Pollard on point, Jantjies still MIA on D

The 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby stats see Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard topping the points and penalties-kicked list, while Lions pivot Elton Jantjies missed the most tackles.

Sharks centre Lukhanyo Am (12th, on 1 211 minutes) played the most rugby of any South African, and in his time on the field notched up the 14th most metres with ball in hand – 992.

Other South Africans topping stats categories include Curwin Bosch (on 7, equal with Pollard), who missed the most penalties, Louis Schreuder, who let fly with the most passes, and Hanro Liebenberg, who gave away the most penalties for being offside.

One surprising stat sees Bulls lock RG Snyman, on 22, making the 3rd most offloads in the comp!  

The 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby stats:

Match information:

  • Minutes played: Thomas Banks (1401), Christian Lealiifano (1378), Lukhanyo Am (12th, 1211)
  • Points: Handre Pollard (194), Richie Mo’unga (182), Bryce Hegerty (156)
  • Tries: Sevu Reece (15), Ngani Luamapae (13), Dan du Preez & Kwagga Smith (12th, 7)
  • Conversions: Mo’unga & Christian Lealiifano (48), Elton Jantjies (5th, 32)
  • Missed conversions: Mo’unga (17), Lealiifano & Quade Cooper (16), Elton Jantjies (4th, 12)
  • Penalties slotted: Pollard (38), Bernard Foley (22), Joaquin Bonilla (21)
  • Penalties missed: Curwin Bosch & Handre Pollard (7), Otere Black (6)

Attacking stats:

  • Ball Carries: Samu Kerevi (211), Anton Lienert-Brown (172), Dan du Preez (172)
  • Metres run: Kerevi (1654), Melani Nanai (1478), Am (14th, 992)
  • Line breaks: Reece, Rieko Ioane & Nanai (15), Rosko Specman (7th, 12)
  • Tackle breaks: David Havilli (20), Ben Lam (19), Dan du Preez (8th, 13)
  • Passes: Louis Schreuder (965), TJ Perenara (946), Tomas Cubelli (940)
  • Good Passes: Louis Schreuder (932), Tomas Cubelli (924), TJ Perenara (919)
  • Offloads: Anton Lienert-Brown (31), Samu Kerevi (27), RG Snyman (22)
  • Turnovers conceded: Cooper (28), Damien Willemse & others (23)

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: Sam Carter (211), Michael Hooper (210), Hanro Liebenberg (22nd, 153)
  • Tackles missed: Jantjies (44), Marcos Kremer & Mo’unga (34)
  • Dominant tackles: Kremer (26), Luke Whitelock (22), Bongi Mbonambi (21)
  • Tackle turnover: Hooper (10), Akira Ioane (7), Kwagga Smith (5th, 6)
  • Turnovers won: Ardie Savea (21), Duane Vermeulen & Guido Petti (17)

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: Beauden Barrett (140), Bonilla (127), Pollard (5th, 112)
  • Metres kicked: Barrett (4488), Bonilla (4054), Pollard (7th, 3396)

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: Cooper (41), TJ Perenara (31), Pollard (4th, 27)
  • Penalties conceded: Taniela Tupou (25), Santiago Medrano (21), Coenie Oosthuizen (11)
  • Penalties – scrum: Taniela Tupou (13), Joe Moody (12), Oosthuizen (10th, 12)
  • Penalties – offside: Liebenberg (6), Schalk Brits & others (5)
  • Free kicks conceded: Taniela Tupou (4), Malcolm Marx & Oosthuizen (3)
  • Yellow cards: Semisi Masirewa (4), Funnell, Vella, Pulu (2)
  • Red cards: Brits, Akker van der Merwe (1)

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: Rory Arnold (81), Petti (73), Marvin Orie (4th, 54)
  • Lineouts stolen: Petti (10), Izack Rodda (9), Orie (5th, 4)

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    Pretty interesting stuff!

    You either have a porous midfield on defense with Jantjies, or a butterfingers on attack with Pollard.

    Much of the Bulls and Lions shortcomings this year could be down to their flyhalf weaknesses. Much created, but sometimes just their own enemy with spilled balls (Pollard) and weak defenses (Jantjies). Although Pollard is the man at the moment, he has dropped too many in the midfield on a promising attack. Jantjies we have spoken about many times over.

