The Stats Don't Lie
Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Where the Blues are going wrong

While the Blues only conceded nine penalties in this game, seven of them were in the first half - and three of those were in their own 22.  Photo /Getty Images
While the Blues only conceded nine penalties in this game, seven of them were in the first half - and three of those were in their own 22. Photo /Getty Images

Tracey Nelson goes over the key statistics from the weekend's Super 15 action where handling errors and discipline cost the Blues dearly.


There were 270 tackles made in this match, the Chiefs made 141 and missed 19 while the Crusaders made 129 and missed 22.

Matt Todd was the top tackler in this game with 16 tackles and no misses, while Bundee Aki made 15 tackles with just one miss.

The Chiefs' second half tighthead against the Crusaders was the first completed scrum (i.e. not stopped due to a penalty or free kick) the Crusaders have lost this season.

The Chiefs had just seven lineouts in this game and the Crusaders contested five of them, resulting in one steal to Sam Whitelock and knock-on by Liam Messam.

The Crusaders had 16 lineout throws, with eight contested by the Chiefs resulting in one steal by Craig Clarke.

Both sides made remarkably few handling errors given the ferocity of the defence, the Chiefs made seven knock-ons and two passing errors while the Crusaders made six knock-ons and two passing errors.

Robbie Robinson made the most running metres in this game with 90, along with one linebreak and two off-loads.

Ben Tamiefuna conceded six of the Chiefs' nine penalties, the most any one player has conceded in a Super 15 game this season. Of those six penalties, four were conceded in the second half - three in the red zone, as well as one for a late shoulder charge.

Tom Taylor was 100 percent with the boot, and has now missed just two kicks this season - one of which hit the upright.


Handling errors and discipline cost the Blues dearly this week, and they earned a losing bonus point only because Christian Leali'ifano missed two penalties and one conversion attempt.

The Blues made 11 handling errors and spilled ball on two occasions resulting in loss of possession. The Brumbies also made 11 handling errors.

While the Blues only conceded nine penalties in this game, seven of them were in the first half - and three of those were in their own 22. The Brumbies had five penalty attempts at goal in the first half and were successful with three of them.

Defensively the Blues were better than the Brumbies, missing just six out of 110 tackles while the Brumbies missed 17 and were successful with 84 tackles.

Peter Saili and Brendon O'Connor were the top tacklers for the Blues both with 14 and no misses, while Stephen Moore was the best for the Brumbies with 11 tackles and one miss.

The Brumbies won all nine of their lineout throws, and stole three of the Blues' 14 lineouts. The Blues contested half of the Brumbies throws, while the Brumbies contested 11 of the Blues' throws.

The Blues won the breakdown battle, with two tackle turnovers (Rene Ranger and Luke Braid), one counter-ruck, and holding up the Brumbies in a maul for the turnover. The Brumbies won just one ruck turnover.

It was the first time this season that the Blues have been held scoreless in the first half of a game.


The Highlanders only conceded nine penalties in this game (one less than the Force) but it was Tino Nemani's tackle on the player in the air in the 78th minute that cost the Highlanders this game with Jayden Hayward kicking the winning penalty.

The Highlanders had to defend 26 phases of play by the Force in the opening five minutes of the match before they got their hands on the ball, and managed to defend 11 phases before the Force scored the only try of the match in the 17th minute.

Despite Alby Mathewson being sinbinned the Highlanders could only score a penalty goal in the time the Force were down to 14 players midway through the second half.

Ben Smith made the most running metres in this game with a total of 117 metres from his six runs with the ball. He also made two linebreaks and two off-loads in the tackle.

TJ Ioane made the most tackles in the match with 15 and no misses. Brad Thorn was next best with 14 tackles and one miss.

Ma'a Nonu didn't have the greatest match, conceding a penalty for not releasing the ball in the tackle, failing to give the pass that would have put Ben Smith in for a try in the corner, and missing five tackles.

The Highlanders have now lost 11 games, putting them just two short of equalling the Lions record (2010) for the most losses in a Super Rugby season. Potentially the Highlanders could take out that record with four games left to play.

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