Tracey Nelson

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The stats don't lie: Week nine review

Sean Maitland ran in his eighth try of the season on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images
Sean Maitland ran in his eighth try of the season on Friday night. Photo / Getty Images

Bonus point wins to the Crusaders, Highlanders, Blues and Hurricanes this weekend in a round that saw plenty of scoring action with a total of 23 tries scored by the New Zealand teams.

CHIEFS v CRUSADERS (16-34)

- The Chiefs put plenty of pressure on with their offensive defence, and managed to either counter ruck the Crusaders or win the ball at the breakdown five times in this game.

- Pressure from the Chiefs' defence resulted in 14 handling errors by the Crusaders, but equally they racked up 10 handling errors themselves.

- Matt Todd and Cory Flynn were the Crusaders' stars at the breakdown, each winning two turnovers with Kieran Read chipping in with the fifth tackle turnover. Todd is the leading New Zealand flanker for breakdown turnovers with a total of 10.

- Sean Maitland ran in his eighth try of the season, while Robbie Fruean and Lelia Masaga both scored to take them to four tries each for the year.

- The Chiefs' lineout had the wobbles, winning only 12/18 on their throw. The Crusaders won 7/8 on their throw.

- Again the Chiefs' scrum drew the ire of the ref, with three penalties conceded to take their season tally of scrum penalties to a hefty 17.

- Possession was evenly shared and there were only three clean linebreaks in this game, all from the Crusaders (Matt Berquist, Ben Franks and Andy Ellis).

- Matt Berquist kicked six from seven for the Crusaders while Mike Delany was successful with four from six shots at goal.

- Sitiveni Sivivatu became the most-capped Chiefs player of all time.

- For the second week in a row a collision with Owen Franks' head saw a player have to depart from the game, this week the unlucky recipient was Tanerau Latimer.

REBELS v HIGHLANDERS (18-40)

- The Highlanders went on a try-scoring rampage in Melbourne, with Adam Thomson picking up a brace for the second week in a row to take him to six for the season.

- Kade Poki scored from his own linebreak taking him to eight linebreaks and four tries this year, while Ben Smith also shone making his sixth clean linebreak of the season.

- The Highlanders lineout remains one of the best in the competition, winning 10/12 on their own throw to maintain their 89 percent success rate.

- Robbie Robinson didn't fare so well with the boot this week only converting 2/5 penalties and 2/6 conversions for a 36 percent success rate.


BLUES v WARATAHS (31-17)

- It looked like this game was threatening to become a cricket score when the Blues had racked up their bonus point try after 28 minutes to lead 26-0, but the Waratahs eventually woke up and started playing rugby to narrow that lead to 31-7 at the halftime break.

- The Blues failed to score after halftime, the Waratahs scoring two further tries to make the score a little more respectable.

- Although the Blues had less than 50 percent of territory and possession in this game, their error rate was low with just six handling errors and three breakdown turnovers conceded. The Blues won five breakdown turnovers off the Waratahs.

- The Blues conceded 10 penalties in this game, with nine of them coming at the breakdown.

- Keven Mealamu ruined his perfect record this season by conceding two free kicks for a not-straight throw and one baulk.

- Luke McAlister kicked 3/5 conversions.


CHEETAHS v HURRICANES (47-50)

- Tries came thick and fast in Bloemfontein at a rate of one every 7.3 minutes, as the Hurricanes ran in their sixth try with a 50m run by Jeremy Thrush to win the game in the 77th minute.

- Hosea Gear starred with two linebreaks and two tries, including one very good solo finish to beat three defenders from a set piece move.

- The Hurricanes lineout finally got its mojo back, winning 8/9 and disrupting the Cheetahs on their throw.

- This week the Hurricanes made 85 percent of their tackles and only conceded six penalties.

- However, they conceded ball 6 times at the breakdown and only won breakdown ball once off the Cheetahs.

- Dan Kirkpatrick found his kicking boots, nailing 4/4 penalties and 3/5 conversions. Beaudon Barrett goaled the sideline conversion of Thrush's try on his Hurricanes debut.

- NZ Herald

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