Stat Attack

Astonishing stats at the AMI

Forget the “game of two halves” cliché, instead the truly astonishing stats out of Christchurch reveal game plans from the complete opposite sides of the rugby spectrum.

Only the Brumbies have been asked to make more tackles in a game than the Sharks made on Friday against the Crusaders at the AMI Stadium.

On that occasion, the Aussies made a whopping 275 tackles in an abrasive two-point win against the Stormers at Newlands, missing 12.

In Christchurch, the Sharks were asked to make a monstrous 225 tackles against a Crusaders side intent on keeping ball in hand (666m from 153 carries), and only missed 7 for a seriously impressive tackle success-rate of 97%.

It reflected an in-your-face defensive effort that put the home side under enormous pressure – enough pressure for them to concede an unparalleled 15 turnovers. Enough pressure to come within seconds of becoming the first side to win at the AMI in 26 games!

And this without scoring a single try!

Instead, all the Sharks points came from the boot of flyhalf Curwin Bosch as the visitors opted to take all points on offer from the 13 penalties conceded by the Crusaders. One could argue that the two shots at goal missed by the young flyhalf cost the visitors the game, but that would be incredibly critical of what was an impressive performance.

Almost unbelievably though, it was the home side who ended the match with an even better tackle success-rate, having missed none – not one – tackle of the mere 88 asked of them.

The men in white enjoyed only 30% of the possession, and less than 40% in the territorial battle. They did carve off 235m more than the home side via 10 more kicks, though – a proven winning strategy. And boy did they come close to doing exactly that.

But it was the ball-in-hand approach of the home side that eventually delivered their third, score-equalling try. Game plans from the complete opposite sides of the rugby spectrum.

A look at the match stats from AMI Stadium Christchurch:

Match information:

  • Points: CRU 21-21 SHA
  • Tries: CRU 3-0 SHA
  • Penalty goals: CRU 0-7 SHA
  • Missed penalty goals: CRU 0-2 SHA
  • Goal kicking %: CRU 100% – 78% SHA
  • Possession: CRU 70% – 30% SHA
  • Territory: CRU 61% – 39% SHA
  • Ball in play: 31 minutes

Attack stats:

  • Ball Carries: CRU 153-51 SHA
  • Metres run: CRU 666-201 SHA
  • Metres per carry: CRU 4.3-3.9 SHA
  • Line breaks: CRU 3-1 SHA
  • Tackle breaks: CRU 3-1 SHA
  • Passes: CRU 163-69 SHA
  • Good Passes: CRU 158-59 SHA
  • Offloads: CRU 3-4 SHA
  • Turnovers conceded: CRU 15-11 SHA

Defence stats:

  • Tackles made: CRU 88-218 SHA
  • Tackles missed: CRU 0-7 SHA
  • Tackle success: CRU 100% – 97% SHA
  • Tackle turnover: CRU 0-3 SHA
  • Dominant tackles: CRU 0-8 SHA
  • Turnovers won: CRU 3-5 SHA

Kick stats:

  • Kicks from hand: CRU 13-23 SHA
  • Metres kicked: CRU 304-540 SHA
  • Metres per kick: CRU 23.4-23.5 SHA

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: CRU 9-9 SHA
  • Penalties conceded: CRU 13-10 SHA
  • Yellow cards: CRU 0-0 SHA

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: CRU 12-7 SHA
  • Lineouts stolen: CRU 0-0 SHA
  • Scrums won: CRU 6-6 SHA
  • Scrums lost: CRU 0-2 SHA
  • Own kickoff won: CRU 0-0 SHA
  • Own kickoff lost: CRU 9-3 SHA

Breakdown stats:

  • Rucks won: CRU 120-44 SHA
  • Rucks lost: CRU 2-2 SHA
  • Mauls won: CRU 4-1 SHA
  • Mauls lost: CRU 1-1 SHA

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Barry

    it was an amazing effort and confirms just what this side is capable of. A really gutsy effort!

