Rugby: Stats show Kiwis are Super 15 winners

Sona Taumalolo (L) of the Chiefs is congratulated by Sitiveni Sivivatu and teammates. Photo / Getty Images.
Sona Taumalolo (L) of the Chiefs is congratulated by Sitiveni Sivivatu and teammates. Photo / Getty Images.

As the Super Rugby competition readies itself for the playoffs, several New Zealanders are already winners - statistically at least.

In numbers gathered by Opta and Sportstec for the New Zealand Rugby Union, New Zealand players lead the way in many areas, including metres gained, tackles, line breaks and more.

Chiefs prop Sona Taumalolo, who has scored eight tries this season, has made 300 metres with the ball in hand this season, more than any other prop in Super Rugby (131 metres more than the next highest). He averages 3.7 metres per carry.

Highlanders wing Hosea Gear has run further with the ball than any player this season with 1,243 metres.

Hurricanes outside backs Andre Taylor and Julian Savea have made the second and third most metres of any wing and fullback this season, running 1046 metres and 904 metres respectively.

Taylor has made more line breaks than any other player with 20 - he has also beaten 36 defenders in the process, the sixth highest in Super Rugby.

Crusaders backs Robbie Fruean (18) and Zac Guildford (18) are joint second in line breaks.

Chiefs second-five Sonny Bill Williams has made 31 offloads this season, 10 more than any other player.

Crusaders flanker Matt Todd has the highest average tackles per game in Super Rugby this season with 13.8 per match.

Highlanders utility back Tamati Ellison has played more minutes than any player in the competition this year having turned out for a total 1,185 minutes so far.

The Highlanders average the most metres made per game (452), they also average the most passes in a match (158).

The Chiefs average the most clean breaks per game (10.1), second and third in this ranking are the Hurricanes and the Crusaders respectively.

The Crusaders have the most successful scrum in the competition, winning 94 per cent of their own ball.

The Highlanders have five players in the top 10 ball carriers. Nasi Manu (197, first), Gear (167, second), Adam Thomson (155, fourth), Ben Smith (132, equal eight) and Ellison (130, ninth).

The Hurricanes average the most points scored in a game, 30.7 points per match. They also average the most tries scored per game, running in an average 3.8 tries per game.

Don't forget the Blues. Utility back Lachie Munro has the best goal kicking percentage of the New Zealand players with a success rate of 89 per cent (16 from 18).

And although it is something of a booby prize in keeping with their wretched season, they have the best discipline this campaign, having conceded an average of just 8.1 penalties and free-kicks per game.

- APNZ

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