Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Blues' big loss breaks records

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Zack Holmes and the Brumbies won their first game in Wellington since 2003. Photo / Getty Images
Zack Holmes and the Brumbies won their first game in Wellington since 2003. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson breaks down the stats from the latest round of Super 15 where the Brumbies ended an nine-year losing run in Wellington while the Blues' heavy defeat to the the Crusaders broke records for all the wrong reasons.

HURRICANES v BRUMBIES (25-37)

The Brumbies broke a drought stretching back to 2003 as they beat the Hurricanes in Wellington.

It was just the fourth time this season the Brumbies have scored a four-try bonus point, and it cements their spot as the Australian conference leaders and puts them in third place overall - although they still have less competition points than the Bulls, Crusaders and Sharks.

Despite losing this game, the Hurricanes scored their sixth four-try bonus point of the season and they are now the top try-scorers in the competition with a total of forty.

TJ Perenara made two linebreaks and scored two tries, taking his season tally to seven. He also made nine runs in this match, the most of any of the Hurricanes.

Andre Taylor may not have crossed the chalk in this game, but he made the most running metres of any player on the field with a total of 85. He also made one linebreak and kicked a penalty goal, his first of the season.

Karl Lowe was the top tackler with 18 while his counterpart Michael Hooper made 17.

Hooper was strong at the breakdown winning one clean turnover, and it was his try from an untidy Hurricanes' scrum that put the Brumbies into the lead in the 63rd minute of the game.

The Brumbies scored 21 unanswered points in the last 26 minutes of the game, including the final try of the match to first-five Zack Holmes from his only linebreak in the game.

HIGHLANDERS v BULLS (16-11)

This game was an arm-wrestle throughout, but it was the Highlanders' ability to contest at the breakdown that saw them emerge victorious - winning six breakdown turnovers and pressuring the Bulls into conceding four penalties in the tackle on their own ball.

The Bulls had the upper hand when it came to lineouts, winning all eight of their throws with the Highlanders chosing not to contest.

In contrast, strong contesting by the Bulls on the Highlanders' throws saw the home team lose five of their eight throws in the first half, with the usually secure option of Adam Thomson outjumped twice.

Tamati Ellison won two of the breakdown turnovers, and made six tackles. He also made one linebreak and four offloads in the tackle.

Morne Steyn had a night he'd rather forget in his 100th appearance for the Bulls, landing just two out of five kicks at goal. He also missed his only conversion attempt, which leaves him stranded on 199 Super conversions for another week.

Hosea Gear made thirteen runs for a total of 133 metres gained, which gives him a season average of just over ten runs yielding 97 metres per game.

The Highlanders' loose trio were strong on defence with Adam Thomson and Tim Boys both making eleven tackles, while Nasi Manu made ten.

But it was reserve flanker Scott Fuglistaller (in his first appearance for the Highlanders) who may have only made two tackles, but won the all important breakdown turnover in the 80th minute to put paid to the Bulls' last chance of scoring to win the game.

CRUSADERS v BLUES (59-12)

It was carnage as the dysfunctional Blues copped the backlash from a Crusaders side still smarting from their defeat at the hands of the Rebels the previous round, and they inflicted the worst loss a Blues side has ever had against a Crusaders team.

The 47 points differential was the biggest between the two teams since the 49-18 win by the Blues back in 1996, and the Crusaders' 59 points are the most points scored in all their encounters between the two.

It took 59 minutes for the Blues to score their first points in this game, whereas the Crusaders had scored their bonus point try in the 36th minute.

Luke Romano had a stand out performance taking six of the Crusaders' 16 lineouts, making 13 runs for a total gain of 45 metres, and scoring his first try of the season.

Dan Carter showed he's not far away from top form making five runs, 10 tackles and landing five from seven conversion attempts.

Matt Todd was the top tackler for the Crusaders making 14, while Richie McCaw and Ryan Crotty both made 13.

The Braid brothers were again the top tacklers for the Blues, with Luke making 17 and Daniel 13. However, it was Daniel along with Piri Weepu and David Raikuna who missed the most tackles, all of them missing four.

The nine tries scored by the Crusaders takes the total number of tries they've scored against the Blues to 57 - and the two tries scored by Lachie Munro gives the Blues the exact same number of tries against the Crusaders.

There were only 11 penalties awarded in the game (six conceded by the Crusaders and five by the Blues), and there were no penalty kicks for goal in the entire match.

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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