    Whilst I am delighted with the form, it does leave one a little annoyed, because in showing what they are capable of against the best team in the competition, it equally highlights how they have let far easier opportunities slip by, through in-fighting and politics!

    Lets hope they have got their sh..t together and can finish this!

    Brilliant on field play aside, Du Preez senior should also take a bow for coming up with the right strategy! The Crusaders are the best defensive team in the competition – marginally ahead of the Jaguars – they did not slip a single tackle on Friday, that says you need to score your points in some way other than bashing through their defensive lines and by taking all their penalty kicks, the Sharks found a way!

    • Redge

      Excellent effort by the Sharks to almost beat the Saders in Christchurch. Who cares about the tries fact is they’ve forced the Saders into making mistakes and they took the points on offer. No one will complain if we beat the AB’s with penalty goals. The aim is to win at all cost. Well done Sharks keep it up against the Chiefs.

    • Herman Schroder?

      News flash, they never won Barry. Crusaders took home 3 points, Sharkettes 2. Who actually won ?. Like the Wellington test this was an aberration but regrettably, as you yourself said, all this did was give RDP a lifeline and he is butt useless. Rassie will also take his cue from this, not that he didn’t do it last year, where he failed to improve on AC’s 2017 win ratio. Useless AC lost four games, Rassie seven, true story.

      This was not a strategy but an admission they couldn’t match the Crusaders and decided to play dom krag 101 for 80 minutes. What happened to the team that played the Lions or rather their game plan on that day ? If the team believed in themselves more they would have taken the game to the Saders in the same way and gone for the kill. Now that would have been impressive. They had the Saders on the rack and blew it.

      Unfortunately those 275 tackles came to nought when ‘waltzing matilda’ Bosch decided to grab his dancing partner instead of tackling him. That’s a whale of an amount of tackles for two points when you may have got one for playing it close with real rugby. Instead the Saders took home 3, only one shy of a win points haul of four.

      You’ll probably think I’m being a bit harsh here and I do admit you couldn’t fault their guts and determination but remember it’s taking risks that separates the great teams from the good ones. A try winning performance there would have done more for the Sharkettes psyche than a bone sapping draw and may well have been a season turning point for them.

      Of course now will the boys be up for the Chiefs who will be searching for a season saving win ? Let’s hope the 275 tackles will not have taken too much out of them in which case the draw may even have hurt you further should you lose. It’s show time. Good luck. Cheers.

      • HA Deacon

        The ignorance is strong here.

      • Chris Mouton

        Well Hermie, they came a lot closer than your poor old cubs against the Saders. Adding to the fact that the Saders is probably the best rugby team in the world and that they usually beat teams with 20 points or more, a 21-21 draw isn’t that bad. Had Bosch kicked those two kicks he usually would’ve kicked it would’ve been a win.

        Speaking of our wonderful waltzing matilda, he scored 21 points and missed 1 tackle according to ESPN. Wanna compare apples with apples? How did your wonderful Jantjies do against the Crusaders? He scored a measley 5 points and missed a whopping 5 tackles. Now that’s Springbok quality right there.

        All jokes aside, had the Sharks’ lineouts function better and Robert du Preez jnr not have come on, they probably would’ve won it. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve… It still was one hell of a game!

        • Herman Schroder?

          Chris if you want to be a title winning side it’s no use looking at how the rest of the world were beaten by the opposition, how YOU perform is the only criteria. Bringing up comparisons is pointless you must run your own race and be bold. The Sharks failed in that aspect when they had the Saders on the rack and stuck to their ultra defensive game plan imo.

          I’ve always maintained that you are either a natural aggressive courageous tackler or you’re not. Some might improve over a period of time but when a high pressure situation is demanding a do or die tackle the weaker tacklers will most probably not commit. My favourite is DDA who seems to intentionally slow down when he is corner flagging or catching someone with the ball, rather leaving it to someone else, lol. It’s a mind set thing.

