The Sharks: Super Rugby 2012 by the numbers

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Aug 2012 at 10:56
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Let’s have one final look at the 2012 Super Rugby campaign, by looking at the aggregate statistics for the entire campaign. These numbers, as always, are based on Verusco’s week-by-week match analyses.

We’ll start by looking at games played and also individual minutes on the field. The top five players in terms of appearances were Anton Bresler, Marcell Coetzee, Keegan Daniel, Charl McLeod and Lwazi Mvovo, each of whom played at least some part in each and every one of the Sharks’ 19 Super Rugby games in 2012. Mvovo emerged as the most-played player, with a staggering 1500 minutes on the field out of a possible total of 1520. Next was Daniel (1459), followed by McLeod (1350), JP Pietersen (1307) and Coetzee (also 1307).

Moving on to defence, Marcell Coetzee made the most successful tackles (312), followed by Bresler (260), Daniel (223), Tim Whitehead (186) and Bismarck du Plessis (158). Kyle Cooper managed 100% tackle success in the only game he played all season, but taking him out of the equation, the statistically best tackler was Craig Burden, with 97%. Next best were Louis Ludik (96%), Jandre Marais (93%), Coetzee (92%) and Bresler (also 92%). Looking at mean time between tackles, Coetzee made a tackle, on average, for every 4.18 minutes of playing time. After that came Jean Deysel (4.28), Bresler (4.82), Jacques Botes (4.92) and Willem Alberts (5.30).

Looking at the negative side, Charl McLeod missed the most tackles (39), followed by Alberts (32), Bismarck du Plessis (28), JP Pietersen (27) and Coetzee (also 27). Pieter-Steph du Toit and Odwa Ndungane came in with the joint lowest overall effectiveness (70%), followed by Riaan Viljoen (73%), McLeod (76%) and Ryan Kankowski (77%). Every other player in the squad averaged over 80% across the whole campaign. A special shout-out must go to Louis Ludik – his mean time between missed tackles was a staggering 189 minutes.

Lwazi Mvovo made the most metres over the campaign (1157), followed by Pietersen (1120), Coetzee and Pat Lambie (1108 each) and Keegan Daniel (1087). Mvovo and Daniel each made 15 line breaks, followed by Whitehead (11), Pietersen (9) and Lambie (8). Coetzee made the most offloads (33), then Daniel (28), Pietersen (19), Mvovo (18) and McLeod (16). Excluding the halfbacks, the most passes were made by Daniel (196), Meyer Bosman (98), Steven Sykes (72), Bismarck (72) and Whitehead (71).

Keegan Daniel hit the most rucks over all (357), followed by Jacques Botes (337), Anton Bresler (307), Marcell Coetzee (247) and Steven Sykes (243). Looking at mean time between rucks, Botes hit one ruck for every 2.64 minutes on the field, followed by Marais (2.84), Ross Skeate (3.2), Deysel (3.63) and Dale Chadwick (3.71).

Penalties and lost possession obviously count against players and captain Keegan was no saint, giving away the most total penalties (29). After that came Bismarck (24), Sykes (19), Coetzee (11) and McCleod (10). Bismarck lost the most possession (43), followed by Daniel (26), McLeod (18), Pietersen (18) and Bresler and Mvovo, who were joint fifth with 14 each.

Looking at these numbers, our five joint season MVP’s are: (drum-roll)

Keegan Daniel
Marcell Coetzee
Anton Bresler
Lwazi Mvovo
JP Pietersen

with honourable mentions also going to Louis Ludik and Jacques Botes.


  • Nice to see that our MVP list features our captain (respect, Spidershark!), two youngsters, and two wings (the supposed danger men).

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.08.12 11:06:55 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • Wow, Coetzee has really been valuable this season for us. Adn that for such a young player. To make 312 tackles with a 92% accuracy is spectacular. If I am not mistalen he also made the most tackles in the comp. Most offloads for the sharks. No wonder this guys has made it to the bokke squad. Go Coetzee!!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.08.12 11:07:32 by Viking Reply
  • Really glad for Bresler as well for making the step up. He is still young for a lock. Watch this space!!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.08.12 11:08:29 by Viking Reply
  • Coetzee and Bresler are in positions 1 and 2 overall in terms of tackles made.

