Hurricanes v Sharks – tale of the tape

Written by Head Train Spotter (RuckinGoodStats)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 6 Apr 2012 at 07:42
Tagged with : , , , ,

Welcome Sharks fans to Tale of the Tape. Below is a comparison of the Hurricanes stats compared the Sharks stats. There is a link which takes to you a PDF that should load so you can see the numbers yourself or you can read my blurb. Where I write in brackets note 1 then find note 1 on the PDF as a quick reference to find the stats. I’ve also done some chart to hammer home a few points.

This was prepared for a TV pre-game show that you don’t get to see. We don’t get to the Sharks girls either so we get the worse end of that deal without a doubt.
Bit of background: I code every game live, every game. From this trends from the stats appear and this essentially what this is. I’m not a firm with 50 people coding every game, just one person. So my number might differ from other system largely because I could have different definitions. I’m lot harder on missed tackles.

I could have pretty much written the Hurricanes stats up a couple of weeks ago as not much has changed(click here for the PDF of Tale of the Tape stats ). They continue to have little possession and territory, they kick the ball away every 34 seconds, they throw to the front of the lineout. The list goes on… Oh hang the list is below… Oh further hang on I’ve done a couple of charts (Click here for the two charts) that really highlights it…

Cliché alert: Looking at possession and territory for the Hurricanes, it is not a game of two halves. Sometimes for a team it can be a game of two halves with possession and territory, but not for the Canes. They continue to have the lowest possession and territory stats in the comp (note 1). If you look down the Blue section of ‘Possession & Territory’ of the Hurricane’s section the phrase ‘lowest’ comes up. When it doesn’t up lowest it comes up‘14th highest’, so 2nd lowest appears. The Sharks are average in this regard.

Hurricanes are very close in the amount of points they score and concede (note 2). The Sharks points differential isn’t that great either. This could suggest a close game sorted out by penalty kicks. Looking at how quickly the Hurricanes are scoring a try, one every 5 minutes and 32 seconds (note 4), but concede one every 12 minutes and 32 seconds (note 6) suggests penalty kicks are this teams downfall. It is also interesting to note the Sharks are averaging 2.5 tries a match (note 3) which is exactly the number of tries the Hurricanes are conceding (note 4).

Penalty kicks in this game could fall in the Hurricanes favour as they use them in the 2nd half to get the lead, or tie the match up at that stage (note 8). The Sharks on the other hand feature highly in letting opposition’s have a penalty kick that take the lead or ties it up at the point in time (note 9) in the 2nd half. Add to this that the Hurricanes are 2nd in the comp for taking penalties awarded as kicks at goal (note 7) and it could come down to a penalty kick .

Sharks fans should be a little (and only a little) concerned as the Hurricanes are 1.5 times more likely to score a try on the Hurricanes RIGHT side of the field than the LEFT side of the field (note 9A). The Sharks are 1.8 times more likely to concede a try on the Sharks LEFT side of the field, which is he Hurricanes RIGHT. The difference isn’t great but that is where I’d sit if I wanted to be close to the action (note 9B).

The lack of possession for the Hurricanes translates in the 14th highest (so 2nd lowest) average number of rucks/mauls in the comp (note 10).

The Hurricanes are slightly better attacking team as measured by breaking tackles; they are breaking a tackle on average every 58 seconds in attack, or 1 out of every 5.8 tackle attempts (note 12). This is better than the Sharks who are breaking a tackle every 70 seconds or 1 in 6.8 attempts.

A key question over the Hurricanes game plan is that they make a tactical kick from the hand every 34 seconds, shortest time in the comp (note 12). Expect this to continue against the Sharks because the Sharks kick the ball back in play the highest proportion, 63.7%, in the comp from tactical kicks from the hand (note 11).

However the Sharks make few kick errors, 3.9%, the lowest proportion in the comp (note 11). So the Sharks kick and kick well.

If the stats continue expect both teams to get their money’s worth out of their 1st 5/8 as first receiver from set piece/recycled ball (note 13). These teams are 2nd and 3rd in the comp for this. The Sharks 1st 5/8 tends to pass a lot more than the Hurricanes (note 14).

Thought it was surprising that Hurricanes previous opposition conceded the fewest number of penalties per game against the Hurricanes (note 15), just 6.5. The Sharks are at in the next spot with 8.7.

When it comes to conceding penalties the Hurricanes are averaging 12 a games, 2nd highest in the comp (note 19). However, both teams have equal risk of conceding a penalty in their own 22 (note 20).

Defensively the Hurricanes are missing 1 out of every 7.6 tackle attempts on average (note 16). The Sharks are missing more 1 in every 6.5 attempts.
Sharks are 2nd highest for making intercepts in the game, averaging 0.7 per game (note 17).

The Hurricanes needs to protect the pill more at the breakdown. They are getting their ball stolen an average of 6% of rucks/mauls they take it into (note 18). This is second highest in the comp.

The Hurricanes need to get on top of their handling errors. They are worst in the comp making on every 90 seconds in possession (note 21). So they have a smaller number because they have hardly any possession.

The Hurricanes favour throwing to the front of the lineout and as a proportion are the lowest in the comp for throwing to the middle of the lineout (note 22). This could be the Vito factor. Sharks favour the middle of the lineout but are not averse to throwing down the back (note 22).

Scrums will be interesting as the Sharks are conceding an infringement (penalties and free kicks) 6.3% of the time, best in the comp (note 23). The Hurricanes are at the other end of the scale conceding an infringement 14.8% of scrums (4th highest).

Barrett 76% (29 from 38) Kirkpatrick 100% (3 from 3) Taylor 0% (0 from 1).
Lambie 77% (23 from 30) Michalak 80% (4 from 5).

Ref: Glenn Jackson (Unless there is a last minute change). He has done two games in 2012 (Click here for ref numbers)

Jackson averages 4 scrum resets or 19% of scrums, 4.5 scrum infringements (penalties as well as free kicks) per game with 78% conceded by defending team.
He hands out 18.5 penalties per game or 1 every 1:41 minutes the ball is in play. On average 6.5 penalties will be inside 22 or every 1:52 minutes spent in 22. Of these penalties handed out 9 penalty awarded the team will take goal kick.

Profile of penalties per game (on average): ruck/maul 9, scrums 3.5, offside 4.5, not already specified 1.5.
An average of 5.4% of ruck/mauls in Jackson’s refereed games will end up as penalty, with 44.4% conceded by defending team, that is 2nd lowest out of the refs.
Jackson is 1.6 times more likely to award a pen becoming a kick at goal on the RIGHT side of the field than the LEFT side.


  • Ok!? 😛
    Go Sharks!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 06.04.12 08:01:46 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Thanks for letting us see this. It is really interesting.

  • Comment 2, posted at 06.04.12 08:19:14 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner

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