          Jantjies is the other side of the coin. He never shirks a tackle but can be pulverised especially against the bigger guys. Does not lack courage and probably goes for all his tackles and thus has a higher miss rate. Others duck and dive their tackles and come up smelling like roses on the stat sheet.

          The Sharks problem is their coach full stop. He hasn’t got the rugby nous to win a SR title and never will. As I said the worst thing to come out of the game is the lifeline handed to him. Cheers.

          • Chris Mouton

            Herman, maybe you should make the effort to watch that Sharks game. Some of the tackles Curwin did make was actually dominant. Jantjies never shirks a tackle? Missing 5 from your 12 tackles is quite something. He certainly is strong enough, so that can’t be it. Then you look at players like Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie, who tackle well above their weight class, and then it makes you wonder. Hell, even Kolbe makes his tackles most of the time. Jantjies is just a bad defender. Face it and make peace with the truth.

            I do agree with you regarding the coach. Robert du Preez snr is not the answer and we need a better coach. His younger namesake is overplayed and should not play for a few games. Plumtree never should’ve been allowed to go. Unfortunately there’s way too much boetie-boetie going on in SA Rugby. If only we could get Warren Gatland. A man can dream…

          • Albert

            Wow, could you be any more contradictory and one eyed? You can’t say “I’ve always maintained that you are either a natural aggressive courageous tackler or you’re not” and follow it up with “It’s a mind set thing”. Mind sets can be changed with coaching.

            I have seen players at all levels go from shirking tackles to being dominant tacklers all because the right coach said the right thing to them.

            But then again, all of your comments are filled with contradiction and subjectivity. It is a joke and frankly I can’t believe you even bother writing most of your drivel. I do admit, every once in a while you say something of actual intelligence, but that’s generally when you have nothing Lions to hide behind.

            On a side note, I see your golden boy Whitely is injured yet again. Poor guy, hes been injured more times than he’s played.

      • Dean

        Just for you Herman

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TuHdRirKj4

        • Herman Schroder?

          He was offside despite the one eyed Warren. I’ve never seen an intercept between a scrummie and the first receiver from a lineout, technically not possible. But the down side of that ‘moment of brilliance’ is that he has used it up before the WC. The last time he had a ‘moment’ was his chicken wing pass in the Wales game at the last WC so has already used up his ‘ moment’ for this year. To expect two moments in one year from him is just not credible, lol. Cheers.

          PS : Also when he was running I thought he had seen the Spurs special two for the price of one offer on the TV screen and was running to join the queue.

        • Jay

          Hahaha Nice Chris!
          I think Barry may have enjoyed that video too ;-)

          Although to be fair, that was pretty much the highlight of the game for Vermeulen. Probably too busy recovering from such a long run for the rest of it.

          In contrast, the stats favour du Preez by some distance and by each game, he is raising his hand for WC selection more and more. Should be quite difficult for Rassie to ignore his performances.

      • Barry

        Funny post, most have tipped their hats and said well done!

        So you’d have them play a more open style similar to the way they played against the Lions a few weeks back, would you! Well, RDP Senior is not my favorite, but he has a little more rugby nous than that. Simply, you reserve open style rugby for teams that have soggy defensive systems, teams that have negative points dif say -55 like the Lions for instance, whilst teams on favorable points dif of say +147 like the Crusaders, you show a little more respect and adopt a different strategy!

        The only error made was to move Bosch back to 15 for the last quarter.

        You talk about don Krag. Well have a look at my next post with the individual stats. The Springbok incumbent is certainly don krag, with a bash up strategy apparent, whilst the other set of stats talk about a chap passing, off loading as well as carrying up.

        • Herman Schroder?

          See my post to Chris above. Also you seem to ignore their inconsistency. For a team tailoring their game for the opposition they sure seem to get it wrong most of the time. Their game plan confusion and coach their biggest problem. Cheers.

