Stats paint interesting picture

2015-04-30 16:57

ROUND SIX of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby competition dished up a healthy dollop of drama as the South African franchises came out on top in three of the four matches over the weekend.

The Emirates Lions won their second match on tour with a spirited victory over the Rebels, while the Vodacom Bulls claimed a nail-biter over the Force in Pretoria.

The Cell C Sharks also put in a gutsy performance for a one-point victory over the Chiefs with a player short, with the Toyota Cheetahs bowing their knee to the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Sharks dominate one of the unwanted statistics as they copped the most red cards, not only in one match, but in the history of the competition so far.

In Durban the match between the Sharks and the Chiefs saw three red cards – a record amount – awarded by referee Angus Gardner.

The three red cards were awarded within 15 minutes in the first half with Sharks captain, Bismarck du Plessis, centre Frans Steyn and Chiefs hooker Hika Elliot sent to the sin-bin.

It is the first time in the history of Vodacom Super Rugby that more than one red card has been awarded.

The battle of South Africa’s leading flyhalves dominated braai fire conversations with Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard and Sharks pivot Pat Lambie dominating statistics on the Vodacom Rugby App.

The duo were once again instrumental in their sides’ respective victories with Pollard slotting a last-minute penalty conversion to clinch a victory for his side, while Lambie had the last say in their match with a goal of his own.

Pollard scored the second most points of the weekend behind the Crusaders’ Dan Carter (27 points) with the 20 points he contributed with the boot.

Lambie is in fifth place in the points category with his four penalty conversions – the second most in the Penalty Goals bracket, while Pollard dominated that stat with his six.

With the exception of Crusaders scrumhalf Andy Ellis, the Kicks from Hand category was an all-South African affair.

Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach made the most with 14 kicks with Cheetahs fullback Willie le Roux second (13) while Ellis, Pollard and the South African-born Sias Ebersohn of the Force each put 12 balls to the boot. The nippy Reinach is the only South African player to crack it into the top five in terms of clean breaks with the three he shared with Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), Ben Smith (Highlanders), Israel Folau (Waratahs) with Carter making four.

The Lions’ desperate defense to clinch their victory on foreign soil was led by captain Warren Whiteley, who topped the tackles statistics for the weekend with 26.

He was followed by team-mates Derick Minnie (19), Elton Jantjies and Warwick Tecklenburg with 17 apiece.

Lineouts are clearly the local franchises’ strong suit, dominated by players from South Africa with Sharks lock Marco Wentzel leading the charge with nine lineouts won on own throw.

He is followed by Grant Hattingh (Bulls), Steven Sykes (Cheetahs) and Victor Vito (Hurricanes) with six each while the Bulls’ Jacques du Plessis took five.

Round 5 Stats:

Points:

Dan Carter (Crusaders) – 27

Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 20

Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 15

Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders) – 13

Pat Lambie (Sharks) – 12

Penalty goals:

Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 6

Patrick Lambie (Sharks) – 4

Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – 2

Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) – 2

Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 2

Kicks from hand:

Cobus Reinach (Sharks) – 14

Willie le Roux (Cheetahs) – 13

Andy Ellis (Crusaders) – 12

Handre Pollard (Bulls) – 12

Sias Ebersohn (Force) – 12

Clean breaks:

Dan Carter (Crusaders) – 4

Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders) – 3

Ben Smith (Highlanders) – 3

Israel Folau (Waratahs) – 3

Cobus Reinach (Sharks) – 3

Tackles:

Warren Whiteley (Lions) – 26

Derick Minnie (Lions) – 19

Nasi Manu (Highlanders) – 18

Elliot Dixon (Highlanders) – 17

Elton Jantjies (Lions) – 17

Warwick Tecklenburg (Lions) – 17

Lineouts won on own throw:

Marco Wentzel (Sharks) – 9

Grant Hattingh (Bulls) – 6

Steven Sykes (Cheetahs) – 6

Victor Vito (Hurricanes) – 6

Jacques du Plessis (Bulls) – 5

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