What! The Crusaders kicked more than the Bulls?

On a night that saw the Bulls heavily criticised for their kicking, it might surprise some to learn that it was the seven-try Crusaders who kicked more than the home side!

In a masterclass at Loftus, the travelling Crusaders showed why they have won this tournament so often, romping to a 45-13 win over a strangely lacklustre Bulls side.

With the tourists gaining 814m from 119 carries – at an average of 6.8m per carry (2m more than the Bulls) – it looks, at first glance, like the dominant Crusaders opted for an all-out, ball-in-hand attack strategy.

That they were impressive with ball in hand is not in doubt, but it was backed up by an astute kicking game. Making close on 200m more than the Bulls via the boot, it was the visitors who kicked 34 times in the game. Ten more than the Bulls!

Yet it was the home side who were criticised for “kicking it away”…

And therein lies the rub. While one side was utilising a pre-planned kicking game to get into the opposition’s half, the other was desperately kicking to get out of their own half.

Throw in an inept kick chase from the men in light blue, and they might as well have wrapped the ball in a ribbon and included a few Quality Streets in the package.

Another standout stat saw Crusaders tighthead prop Michael Alaalatoa, on 43m, make more metres with ball in hand than every Bulls player except Rosko Specman and Burger Odendaal!

Try-scoring machine Sevu Reece made 130m in scoring his 3 tries, while master tactician on the night, Richie Mo’unga, carved off 108m from his 10 carries.

A look at the match stats from Loftus:

Match information:

  • Points: BUL 13-45 CRU
  • Tries: BUL 1-7 CRU
  • Penalty goals: BUL 2-0 CRU
  • Goal kicking %: BUL 100% – 71% CRU
  • Possession: BUL 52% – 48% CRU
  • Territory: BUL 55% – 45% CRU
  • Ball in play: 36 minutes

Attacking stats:

  • Metres run: BUL 482-814 CRU
  • Ball Carries: BUL 99-119 CRU
  • Metres per carry: BUL 4.9-6.8 CRU
  • Line breaks: BUL 7-8 CRU
  • Tackle breaks: BUL 3-3 CRU
  • Passes: BUL 108-139 CRU
  • Good Passes: BUL 100-127 CRU
  • Offloads: BUL 7-10 CRU
  • Rucks won: BUL 81-70 CRU
  • Rucks lost: BUL 2-2 CRU
  • Mauls won: BUL 3-0 CRU
  • Turnovers conceded: BUL 16-15 CRU

Defensive stats:

  • Tackles made: BUL 108-115 CRU
  • Tackles missed: BUL 16-13 CRU
  • Tackle success: BUL 87% – 91% CRU
  • Tackle turnover: BUL 0-0 CRU
  • Dominant tackles: BUL 3-14 CRU
  • Turnovers won: BUL 3-6 CRU

Kicking stats:

  • Kicks from hand: BUL 24-34 CRU
  • Metres kicked: BUL 733-916 CRU
  • Metres per kick: BUL 30-30 CRU

Error stats:

  • Handling errors: BUL 14-12 CRU
  • Penalties conceded: BUL 5-12 CRU
  • Yellow cards: BUL 0-0 CRU

First phase stats:

  • Lineouts won: BUL 12-8 CRU
  • Lineouts stolen: BUL 0-1 CRU
  • Scrums won: BUL 5-9 CRU
  • Scrums lost: BUL 0-0 CRU
  • Own kickoff won: BUL 0-0 CRU
  • Own kickoff lost: BUL 8-4 CRU

- Tank Lanning

Let's chat

  • Barry

    The Bulls did not go to school on the Sharks success in Canterbury. The Crusaders have a high penalty count per game. The Sharks kicked their penalties the Bulls left 7 (21 points) on the park.

    The penalties alone were not enough, but they certainly would have created score board pressure and would have put Bulls in with a shot!

    • Herman Schroder?

      The Bulls at no stage would have had a shot in that game. Even if you simply add 21 points to their score they would have been smacked, they were in fact disgraceful.

      The Sharkettes took their penalties, still didn’t win and gave the Crusaders 3 points to take home. Sharks took two points only one more than a losing bonus point. With that dominance why didn’t they take the game to the Crusaders with that star studded backline ? I’ll answer it for you, they don’t know how with RDP in charge.