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.08.12 11:14:59 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Wow.. Awesome stats, thanks Rob!

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.08.12 11:19:36 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Amazing stats. Especially Ludik’s 189mins between missed tackles.

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.08.12 11:24:20 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Jacques Botes is the rucks-master.

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.08.12 11:25:07 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Nice!

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.08.12 11:26:11 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 5) : i have a spreadsheet, if you want?

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.08.12 11:27:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • Keegan and Bissie cut down on their error rate in the second half of the season, stepping up as leaders.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.08.12 11:27:50 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Have you compiled these stats using a spreadsheet from the individual games? So a comparison between the Sharks and other teams would be a gigantic exercise?

    The big problem for me is the Sharks leading all teams on missed tackles as well as most tackles made. If you rate us on tries conceded vs. tackles made it means we are not a very efficient team defensively – something that needs to be worked on next year.

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.08.12 11:34:13 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Would love to see an SA by the numbers for Super Rugby, or even a positional comparison.

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.08.12 11:42:33 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : sorry dude… I simply cannot spend the time required to do that 🙁

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.08.12 11:44:53 by robdylan Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 12) : Maybe if I get time I’ll work on writing a program to do it.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.08.12 11:46:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : Not expecting you 🙂 – would not even think of attempting it myself

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.08.12 11:46:45 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 15) : it would be cool though, wouldn’t it?

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.08.12 11:53:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • This kind of analysis, though, does make me realise that I’m doing the stats stuff wrong.

    It makes no sense to compare each player in the team to each other, because different players do different things on the field. You actually need to compare players, per position, to the other performances in the same position for other teams. HUGE amount of work, though.

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.08.12 11:55:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : Could probably whip up an app that extracts from all the Verusco pages – when I have a bit of time I will have a look at that

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.08.12 12:22:32 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Thanks Rob, some very interesting reading in there!

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.08.12 12:30:52 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Bismarck made 72 passes? 😯 Wonder what the number was for last season? Half?

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.08.12 14:35:54 by Bite me Reply

    Bite me
  • @robdylan (Comment 16) : @Bokhoring (Comment 18) : That would be totally awesome.

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.08.12 15:03:29 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : That’s a full time job.

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.08.12 15:29:21 by lostfish Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter Competition Winner
  • Anyone keen on comparing Lambie’s stats to Morne Steyn’s???

    …YES I AM:

    I get my attacking stats from FoxSport so I urge someone to bring up Verusco’s equivalent.

    – RM gained: 380m in 13 games (30m/game)
    – 14 Tackle Busts & 4 Linebreaks
    – 80%+ tackle efficiency
    – Goal Conversion rate 80%

    – RM gained: 150m in 17 games (9m/game)
    – 6 Tackle busts & 1 Linebreak
    – Goal Conversion rate: 76%

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.08.12 16:14:11 by pienaar111 Reply

  • Thanx Rob. As soon as we cut down on mistakes we became contenders!

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.08.12 21:04:49 by KILLER SHARK Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
  • On a completely unrelated topic, although also awesome, I was watching Euronews this morning.

    In a story about the sentencing of the Pussy Riot women, at one stage they were interviewing a Russian policeman in Moscow, who thought the two year jail term was too lenient.

    Right next to him, wearing some kind of Russian fur hat, stood some dude kitted out in an old RED-sponsored Sharks jersey. 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 25, posted at 18.08.12 09:15:54 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • I would pick bresler before Kruger any day…matfield makes kruger spesial jumper, and there the buck stops.

  • Comment 26, posted at 18.08.12 11:13:18 by BoerSeun Reply

  • I believe the 🙄 Sharks should come in at around 12-15 points today. They will be remembering the defeat in jhb by lions which i think was there turning point in the final of the super 15 which could have been in there favor

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.08.12 11:37:17 by mikenurse Reply


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