 17, posted at 19.07.11 18:14:45 by FS Shark Reply

    FS Shark
  • @FS Shark (Comment 17) : thanks FS Shark… I think so too.

    I’m afraid I wasn’t able to approve your picture, due to its political nature. Please could I ask you to chose something else?

  • Comment 18, posted at 19.07.11 18:19:03 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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