      Sorry mate, as I told you on another thread the result only gave the bumbling coach a life line. He and Fleck, incompetence personified. Cheers.

      • Barry

        Morning Herman, did you get the Imodium?

        You’re being a bit silly again, I guess making statement to get a rise perhaps!

        Twenty one points would have made a world of difference to that game but I think you know that!

        Du Preez is certainly not the best Coach on the planet, but he did manage a draw in Canterbury- remind me how did the slip s do there?

  • Dean Bright

    I’d rather watch Saracens vs Crusaders

  • Barry

    Is it no high time that Erasmus cracks the whip. Some months back he made a statement to the effect that he had 80% of his squad sorted out. In doing this, I think he sent a message to many of the front runners that they were assured a place in the squad regardless of their personal on field performances! As a result we have a big chunk of our senior players pitching week after week and just going through the motions without putting in much effort!

    Not a day goes by that the journalist fraternity tell us how Vermeulen and Brits are back and how this will save the Bulls, yet the stats tell a very different story!

    Kieran Reid was well contained in the Canterbury game, but virtually had a free hand this past Friday – don’t believe it, then compare Reid and Thor’s stats! Similarly Brits should be embarrassed by his performance on Friday.

    By total contrast, when did players like Pollard, RG Snyman, PSDT, Marx, kitshoff and a few others put in a lack luster performance? Not once that I can think of.

    I think it is time that Erasmus rethinks his 80%!

    • John Comyn

      For a start Erasmus has not picked a side as yet! Of the 5 players you mention I don’t think I have seen them have too many bad games. Are you suggesting Rassie drops them? RG has played 2 games for crying out loud. I think I know where you are going with this. After 2 decent games all season you are suggesting they get replaced with Sharks players as in Bosch, Botha, Dan & JL Du Preez, Akker and T du Toit (God forbid).

      • Barry

        Maybe re-read my post John! I am saying that the five I named are consistent performers whilst there are a number that, I believe are in passenger mode. Your good friend Malherbe for example and I can give you another six or so to add to that.

        Erasmus said a while back that he had 80% of his square sorted, we can only surmise that it is the current incumbents, for it would be extraordinary if it were not.

        It is the National side John, so we need to be selecting players on current performance and not on last years reputation!

        Hope that’s a bit clearer!

        • John Comyn

          Apologies. Agree on Malherbe – a total waste of space. I see Coenie is off to join the Sale Sharks!

          • Barry

            Yes, every man and his dog. Springbok coach will not be an enviable position in 2020!

    • Herman Schroder?

      Pollard has been poor these past few games my friend. Cheers.

      • Barry

        Hermie, that’s an IMO assessment, stats would suggest you need to take off your sun glasses! Pollard is certainly not perfect, but he is very solid and has moments of brilliance! Remains our best bet, with Lambie out the running by some margin! More importantly, he always gives 100%!

        • Dean Bright

          Herman’s eyes are as bad as Elton’s haircut

      • Albert

        Jantjies has been a joke, Shaun Reynolds won the Lions match. He looks a much more rounded player, doesn’t rely on the happy fairy to get him playing well.

        • Herman Schroder?

          This for all my ‘fans’ above. Firstly Barry you correctly mention that those Boks should not be chosen purely on last years reputation. But pray tell me what reputation was that for the whole lot of them ? Wellington has skewed peoples perception of just how bad they really were overall last year. A lucky 50% winning ratio and playing basically dom krag rugby and saved by the individual brilliance of certain overseas players, when they did win, is not something we should rely on imo.

          Dean, deflecting to a man’s haircut is a poor debating skill, lol. Cheers.

          Poor Albert. Jantjies has taken his team to three SR finals. Give him a Bok coach that can coach ‘modern’ rugby and he will flourish. It will still be difficult for him though because the players around him are all dom krag throwbacks. Rassie’s game plan suits Pollard so pick him but don’t expect any silverware.

          Cheers folks.

          • Barry

            Herman, you agree with me that national selections should be based on current form, then you argue with Albert, punting Jantjies form over past three seasons!

            Maybe give that a bit of thought!

  • Herman Schroder?

    When you shake a bottle of full cream milk you will see the cream slowly rising to the top. The Lion cubs are now two thirds of the way to the top and should finish with a flourish. As for the other pretenders, well the less said the better but here goes.

