Stat Attack: Saders vs SA

After 120 league matches, we say cheers to the Lions and Stormers while the Sharks head off to Canberra for a quarter-final, and the Bulls pretend to be excited about the unenviable task of taking on the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The 2019 quarter-finals (all times SA):
Friday, June 21
Crusaders v Highlanders – Christchurch 09:35 (QF 1)

Saturday, June 22
Jaguares v Chiefs – Buenos Aires – 00:05 (QF 3)
Hurricanes v Bulls – Wellington – 09:35 (QF 2)
Brumbies v Sharks – Canberra – 12:05 (QF 4)

As we head into the playoffs, we take a gander at the season stats for both SA contenders, comparing a few of them to those from the log-leading Crusaders.

It is interesting to note that the Bulls seem much happier to take the points on offer, having scored 410 points (close on 70 more than the Sharks), with 135 of them via penalties.

The Sharks are happy to take the ball through the phases, having made more carries, metres and passes, but the men from Pretoria are more effective with ball in hand, having made more line breaks and tackle breaks. Better than the Sharks yes, but not even in the same ballpark as the Crusaders, who own the attacking stats.

Defensively, it’s the Bulls who have harvested more turnovers, seemingly from their monstrous 216 dominant tackles which then put the opposition under pressure. The Crusaders seem to create their turnovers from a more systemic defence that creates pressure, rather than the actual tackle.

Amazingly, both sides have similar kicking stats, with both SA sides having made use of the boot a whole lot more than the Crusaders.

A look at the season’s stats for both sides:

Match information:

  • Points: SHA 343-410 BUL (Crusaders: 476)
  • Tries: SHA 40-42 BUL (Crusaders: 70)
  • Conversions: SHA 31-31 BUL
  • Missed conversions: SHA 9-11 BUL
  • Penalties slotted: SHA 27-45 BUL
  • Penalties missed: SHA 9-8 BUL
  • Drop Goals: SHA 0-1 BUL

Attacking stats:

  • Ball Carries: SHA 1,652-1,536 BUL (Crusaders: 1,715)
  • Metres run: SHA 10,554-9,414 BUL
  • Metres per carry: SHA 6.3-6.1 BUL
  • Line breaks: SHA 57-67 BUL (Crusaders: 91)
  • Tackle breaks: SHA 63-78 BUL (Crusaders: 84)
  • Passes: SHA 2,263-1,905 BUL
  • Good Passes: SHA 2,015-1,677 BUL
  • Offloads: SHA 145-130 BUL (Crusaders: 171)
  • Turnovers conceded: SHA 234-200 BUL (Crusaders: 213)

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: SHA 1,995-2,082 BUL (Crusaders: 2,015)
  • Tackles missed: SHA 232-306 BUL (Crusaders: 241)
  • Tackle success: SHA 90% – 87% BUL
  • Dominant tackles: SHA 192-216 BUL (Crusaders: 118)
  • Tackle turnover: SHA 46-46 BUL (Crusaders: 36)
  • Turnovers won: SHA 46-73 BUL (Crusaders: 79)

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: SHA 342-347 BUL (Crusaders: 288)
  • Metres kicked: SHA 9,655-10,006 BUL (Crusaders: 7,669)

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: SHA 246-244 BUL (Crusaders: 232)
  • Penalties conceded: SHA 122-125 BUL (Crusaders: 129)
  • Penalties – scrum: SHA 25-19 BUL
  • Penalties – offside: SHA 20-33 BUL
  • Free kicks conceded: SHA 5-5 BUL
  • Yellow cards: SHA 5-3 BUL
  • Red cards: SHA 1-1 BUL

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: SHA 164-161 BUL
  • Lineouts stolen: SHA 7-10 BUL

Next week’s semi-final lineups will come from the following pre-determined draw, with the highest ranked team to host:
SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

So, Bulls in Christchurch and Sharks to Buenos Aires then?

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Herman

    And good luck to them although it’s now Crusaders v Bulls and Brumbies v Sharks in the quarters. Sharks at least have a reasonable chance against the Brumbies the only qualifier from a woeful Aussie Conference but if they play anything like they played yesterday even the Aussie team should take them. Let’s hope win or lose RdP takes the first stagecoach out of Dodge. If he remains because of this ‘sneak in’ it will probably start a civil war in KZN amongst the supporters. Time to clear out the dead wood.

    As for the Bulls full marks for battering my boys twice this season but I don’t think your best will be good enough against the Canes. All thoughts of playing expansively will be shelved and they will revert to the old tried and tested dom krag format for the game. No doubt the Canes will be planning for it. Remember the Lions never lost a quarter or semi in the past three years because they stuck to their expansive game plan which unsettled even the best teams. Surprise tactics is the only way to tackle the quarter final and they proved they have the ammunition. But mark my words …….

