Sharks v WP: by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 14 Aug 2012 at 08:33
Tagged with : , , , ,

Let’s have a look at the match statistics coming out of the Sharks’ first Currie Cup match of the season, a 25-23 win over Western Province at Newlands.

Let’s get the ugly one out of the way first. The Sharks conceded an amazing 17 penalties against just 6 by Province; a sure sign that the ref was blowing a different set of laws to the one the Sharks were used to. Coupled with 3 lost scrums and 3 lost lineouts, that translated to 49 minutes in possession of the ball, against 32 for the Sharks. Both sides only managed 86% tackle effectiveness, with the Sharks asked to make 139 to only 89 by Province. Not bad at all to secure a win against those number.

Jacques Botes made the most individual tackles (11 from 13), just ahead of Meyer Bosman (10 from 12), with Cobus Reinach (9 from 9) and Jean Deysel (9 from 12) in joint third. A number of players managed a clean sheet (no tackles missed) , with Tera Mtembu, Paul Jordaan, Craig Burden and Marius Joubert all joining Reinach in missing none – off at least 5 attempts. In a new statistic, we’ll look at tackle rate, or in other words, the mean time between tackles, an indication of how hard they are working on defence. Francois Kleinhans stands out here, having made a tackle every 4.6 minutes while he was on the field. Second was Marius Joubert with 6.16 and Botes with 6.6.

Deysel missed the most tackles, with 3.

Gouws Prinsloo won possession on 8 occasions, ahead of Riaan Viljoen on 7 and Odwa Ndungane on 5. Viljoen was the stand out with ball in hand, making 128 metres, ahead of Paul Jordaan (82) and Craig Burden (65). Line breaks were not in plentiful supply, with Burden, Reinach, Viljoen and Jordaan credited with one each. Astoundingly, there was only 1 offload all game, made by Botes. Apart from the scrumhalf, Botes made the most passes with 7. Sykes made 4 and, amazingly, Riaan Viljoen at flyhalf only made 3! Clearly not a day for the ball to be moved down the line.

Ruck and maul numbers were low all round, with Botes hitting the most (22), ahead of Meyer Bosman (15) with Deysel and Sbura Sithole third on 12 apiece. A little worrying that 50% of the top ruck-hitters were backs… Looking at mean time between rucks, Kleinhans and Julian Redelinghuys worked the hardest, each hitting a ruck on average every 2.5 minutes while they were on the field. Botes was third, hitting a ruck every 3.3 minutes for the 73 minutes he was on the field.

Craig Burden lost possession on 3 occasions, the only player to do so more than once, with Sykes having given away 3 penalties. That leaves Sykes as the player with the highest combined error score, with 3 penalties, 1 lost possession and 2 missed tackles given him 6. Burden, Deysel and Jandre Marais each made 5 total errors.

Our MVP, based on these numbers (and not taking anything else, such as a yellow card) into account, is none other than Jacques Botes.


  • Thanks Rob..

    I like your new mean time stats..

    What impresses me about that, is the fact that our hardest workers are those coming on in the last few minutes, and putting everything into a 20minute or less performance..

    The other impressive aspect is that Jacques Botes managed to keep up his effectiveness for most of the game, bar the 10 minutes in the bin..

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.08.12 08:48:06 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • One line break for Burden? Didn’t both his tries include at least one each?

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.08.12 08:50:42 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 2) : no… I don’t believe they did… one of them was certainly just collected straight from a kick that WP missed.

    Line break is not about beating a man in a one-on-one… it’s about breaching the organised defence line. I think. 🙂

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.08.12 08:58:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Guess I have much to learn about stats then . . .

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.08.12 09:13:21 by Die Kriek Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 4) : that makes two of us 🙂

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.08.12 09:35:06 by Franshark Reply
  • @Franshark (Comment 5) : Maybe Rob can do an arti for us? I have no clue how they get the turnovers either? Sometimes a few forwards have one or two each, other times the backs get 10+, do some sites count a fielded kick as a turnover?

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.08.12 10:11:15 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Reinach not missing a tackle. Well done. Mcleod warming the bench I presume?

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.08.12 10:18:33 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • Verusco counts fielding a kick into the “possession won” stats. They do have a “Breakdown – won possession” stat but not game by game – only for the top 10 players of the season

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.08.12 10:41:23 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Just on the Referee, how did he miss the WP CAPTAIN who threw one of our guys in the face with the ball?!

    How does the Captain lose control like that and what must the other wp youngster think when they see stuff like that? 😯

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.08.12 11:06:58 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Ever since Currie Cup 2010, Charl McCleod has pretty much been our only established scrumhalf. Setting aside the issue of how good Charl is or isn’t, we really, really need to use this Currie Cup to build depth ahead of next year’s Super 15. So Charl should bench, with Reinach being given some more starts, and Conrad Hoffman needs to be brought back into the fold too (although I still have nightmares over the masterclass in “how a no. 9 should not play” he delivered in last year’s CC final)

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.08.12 12:55:38 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 8) : yes – unfortunately if you pay to get stats from Verusco, you get a hell of a lot more detail than the summary info that’s available for free on their stats portal.

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.08.12 13:31:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Any idea what the costs involved are?

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.08.12 14:04:56 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I rated Sykes at 40% but he is a far better player than that. Come on Steven show the hunger!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.08.12 21:03:47 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter

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