    The Bulls are on a one way ticket to the bottom of the Conference despite their rather ‘easier’ tour down under. The Sharks base their entire game on defence ( dom krag 101 ) and paid the price. The 275 tackles the week before came back to haunt them. The Stormers can also kiss the Conference goodbye. With the Crusaders to play on Saturday and a highly probable loss, 24 points from 12 games will only just keep them in the hunt but with Fleck still a passenger coach I just can’t see it.

    Collectively the above three can barely score a try and every time the’ penalty for poles’ obsessed teams took that option they failed. Even in the draw which gave the Crusaders 3 points to the Sharks 2 the try scoring team walked away with the advantage. Boks all over the show and the skill levels remain appalling.

    The Jaguares were well and truly pumped by Ben O’Keefe but still have a better chance than the rest of the Conference. The difference is they play real rugby.

    And then onto the cubs. Back in the hunt despite the rebuilding phase and if I might add thanks to the implosions all around them by those Bok laden Franchises. No doubt everyone will be itching to inform me of the Seconds performance but folks I must have seen at least half a dozen or so forward passes this weekend not called. Some teams call it the rub of the green some use it to deflect from their own team’s piss poor performances. In any case if the Lions had a half decent ref they probably would have eased to victory. He was c..p for both sides.

    With 9 teams chasing three playoff spots the race is on. Four NZ teams will qualify plus a Aussie Conference winner. With five games to go the Lions face the three pretenders the Highlanders and the Hurricanes. Fourteen points of a possible twenty five should get them through plus the Jaguares. That leaves 7 teams chasing one spot so good luck to the pretenders, lol. Cheers.

    • Chris Mouton

      I’m just going to leave this here… http://www.espn.com.au/rugby/story/_/id/26734022/super-rugby-round-13-review-tahs-frustrated-bizarre-joburg-scenes

    • Albert

      Holy smokes but you are just incompetently biased. You bemoan Seconds performance when the Lions win, yet you ignore his blatant biased performance for the Lions. The fact is the cubs would have lost had it not been for Seconds. So you should thank him this week.

      The real fact though, is that the Lions still haven’t beaten a SA team. How you like them apples? And also, how is it that the Lions rely so heavily on the Whitely effect that when he’s not there they are rudderless? Hows the “leadership” group going over there?

      Get real

      • Dean Bright

        Se net dankie vir Egon. That missed forward pass swung the match in the Lions’ favour and they still barely hung on to win. The Waratahs are a poor side, by the way the Sharks beat them away from home. The Lions don’t have the forward pack to mount a serious challenge to any top 6 team. They will be found out again with that leaking defense.

        • Herman Schroder?

          They beat the Crusaders old chap. Can’t be too bad and lost seven games by 8 points or less. Do some homework before posting.

          They back themselves to score more tries than the opposition and had major success over the years. The non try scoring dom kragger loaded teams were nowhere to be seen and are still stumbling on. The Bulls, Sharkettes and Stormers have hardly scored a try these past few games, how bad is that, lol. Cheers.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Poor Albert. Seconds was incompetent for both sides, full stop. Read my comments above about the incidents for some enlightenment. Seconds robbed us at Newlands so where was the bias there ?

          Please old chap the Lions are rebuilding after a massive loss of real classy players not the dom krag wonders running around in our Franhises today. For nearly four years they spanked the other Franchises and this year those guys managed to win a few thanks to the Lions injuries to world class players and blooding plenty of cubs. What excuses do the other established Franchises have for their cock ups this year ? Despite that they are still in running so how bad must the others be ? Three derby games await them, payback time.

          Whiteley remains the ONLY captain in the entire country worthy of captaining the Boks. A leader of men, as a roving loosie he has no peer and most of all has what is missing from all others, rugby SMARTS. Rassie however doesn’t need smart rugby players just stampkar experts that regrettably get out muscled by all and sundry these days anyway, hence his poor test record.

          The leadership group are going along fine, how about your lot ? Cheers

          • Chris Mouton

            Shame Herman, still living in the past. The Bulls lost a lot of players as well, but they still beat your Lions. The Stormers and the Sharks beat your Lions, even with their crappy coaching. Oh, you still wanna moan about how Egon Seconds cost you that Stormers game? I think this last game against the Tahs completely made up for it. Especially after that forward pass from Lewies to Marx was ignored for Skosan’s try.

