Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Chiefs overcome high error count

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Once again handling errors were problematic for the Chiefs, with 12 knock-ons (seven in the first half) and two wayward passes leading to turnover in possession. Photo / Getty Images
Once again handling errors were problematic for the Chiefs, with 12 knock-ons (seven in the first half) and two wayward passes leading to turnover in possession. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the weekend's Super 15 action.

CHIEFS v FORCE (22-21)
Fortunately for the Chiefs they kept record of winning all games they have been leading at halftime this season, although it was a close thing at the end and they were out-scored two tries to one.

Once again handling errors were problematic for the Chiefs, with 12 knock-ons (seven in the first half) and two wayward passes leading to turnover in possession. The Force made just four handling errors all game.

The Chiefs missed just 12 tackles in this game, and had only missed four by halftime. Overall they made 86 percent of their tackles, with Brodie Retallick their top tackler with a total of 13.

The Force missed 25 tackles and only had a 76 percent success rate. Matthew Hodgson, their blindside flanker, missed a total of six tackles in this match.

The Chiefs' lineout functioned much better this week winning nine of their 10 throws, with their only loss due to an overthrow. The Force contested every lineout the Chiefs had (other than their one quick throw), while the Chiefs contested nine of the 12 lineouts thrown in by the Force.

Lelia Masaga was the top runner for the Chiefs with a total of 10 for a gain of 85 metres, while his opposite Nick Cummins was the best for the Force with a total of 6 runs for 67 metres.

Aaron Cruden landed all six of his attempts at goal (five penalties and a conversion), while the Force missed a penalty and a conversion that may have won them the game.

CHEETAHS v HURRICANES (34-39)
The Hurricanes scored their third bonus point win of the season and upset the Cheetahs on their home turf to be just the second team after the Sharks to do so this season.

The Cheetahs only conceded six penalties in this game, but Beauden Barrett landed all five of the penalties the Hurricanes opted to kick for. Barrett also landed two conversions, which along with his first try of the season in this game gave him a personal tally of 24 points.

The Hurricanes conceded 13 penalties, eight of which came in the first half. They then managed to play 14 minutes of the second half before conceding another penalty, and clocked up another four before the final whistle.

When it came to the breakdown the Hurricanes excelled, winning nine turnovers plus stripping the ball from a Cheetahs' maul from a lineout. The Cheetahs managed to win three breakdown turnovers and held up two mauls by the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes won all eight of their lineout throws, with Faifili Levave and Victor Vito both taking three throws. Vito also stole the first Cheetahs' lineout throw of the match.

The Hurricanes handling errors were improved from last week, with just seven knock-ons and three passing errors. Worst offender was Jeremy Thrush with the first three knock-ons made by his team.

The Cheetahs loosehead prop Conenrad Oosthuizen was the top linebreaker in this game with three, and scored two tries. He clocked up an impressive 71 metres from his 13 ball carries.

BLUES v REBELS (36-32)
The Rebels have now lost their last four games by a margin of six or less points, and had their goal kickers been on-song may have produced the upset in this game.

The first six attempts at goal in this match missed - three from each team. James O'Connor could have chalked up 500 Super Rugby points in this week and had three attempts at goal (two penalties and a conversion) but missed all three before leaving the field injured. Chris Noakes missed his first three attempts and finished with a tally of just two from six attempts.

The Rebels only conceded 4 penalties in this game, 2 in each half. The Blues conceded 12, 5 in the first half and 7 in the second.

Once again Scott Higginbotham was a standout figure in the game scoring a try, making nine runs with the ball, and making 10 tackles.

Brendon O'Connor was the top tackler in the game with 18 and no misses, and also won a tackle turnover.

The Blues won the breakdown battle with three tackle turnovers and two mauls held up, while the Rebels won three tackle turnovers off the Blues.

Frank Halai became the first Blues player since 2008 (Joe Rokocoko) to score a hat-trick. He made 123 metres from his 13 runs, and is now the top try scorer in the competition with eight tries.

KINGS v HIGHLANDERS (34-27)
The Kings got their first win over a New Zealand side when they scored a four try bonus point win against the Highlanders, who managed to get one bonus point for also scoring four tries in this match.

Penalties and yellow cards cost the Highlanders, with the Kings scoring a converted try during Tamati Ellison's 51st minute sinbinning. The Highlanders conceded 12 penalties to the seven by the Kings, with Tony Woodcock conceding three in the first half - two scrum offences and one for foul play.

Dimitri Catrakilis kicked six from seven of his attempts at goal, while Colin Slade landed just three of his six attempts. Catrakilis notched up 100 points for the season in this game.

The Kings won 14 of their 16 lineouts, with their two lost lineouts due to overthrows. Their 88 percent success rate was helped by the Highlanders contesting just 50 percent of the Kings' throw-ins. Contrastingly, the Kings contested six of the Highlanders' eight throws, and managed to steal one of them.

The Highlanders missed 30 tackles in this game, with the worst offenders being Tony Woodcock, Aaron Smith and Colin Slade all with four misses. Brad Thorn was the top tackler in the match with 17 tackles and three misses, while Woodcock was the next best with 16 tackles.

The Kings made just six handling errors in this game (all knock-ons), while the Highlanders made 11 (seven knock-ons and four passing errors).

Ben Smith made the most running metres of any player with a total of 124, made one linebreak and also got 2 offloads away.

Tracey Nelson

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

Tracey Nelson is a rugby statistician who looks closely at the numbers of every Super 15 and All Blacks test to give a concise answer to which players and teams are leading the way on the field.

Read more by Tracey Nelson

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