Matfield still the king of lineouts

2014-04-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — He may not be as dynamic all over the park as in days gone by, but Bulls lock Victor Matfield remains the lineout king in Super Rugby.

The Springbok lock captained the Bulls in their final tour match against the Force in Perth last week after regular skipper Flip van der Merwe was suspended for punching.

While Matfield (36) did not succeed in spurring his team-mates to a first victory on tour, one area in which they did dominate was at lineout time.

Matfield’s mere presence has made the Bulls the best lineout team in the competition in 2014 and last Saturday was no different.

They won 14 out of 15 on their own ball and stole possession off the Force no less than six times.

The Bulls have been dominant in that department all year, and according to statistics released by Super Rugby’s official website, Matfield leads the competition with most line-out catches.

His 51 takes is six more than the second-placed Ben Mowen (45) of the Brumbies, with Jake Schatz of the Reds third with 39 catches.

Sharks lock Stephan Lewies, who got his chance when Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit was ruled out for the year with a knee injury, is fourth on the list with 35. The other South Africans in the top 10 are Van der Merwe (30) and Warren Whiteley (28) in seventh and eighth spots respectively.

The Bulls’ prowess in that department made one wonder, as the Australian commentators also noted at the time, why the Bulls weren’t content to kick into the corners more often in rain-soaked Perth last Saturday.

Instead, they opted for their regular chip-and-chase tactic that allowed the Force to kick back up field.

The hosts were clearly rattled at lineout time and smarter tactical play by the Bulls when they were 6-0 up after 20-odd minutes, could have yielded a different result on the night.

But the Force fought their way back, and in the end the Bulls missed too many tackles and knocked on far too often to deserve victory.

Matfield, though, remains a big weapon due to his mastery of one particular area. Don’t be surprised to see him run out when the Boks play their first game this year.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.