            Oh, and Captain Glass was completely outsmarted by Hooper when the latter scored his try. Wonderful Jantjies missed the tackle on Simmons for his try. In fact, Jantjies missed 4 from 6 tackles.. Maak die Lions almal Bokke! LOL

            http://www.espn.com.au/rugby/matchstats?gameId=294371&league=242041

      • John Comyn

        I don’t have the energy to read Herman’s drivel but can only imagine.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Getting a bit long in the tooth maybe John ?. Maybe a few Energades before unleashing your wisdom on these sites might help. Have a nice nap this afternoon. Cheers.

        • Barry

          Rather have your coffee John, it’s far more satisfying! I’ve put some Imodium in the post for Hermie, hoping it clears up some time soon!

          • Herman Schroder?

            Good one old chap. Cheers.

  • John Comyn

    I thought The Bulls defence was poor from the little I saw but then the Crusaders are easily the best team in SR. Still The Sharks proved last week that committed defence is the only way to stop Kiwi sides from gaining momentum. That said I expected them to beat the Chiefs. What happened? I fear for my boys this weekend. The Crusaders are looking ominous.

    • Herman Schroder?

      My sympathies young man. I promise to go easy on you after the game. Cheers.

    • Barry

      I think the main issue was that they had Dan Du Preez on rest week which coincided with Akker VDM out with concussion. They both have 80% hit rates in the red zone and are thus the Sharks forwards finishers!

      Sharks had five opportunities in the red zone in the first half, but came up short on all five.

      Also a little concerned on the question of mental fortitude!

      • Herman Schroder?

        Quiz question. Which is the only SA team to WIN in NZ this year ?? Answer to follow, hehehe.

        Glad you’re honest about the lack of mental fortitude but it does seem that all are inflicted with it to be fair. Cheers.

  • Nick

    Lot’s of interesting stuff above, but I could not help thinking that the contact aspect of the game, The physical bit, was won early and effectively in this game by the Crusaders. Not so much the collective stuff like scrums and rucks, [which they won hands down too!] but the one on one runners and tacklers. In the first 20 mins or so, crusaders broke tackles at will, and many Bulls runners were put down with ease. Of course we could all see that the speed of execution and thought of the Crusaders was in another league.

    The Bulls have never been my favorite team, and you would have to think back a long, long way to remember a truly creative or skillful Bulls team, but you always knew it was going to be tough for visiting teams. Nowadays the only tough part is the ridiculous stadium announcer and other ‘entertainment’ they provide. [Is it possible to choose a worse selection of songs outside of a Steve Hoffmeyer compilation?] Uiters swak!

    If Pollard is our best 10, forget getting anywhere close to a world cup final. Oom Schalk Brits, not fit or strong enough for this level. Sorry. How many times does he go down in one game? He had 3 weeks rest!

    • Herman Schroder?

      Spot on Nick. Oupa Brits also hops two metres forward and gets driven back 5 metres while suspended in the air at the top of his hop. But it’s WC time and Rassie has already chosen 80% of last years clowns, go figure. Cheers.

    • Barry

      Whilst Pollard may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I am not sure we have a better 10 at the moment! Jantjies is being subbed at the Lions , because they are clearly not happy with what he is doing. Bosch is a little new to be given an opening role and Province aren’t quite sure who their 10 is. Limited options!

      How many times does Brits go down. The answer is about 100 000 times, that’s if SANZAAS current fine proposal sticks, for bringing the game into disrupted, again! Cardie Brits just doesn’t learn!

      • Herman Schroder?

        The Lions have realized he has been overplayed in recent years and are going easy on him. Sound thinking. Despite what anyone may think he played every minute of every game last year ( 19 in fact ) never injured and took his team to the final. In any other country that would be considered heroic. Here all they complain about is his hair. Cheers.

        • Barry

          How would he get injured, he’s never in the traffic

  • Nick

    I would say Elton thrives in traffic like Pollard does not. Pollard treats traffic like props do.

  • Greg Shark

    reading old hermie’s comments is still a laugh a minute …… too thick skinned to be embarrassed by the crap he writes…. and he thinks he’s in the game with Barry, Nick, Chris…just to mention a few…. they’re toying with you hermie.… chuckle!

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