Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Ranger stands out in Blues win

Rene Ranger  stood out again making 70 metres in his 10 runs, one linebreak, five offloads in the tackle, and winning a breakdown turnover. Photo /Getty Images
Rene Ranger stood out again making 70 metres in his 10 runs, one linebreak, five offloads in the tackle, and winning a breakdown turnover. Photo /Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the weekend's Super 15 action where Rene Ranger had another strong effort for the Blues, while Ardie Savea was a dream Hurricanes debut.


The Blues have now scored a four-try bonus point in each of the three wins they've had this season, and also dealt the Highlanders their sixth consecutive loss since the start of the season.

The Blues won the battle of the breakdown, with five ruck and two maul turnovers won off the Highlanders. They also won two penalties for Highlanders' players not releasing the ball in the tackle.

The Highlanders conceded two tries and a conversion during Ma'a Nonu's first half spell in the sin bin for a shoulder charge on Piri Weepu. However, they failed to score any points themselves when the Blues lost George Moala to a yellow card early in the second half.

The Blues lost four of their 16 lineouts, with Mose Tuali'i, Jamie MacIntosh, Josh Bekhuis and Jarred Hoeata all getting one against the throw. The Highlanders won all of their eight lineouts.

Set piece became increasingly problematic for the Blues during this game, as not only was their lineout shakey but they lost two of their seven scrum feeds along with conceding 3 scrum penalties.

Highlanders' reserve halfback Fumiaka Tanaka made an immediate impact when he took the field in the 58th minute of the game, making a linebreak and offload that led to Phil Burleigh's try. He made a total of 20 metres in his 2 runs.

Rene Ranger stood out again making 70 metres in his 10 runs, one linebreak, five offloads in the tackle, and winning a breakdown turnover.


The Sharks got just their fourt ever win over the Crusaders in this game, thanks to the boot of Patrick Lambie who landed all seven of his penalty shots at goal.

Meanwhile Crusaders' goal kicker Tyler Bleyendaal was only 50 percent with the boot, landing four from seven penalty attempts and missing the sole conversion of the match.

The Crusaders' handling was much improved in this game, making just four knock-ons - with the first one not occurring until the 24th minute of the first half.

The Crusaders lost their first scrum of 2013, conceding a penalty on a feed on their own 22 metre line in what was to be the last act of the game.

As they did last week the Crusaders contested their opposition's lineout, this week putting up a jumper on all but one of the Sharks' throws. In doing so they managed one clean steal to Sam Whitelock, while pressuring the Sharks into one not-straight and one overthrown feed. The Crusaders won all 7 of their own lineout throws.

The Crusaders made seven linebreaks to the Sharks' three, and also made 13 offloads but were unable to manage more than just the one try to Andy Ellis from a set piece move off their first scrum feed of the game.

Robbie Fruean was the pick of the Crusaders' backs, making 68 metres from his 10 runs that included one linebreak, as well as four offloads in the tackle.


The Hurricanes became the first New Zealand team to beat an Australian side in 2013, and also dealt the Waratahs their 11th consecutive defeat on the road.

The Hurricanes won the breakdown battle eight to two, and only conceded 3 breakdown penalties in this game.

Ardie Savea had a dream debut, making 22 tackles without a single miss, 37 metres with his five ball carries, and winning two breakdown turnovers.

His brother Julian was in menacing form with the ball in hand clocking up 145 metres with his eight runs, which included one linebreak, three offloads in the tackle, and a try of his own.

Reg Goodes made the most of his chances, making two carries for 28 metres, making a linebreak, an offload, and scoring a try. He also made 12 tackles.

The Waratahs made 11 clean linebreaks to 6 in this game, with 1st 5 Bernard Foley making 2 scything runs - the first resulting in his own try under the posts in the 21st minute of the match.

The Hurricanes had to make 153 tackles in this game and missed 36 of them, while the Waratahs made 85 tackles and missed 25.

Despite the wet conditions for this game there were remarkably few handling errors with just five knock-ons and a forward pass by the Hurricanes, and 6 knock-ons and 2 forward passes by the Waratahs.

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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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