The Stats Don't Lie

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

Stats Don't Lie: Cane a standout in Chiefs win

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Sam Cane make 20 tackles in his side's huge defensive tally of 184 completed tackles. Photo / Getty Images
Sam Cane make 20 tackles in his side's huge defensive tally of 184 completed tackles. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the weekend's Super 15 action where Sam Cane was a standout performer for the Chiefs.

CHIEFS v HIGHLANDERS (19-7)

Sam Cane was almost single handedly the key difference between the Chiefs winning and losing this game - not only did he make 20 tackles in his side's huge defensive tally of 184 completed tackles, but he was instrumental in winning three breakdown turnovers to halt promising attacks by the Highlanders.

The breakdown was overwhelmingly won by the Chiefs, who managed eight turnovers to the two by the Highlanders. On three occasions the Highlanders were caught without a halfback, and the ball was stolen from the base of their ruck.

The Chiefs knocked the ball on 13 times in this game, while the Highlanders made eight knock-ons and three spills.

It was spilled ball that really hurt the Highlanders, with Josh Bekhuis' fumble resulting in Tim Nanai-Williams' try.

The Highlanders' lineout continues to have wobbles, losing four of their 12 throws this week. Mike Fitzgerald managed two steals for the Chiefs.

Kade Poki made two linebreaks, and the most running metres of any player on the field with a total of 186 from his 13 runs with ball in hand.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Lelia Masaga missed the most tackles in this game, with four misses each.

Neither goal kicker covered themselves in glory - Gareth Anscombe only managed four from seven attempts which was well short of his 87 percent average going into the game, while Colin Slade missed three penalty kicks and was successful with just a conversion.

The Highlanders did, however, become the first side in 2013 to deny the Chiefs a bonus point try.

CRUSADERS v KINGS (55-20)

For the second week in a row the Crusaders put away South African opposition with a bonus point win, and have now won 32 consecutive home games against teams from the Republic.

George Whitelock scored a hat-trick of tries in this win, but also clocked up the most ball carries with 15 runs for a gain of 70 metres.

Kieran Read was in commanding form, making 13 ball carries for a gain of 108 metres, winning five of the Crusaders' 11 lineouts and stealing two throws off the Kings' lineout.

The Crusaders made 286 passes to the 74 by the Kings, and made 10 offloads in the tackle while the Kings managed just 4.

All but one of the Crusaders seven tries were scored by their forwards and of the nine tries in total scored in this game, three of them came from rolling mauls.

It was the first game this season that the Crusaders conceded less penalties than their opposition. All but one of their seven penalties came at the breakdown, while for the Kings all but two of their eight penalties were also at the breakdown.

The first scrum of this match did not occur until the 24th minute of the first half.

WARATAHS V BLUES (30-27)

The Sydney hoo-doo continued for the Blues, having not won there in over 10 years.

The Blues knocked the ball on no less than 14 times in this match, with Peter Saili managing 3, and Rene Ranger and Charles Piutau two each. By comparison, the Waratahs made just seven knock-ons.

The Blues also conceded 12 penalties, almost twice as many as their 2013 average going into this game. They were heavily penalised around the ruck, conceding six penalties in this area.

There were remarkably few kicks from hand by either team, with the Blues making just six while the Waratahs made nine.

Both lineouts stuttered at times, with the Blues losing two of their six throws and the Waratahs losing three from nine. steven Luatua stole two throws off the Waratahs towards the end of the first half.

Drew Mitchell and Bernard Foley proved to be a handful, both making two linebreaks and scoring a try. Overall the Waratahs made six clean breaks and got two tackle off-loads away.

Israel Folau won the battle of the fullbacks with 12 runs for a gain of 180 metres, one linebreak, one off-load, and a try. Charles Piutau made five runs for 60 metres, one linebreak and one offload, but made four handling errors to the two by Folau.

The Blues made 90 percent of their tackles while the Waratahs made just 84 percent. The Blues also won four breakdown turnovers while the Waratahs could only manage one.

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