Picking the Fullback for Week 10

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Lions, Stormers, Super Rugby on 2 May 2012 at 23:58

I again made use of stats to determine the selections of a few of our Sharksworld team of the week players. Here’s an in depth look at how I came to my conclusion.

I decided to look at all three players playing in the position when using the stats to decide the selection and this is how I make use of those stats. Enjoy!

Andries Coetzee/Joe Pietersen/ Hennie Daniller

All players were used for the full 80 minutes.


Coetzee used his boot the most, making 8 kicks at an average of 47m per kick which objectively could be seen as effective but, without having seen the game would really not mean much as any kick is only as good as the end result. With this in mind and having watched the game, I believe Coetzee should probably not have gone to the boot as much as he did since the Brumbies was devastating from broken play. Joe kicked 5 times with an average of 43m and Daniller 3 times averaging 32M.

Ball in Hand

With fullbacks it is difficult to say who was better from simply counting meters gained because just returning a kick could count for 20 meters or so. This is why the way http://www.rugbystats.com.au breaks it down could help a lot. They assign meters to open play, tight, pick and drive, kick return, from scrum half and from fly half. And with the stat calculated by http://www.testrugby.com where they credit players for goforward runs (which is only counted when the player sets up front foot possession for his team with a particular run) this makes for a very clear indication of what the players did with ball in hand.

So lets break it down:

Andries made 7 runs, 4 of which got his team over the advantage line – 83 meters, 11 meters per run. His meters came from returning kicks (75m), open play (3m) and fly half (5m). He also made 2 line breaks and busted through 3 tackles.

Joe made 5 runs, 4 of which got his team over the advantage line, that’s 55 meters and 11 meters per run. His meters came from returning kicks (31m), open play (19m) and fly half (5m). One stats site credited him with a line break and he also got 4 tackle busts from http://www.foxsports.com.au.

Hennie made 8 runs, 6 of which got his team over the advantage line resulting in 70 meters and 9 meters per run. His meters came from returning kicks (18m) and open play (52m). He got 1 line break and busted 2 tackles.


These stats gave me trouble. I compare stats from 4 sites to get a bit of comparative data and thus ensure a fair analysis. The trouble is http://www.verusco.com said Andries attemped 11  with a 73% succes rate, thats 8 tackles made but all three other sites gives him less than 4 completed tackles. This is where rugbystats and their breakdown is really helpful again. As their tackles attempted is basically the same – 10 but they have a tackles missed and a ineffective tackles stat. I suspect the three ineffective tackles might be the ones that Verusco put behind Andries’ name, something I have also seen with a few other players. So Verusco gives him 8, Foxsports 4 and Rugbystats 3. Testrugby.com is the hardest on players, their rule being only the first arrving player or the most effective player in the tackle gets credit for making the tackle and here Andries gets only 2. With this information here is how I broke it down:

Andries attempted 11, made 2 solid tackles, 2 effective tackles, 2 ineffective tackles and 3 missed tackles. Foxsports.com also counts try-saving tackles and gives Andries 1, which I can clearly remember.

Joe attempted 4 tackles, made 1 solid tackle, 2 effective tackles and missed 1 tackle.

Hennie attempted 6 tackles, made 1 solid tackle, 4 effective tackles and missed 1 tackle.


This includes losing possession which can be in general play or the tackle/ruck situation, giving away penalties and free kicks, as well as other errors. These can include a knock-on or I suppose something like Coetzee did when he couldn’t recover a ball that was kicked through ending up in a try for the Brumbies.

Andries lost possession once and made one other error.

Joe lost possession twice and made two other errors, and gave away 1 penalty.

Hennie also lost possession twice and made 1 other error.

So the question is who do we pick based on these stats?

I picked Andries Coetzee, because he made the fewest errors, was involved in the game the most and was very influential on attack based on these in depth stats. Who would you have picked?

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