  • Barry

    There are a number of personal stats that are also worthy looking at, with some huge individual performances and some players that just keep delivering week after week, which takes some doing when you consider the inconsistency of the side as a whole. Have a look at these cumulative stats of one of the forwards compared to the current Springbok incumbent – Springbok Player A, Shark forward player B:

    Player A Player B

    Tries 1 6
    Try assist 0 1
    Points 10 30

    Passes 14 71
    Runs 61 126
    Clean break 1 9
    Defenders beaten 14 30
    Off Loads 2 13

    Turn Overs 2 11
    Tackles 64 95
    Missed Tackles 11 9

    The off loads and passes in particular are note worthy, as are the carries – almost jaw dropping in comparison.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Be nice to know who we are comparing here Barry. By the way I;m not a big believer in stats, it’s only good for coaching assessments imo. Subjective at the best of times. Cheers.

      • Chris Mouton

        I believe that was the comparison between Vermeulen and Dan du Preez.

      • Albert

        Captain Subjective here getting it wrong once again “it’s only good for coaching assessments imo” is that not the reason we look at the stats? It tells the story for us to make an educated decision about a players impact in a game setting and whether the gameplan incorporates said player or not.

        Jeez but you are domkrag personified.

  • chris

    Worst game I’ve ever seen AkkerVdM play.
    Looks like the warthog is losing his mind at times. Might be getting frustrated, because its increasingly looking like he’s not going to Japan.

    • Barry

      How so Chris? They played a defensive game and Akker was their third best defender, with 16 hits, two dominant! No tackles missed!

  • Dean

    I didn’t see this game. I watched the Stormers and they were diabolical. Missed lineout at the end there, simple throw, hit your jumper and you have a chance to win the game. Ntubeni looks overweight and not up to this standard. Before that, simple catch for the Stormers 9 on their own tryline from a lineout and he drops it. He made up for it after with a clean break to set up their only try. The game was still in the balance at one stage, with I think about 20 min to go. The Stormers pinned in their own 22, they manage to steal the ball. What does Leyds and co do, they’re outnumbered, they try run the ball and concede a turnover. It’s simple, you kick it out and alleviate pressure. It’s ridiculous that they run when in their OWN 22 but kick it out when they’re in the opposition half on the attack. Cynical tap down by JJ Engelbrecht gives away 7 points. Still, no wing or fullback out there to cover for him. Stormers player clearly leads into the ruck from the side on another occasion. Jaguares score not long after that. Stormers on the attack in Jaguares half, needing tries to win the game, and Willemse from 10 punts the ball straight into touch. No discipline, no tactics except kick and hope to win. Clueless coach, no leadership. After the game, I regretted even watching it.

    • Herman Schroder?

      My condolences. Cheers.

    • Barry

      Dean if there is any consolation to offer, Jaguars are the second best defensive side in the competition. The Crusaders are number one, but by the slightest of margins!

      Sharks and Bulls also underestimated them and came second! They deserve a lot more respect than we are currently giving them and a revised game plan to match!

      Running the ball out of your own 22 against a strong defensive team- not smart!

      • Herman Schroder?

        Lions beat them home and away, they can’t be that good, lol. Cheers.

      • Dean

        It’s a game they should have won though, if they were tactically smarter and disciplined. The Sharks and Stormers have two of the best balanced squads with the most depth in the entire competition. Both these teams should be in the top 5. The Sharks should have easily been in the pound seats in the conference now, if only they had put away some average teams. I hope they can pip the Chiefs next week. It’s going to get a lot tougher after that with an away game to the Jaguares, 2 local derbies and the Hurricanes.

        • John

          I watched the Chiefs / Highlanders game. If the Sharks stick to the Crusaders game plan they should win comfortably. For some bizarre reason The Highlanders let them in by throwing the ball around in the 2nd half when they had a big lead. Keep it tight. The Chiefs are actually pretty average with all the injuries they have.

          • Barry

            Agreed John hope that they pitch again for this one!

            Yes, same plan – the Chief love to play a looser style and easy to be sucked into that if not careful.

            Their points dif is -75 so defense not so hot. Turn over ball should present some opportunities for Sharks, but gentlemen please pitch!

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