Actuary shows Steyn's prowess

Morné Steyn (Gallo Images)
Morné Steyn (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - A Pretoria actuary has found a method of mathematically determining the success rate of rugby's goal-kickers.

"One day, while watching a rugby match, I started wondering where the commentators got their information from," Jurie Nel told the Beeld website.

"I started collecting the data and realised that there were many factors that play a role when it comes to the success rate of a kicker.

"The distance of the kick, the position above sea level of the field and the pressure of the player," he said.

His findings have already been published in the South African Journal of Sport, Physical Science and Recreation.

Nel - who has analysed more than 2 000 kicks - said the distance and angle of the kick play the biggest role in a kicker’s success rate.

He also worked out a method to determine the level of difficulty of each kick on a scale of one out of 10.

Nel created his own website, , which shows players with the highest rate of successful kicks in local Currie Cup games as well as internationals.

Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn tops the list of international players with a success rate of 81,4%, while the average difficulty rate of Steyn’s kicks is 5.3 out of 10.

Griquas fullback Gouws Prinsloo heads the Currie Cup list with a difficulty rate is 3.3 out of 10.

"It is easy to think a kicker is good because he succeeds with every kick in front of the poles.

"But a kicker who succeeds with kicks from a sharper angle is certainly the better kicker."

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