    As for the two ‘losers’. The Stormers need no analysis, overall they were plain useless. Fleck is gone thank goodness. Even the Lions managed to avenge their first round robbery at Newlands ( Secondsgate ) to record their only victory against local teams this year. Surprisingly they managed to remain competitive by winning 7 of their 10 games against overseas opponents. They beat the Jags twice and two NZ teams the only SA team to do so. Small consolation though.

    At the start of the season I would have been satisfied with a mid table finish considering the loss of many stalwarts from last year. I then got excited about actually making the playoffs but that was not to be for various reasons. In a way I’m relieved. Rebuilding was always going to be a process and hopefully all the newbies used this year can contribute to a much improved campaign next year.

    Next year is going to be a free for all. Our flagship Bulls team, although very wonky at times, will next year experience what the Lions experienced this year and the new contracting model will no doubt impact on all our systems. Strange times ahead folks.

    As for Rassie and the Boks ? Well I’m sure this SR campaign has given him more questions than answers. Consistency was displayed by none of our teams and form has been iffy amongst most of the Bok candidates with only a few exceptions. Various game plans followed by our Franchises will also effect performance. Add transformation imperatives and a long injury list to his problems and Rassie is up the creek without a paddle imo. The first RC test is a mere five weeks away, oh boy.

    Good luck to The Bulls and Sharks. In this hugely unpredictable season stranger things have happened. So go for it. Cheers.

    • Barry

      Bad luck Hermie – but for the Egon 80 minutes of biased madness, we would have three teams in the play-offs and one less Kiwi side!

    • Herman

      CORRECTION> First line should of course read Hurricanes v Bulls not Crusaders v Bulls. Cheers

  • Barry

    You guys seem to have missed some of the stats:

    Bulls Vs Crusaders 13/45
    Crusaders Vs Sharks 21/21

  • Dean Bright

    Any players who bashed down the door for Bok selection?

    • Barry

      This is a summary of the top ten players by category. Standouts in particular are Dan Du Preez 3 mentions, RG Snyman 2 mentions and Dilyn Leyds 2 mentions.


      10th Daniel Du Preez – 8 tries


      3rd Daniel Du preez – 178 carries

      Clean breaks

      7th Makazole Mapimpi – all 24 clean breaks
      Dilyn Leyds
      Aphime Dyantyi

      10th Rosko Speckman – 22 clean breaks

      Defenders beaten.

      No South African players in this category – somewhat concerning!

      Lineouts won.

      4th Marvin Orie – 59 Lineouts won

      5th RG Snyman – 50 lineouts won

      Meters carried.

      5th Gerhard Van den Heever (Sun Wolves) – 966 meters.

      7th Curwin Bosch – 885 meters.


      5th Andries Coetzee – 21 offloads

      6th Daniel Du Preez – Both 19 offloads
      Dilyn Leyds

      10th RG Snyman – 18 offloads.

      Points Scored.

      1st Handre Pollard – 188 points.

      5th Elton Jantjies – 124 points.

      Tackles Won.

      Surprisingly no South Africans in this category.

      • boyo

        Thanks Barry. Dan is a must while whiteley is injured. Jaco Coetzee another I would try.

      • Herman

        Barry, Interesting one there with Andries Coetzee with 21 offloads. He is probably our safest fullback under the high ball, his tackle stats have improved and he is gutsy and strong as well. His critics considered him to be a player that attacks but seldom links yet the stats say otherwise. Most of our other fullbacks have a bit off flash but lack the reliability and mental toughness of Coetzee imo. LLeyds, Willemse, Bosch (in patricular ) and even Gelant who has been patchy of late. But Coetzee’s chances are of course nil because of you know what. Good luck for Saturday. Cheers.

        • boyo

          Coetzee has hit form at the right time. He wouldnt be a bad guy to have a look at in the rugby championship. Dan Du Preez must start at 8 in the RC whilst Whiteley is injured. We know Duane is the starting 8 so wouldn’t risk starting him in the RC.

          • Barry

            Boyo, why do we talk about Whitely and Vermeulen with some sort of reverence? Surely players should fight and earn their positions and not just stroll in based on their relationships, comic books, media hype and a few good games last year?

            Is that not what is wrong with our sides in SA we look our form players in the eye and then just select some guy from last year!

  • Barry

    SANZAAR’s top ten players by category gives a very good and quick reference to those players that have been playing out of their skin!

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