    Two guys quite surprisingly on this list is Mbonambi and Orie. Quiet players doing their bit, deservedly in the squad. Although I must concede, Lions didn’t have much option on lineouts this season, unlike the other SA teams, and Orie was the man to play, but even in a readable lineout option, he still fared well

  • John Comyn

    Stats can be misleading but also damning. We see posters on this board dissing Duane (morning Barry!) yet he has 2nd highest in T/O’s. This is not to say Dan Du Preez’s stats are not impressive & probably deserves to be rewarded for his hard work. Orie is right up there and has to be a consideration for the WC squad. Kagga also pops up everywhere. Sad to see how Coenie has gone backwards since his injury. As for Jantjies! When are they going to realize he is a serious liability and could put an end to our WC chances in a big game. As for my side, we get one mention with Bongi. Shows how seriously average we have been be it good or bad.

    • Barry

      Evening John.
      Sorry to pop your bubble, but the starting point is to get the stats right first, then to consider them against respective competitors. I am not sure where AOL get their turn over stats from but perhaps they can let us know. Most international sites measure this as “Pilfers”. Vermeulen is indeed up there, in second spot on a total of 8, not 17, M.Marx 7 and K.Smith 6. But let’s not get too excited at 8 pilfers, because L.Am made 4, a few less than Vermeulen and he’s way out of the traffic. To put it in perspective, that’s one pilfer ever second game. The importance of the statistics here are not so much Vermeulen’s 8, but rather how low the pilfer count is. We go on and on about the role of a true 6 and the turn overs that we are missing, but it would seem the game has changed and moved on, but not so much the supporters!

      I have no particular beef with Vermeulen at all, as you would seem to think. He did very well for SA last year and I am sure he’s a really nice chap. All I would like to see is players getting rewarded for their efforts, regardless of who they are, which Province they play for and no matter the colour of their skin. I would have thought that was what we were all after, but the reality is a little far from that. Vermeulen did not manage to get into any of the other major categories – and I’m talking purely South African’s here, yet he seems guaranteed a spot in the National side. You ok with that are you?

      The stats presented make for interesting reading, because it gives insight as to how we stack up against the other Nations. but to my mind a more meaningful measure is to look at the top SA contenders in the various categories after 16 rounds – a time when half the teams baled out. Measuring player-on-player thereafter is not fair because some went on to play 19 rounds, whilst others stop at 16. If you flip through the top 3 or 4 SA players by category, it is amazing to see how few are current Springbok incumbents. So have our selectors done a thorough job, or should we be asking questions.

      Your remark regards Oosthuizen is also a little misguided. I agree that the penalty count reflected against him seems pretty high, but it seems a little difficult to fathom, when the team scrum stats show it quite differently. Sharks ended up in 7th spot scrum wise, jointly with Lions in 7th spot, whilst Province were in 12th spot and Bulls in 10th. It doesn’t quite jell doest it. I see you also avoided mentioning that Oosthuizen was by far our most mobile tight head. Let me remind you of the stats:

      Scruming SR 2019
      Lions 7th
      Sharks 7th
      Bulls 10th
      Stormers 12th

      Runs made
      Co. Oosthuizen(SHA) 62
      C. Sadie(LIO) 61
      T. Nyakane(BUL) 55
      T. du Toit(SHA) 53
      F. Malherbe(STO) 35
      W. Louw(STO) 30

      Tackles completed
      Co. Oosthuizen(SHA) 122
      T. Nyakane(BUL) 112
      C. Sadie(LIO) 105
      F. Malherbe(STO) 85
      T. du Toit(SHA) 79
      W. Louw(STO) 71

      • Herman

        I’m not a great stat ‘believer’ but heartily agree with your contention that some Bok player’s preordained ticket to the WC does not take into account the efforts of many players who have outshone them this year. Rassie has painted himself into a corner with this lot so it’s almost pointless trying to change his mind at this late stage. Aussie test 10 days away and the hodge podge of players from Europe and SA must suddenly gel into a cohesive formidable force ? Yeah right. Cheers.

  • Dean Bright

    In Elton’s defense, Mo’unga made only 10 less missed tackles and played more games. Yet, everybody is talking about Mo’unga as a world beater. Stats can be very misleading. It certainly doesn’t tell you the full story. Mo’unga also has a kick success rate of around 75%. Less than Pollard and Jantjies.

