Sharks v Reds: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 21 Mar 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

What better way to ease us all in the Human Rights Day celebrations could there be than to digest a statistical analysis of the Sharks’ game against the Reds? Yes, yes – I know that’s pushing it, but I at least had to try!

As always, these numbers come from and are about as objective as anything else that comes out of Australia – i.e. not at all! I swear these guys count every missed tackle by a South African player twice, but since these are the number we have to go on, we’ll grit our teeth and carry on.

As one would expect, given that horrible opening half hour, it’s the Reds that bossed a number of the team stats, where they led the Sharks in the ruck and maul tally by 105 to 72 and line breaks by 6 to 3. They forced the Sharks to make a huge number of tackle (147 to 93) with both sides reported as having low tackle effectiveness rates of 72% for the Sharks and 73% for the Reds. The visitors also won more line outs (6 to 2) with each side messing up twice on their own throw. The Sharks had 13 scrum wins to only 5 by the Reds, though and the Queenslanders were also guilty of coughing up the ball far more readily, conceding 18 turnovers to the Sharks 11. Of those 18, 7 were stolen by the Sharks at the breakdown, so a big thumbs up must go to Bismarck du Plessis and the whole Sharks pack for some sterling work tere.

A key area where the Sharks showed improvement was in penalties conceded, with 9 being a lower number than in previous weeks. In fact, they only conceded 3 penalties all second half, a marked decrease from what has become the norm so far this season.

Moving on to individual statistics, Marcell Coetzee again stands out for his huge work rate on defence, credited with completing 24 good tackles. The next best (some distance behind) was Willem Alberts with 15. Both, however, stand accused of a high number of misses too, with Alberts (7), Tim Whitehead (6), and Coetzee and Bismarck du Plessis (5 each) highlighted as the main missed tackle offenders. When it comes to the most effective defence, it was Steven Sykes who reigned supreme, with his 12 tackles (and no misses) coming during only half an hour on the field. Anton Bresler also did well, with 9 hits and only 1 miss (his second in four games).

It was Coetzee again who hit the most rucks (11) ahead of Keegan Daniel (7), with du Plessis and Odwa Ndungane in joint third place (6 each). Coetzee also made the most runs (12), again just ahead of Daniel (10) and also made the most yardage in the team with 75m gained. Daniel, Charl McLeod and Riaan Viljoen are credited with a line break each, while it was McLeod and Meyer Bosman who made the most offloads, with 3 each.

The penalties were reasonably evenly distributed, with Bismarck, Coetzee and Dale Chadwick each responsible for 2, while Bismarck, Bresler, Ndungane and Viljoen are each guilty of conceding possession twice. Adding missed tackles, penalties conceded and lost possession figures together, we see that, surprisingly, it was man-of-the-match Bismarck du Plessis who tops the combined error rate with 9, just ahead of Coetzee and Alberts (8 apiece). Credit must go to Keegan Daniel and Pat Lambie, whose error rates were very low indeed (3 and 1 respectively).

From a statistical point of view, our most valuable player was again Marcell Coetzee, given his wins in the four key areas of most tackle, most rucks, most runs and most metres gained. What a gem we’ve uncovered in this young man.


  • I DO like to see the numbers improve the way these do each week.

    My favourite is the improvement in penalties conceded. Great stuff guys.

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.03.12 08:08:17 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Awesome stats..

    And as Andre said above, its key that the stats improve week on week.

    If the missed tackle stats are to be believed, which I don’t think but anyway, then its something we need to work on. Personally, I think our defence has been pretty good so far..

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.03.12 08:39:56 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • Damn fine kid that Marcell! Also extremely pleased with the improvements our captian is making

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.03.12 08:41:46 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Can’t agree more. To go from something like 21 penalties a game to just 9 is really a superb effort.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.03.12 08:45:27 by StevieS Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : Agreed.

    @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : Someone else mentioned in another thread that if a player is passed during a line break it is counted as a missed tackle even if no tackle was attempted so I wouldn’t put too much faith into them. Especially since we are so reliant on cover defence.

    @Die Kriek (Comment 3) : Yip, very encouraging.

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.03.12 12:30:07 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : I have communicated with these guys in the past and that is how we came to differentiate between turnovers being bad and pilfers being good.

    Let me get in touch with them again and ask about the missed tackle issue.

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.03.12 12:59:49 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) : That would be awesome, please keep us posted!

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.03.12 15:40:45 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Coetzee is indeed a beauty; a really complete loose forward… Deysel will have to settle being an impact player in replacing Alberts, as Coetzee is the complete package…

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.03.12 15:55:06 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Bismarck’s stats don’t worry me too much, the harder you work the more prone to error you will be… High risk player will always have as many positive stats VS negative stats… Its the nature of the beast, and I gladly accept…

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.03.12 15:57:01 by DarkDestroyer Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.