    • Wesley

      I agree there Dean, but it comes down to the team you are in as well, and in some sense the teams you face. Mo’unga has the luxury of not making all his tackles, as their system is set up to negate the weakness. Crusaders is very on par with what the AB’s do, and thus his flash and flair creates more than what he gives away. He is a world beater for Crusaders and AB’s, but give him another team or play him against certain opposition, and he might be exposed. Barrett has raked in 2 World Player titles on the same platform, only being exploited in Wellington, where he had nowhere to hide. Same with Elton in a sense for the last 3 years, this year not able to lean back on his strong pack and thus their campaign suffered, among other faults as well. Pollard has had a good time the last two years, even though last year was a shambles for the Bulls, and this year he had more luxury leaning on his pack, thus their performances were better.

      I’m not saying they are bad players for having weakness. ALL PLAYERS HAVE WEAKNESS! And no flyhalf is an island, but they are the pivot around which the game spins, and its up to the coach to plan for the weakness, and his forwards to protect him and give him the time to play his game. I feel like I’m talking what everyone should anyway though.

      • Herman

        Totally agree old chap. Give me a truly creative fyhalf behind a decent pack any day. Cheers.

    • Barry

      Dean the fact that Mo’unga played more games would work in his favour not Jantjies – more minutes played, more opportunity to make mistakes. The fact that you can’t move away from is that in 2018 Jantjies had the worst tackle stats in the entire competition, an area he desperately needed to work on. In 2019, he has made absolutely no progress in this area, yet is selected for the National team – only in South Africa!

      It is a fair point that Mo’unga missed 35 tackles, about 1,8 tackles per game, but this does not seem to phase the New Zealanders too much, provided the player is brining it in other aspects of the game. They seem to have a more balanced approach where they appreciate that their attacking players are probably going to be their worst defenders and vice verse. Sevu Reeve, the new cap missed 24, Damian McKenzie 24 – Bosch 15, Pollard 22!

      What you didn’t compare though Dean are the other aspects of the two players attacking game, where the comparison is chalk and cheese. Here are a few to think about – Mo’unga first Jantjies second:

      Tries: 7/3
      Coversions: 48/32
      Runs: 113/64
      Meters: 1006/333
      Line Breaks: 11/4
      Tackle Breaks: 40/17

  • Nick

    True Dean. And that inside chanel is a very busy one in the modern game. Numbers can look nice and neat in a ledger, but they do not explain the how and why. Context is everything.

    • Herman

      Agreed Nick. Cheers.

  • Herman

    Barry It’s bit unfair comparing a gifted flyhalf playing for probably the best non test outfit in the world and a player trying to cope in a team that has lost two thirds of it’s stalwarts in one year. When you have superb coaching and everyone is on the same page game plan wise your pivot should have the advantage.

    When the Lions were on the rampage Elton was the fulcrum and like Mo’unga was the wizard engineering try after try after try. The Lions could afford to, like the Crusaders with Mo’unga, ‘carry’ him. Put an inexperienced young pack in front of him and you’ll have a totally different result. That’s why stats imo are highly subjective.

    My other pet theory is that certain weak tacklers avoid tackles whereas Elton puts his life on the line even when cleaned out. Pollard has far more ‘bulk’ than Elton yet is right up there on the missed tackle stats. Elton creates tries Pollard doesn’t. Who would you choose if you had a world class pack ?

    I’m the first one to agree that Elton has not been at his very best this past season or parts of 2018 but he has been hopelessly overplayed since 2016. Yet he still managed to get his team to three SR finals. Pollard in his recent losing QF was as jittery as hell and with some other forgettable performances gets placed on a pedestal and considered the saviour of SA rugby. I beg to differ.

    Quite frankly we do not have a world class flyhalf in this country and you will NOT win a WC without one. Add to that a stunted game plan which will inevitably be adopted by Rassie then I believe we are on a hiding to nothing. Elton can be left at home as far as I’m concerned, who needs to be part of the upcoming fiasco. Cheers.

  • Barry

    Hermie, Dean made the comparison between the two not me, I just responded.

    Interestingly, there were three teams in 7th spot for scrum efficiency: Lions, Sharks & Crusaders. Richie would thus have had similar go forward ball to Elton!

  • Herman

    In only one facet of the game ? Cheers.

Comments are closed.