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

The Stats Don't Lie: Defence key to Chiefs win

The Chiefs made 137 tackles, missing just 16. Photo / Getty Images
The Chiefs made 137 tackles, missing just 16. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from Saturday's Super 15 playoff between the Chiefs and Crusaders where the stats point out just how good the Chiefs were in defence.


The Chiefs maintained New Zealand's perfect record of the host team never losing a playoff match, and that record now stands at 16 games. Australia have lost three and South Africa have lost four home semifinals.

The Crusaders had the most attacking opportunities in this match, making eight clean breaks and 15 offloads to the Chiefs' five breaks and five offloads. Israel Dagg made the most clean breaks of any player with two, while Matt Todd and Tom Taylor both made two offloads.

It was the Chiefs' defensive efforts that again saw them triumph over the Crusaders, making 137 tackles and missing just 16. The Crusaders made 99 tackles and also missed 16.

The Crusaders had the dominance at lineouts particularly in the first half, stealing three throws off the Chiefs' lineout (all to Sam Whitelock) while Hika Elliot erred with one overthrow and one not straight throw. The Chiefs stole one lineout off the Crusaders in the first half thanks to Craig Clarke.

The two captains were the top ball carriers for their respective teams, Kieran Read made 14 carries for 52 metres while Craig Clarke made five carries for 49 metres.

Zac Guildford made the most running metres with 92 made in his 11 runs, while Lelia Masaga was the best for the Chiefs with 61 metres from his six runs.

The Crusaders also had a slight edge at the breakdown, winning four turnovers to two.

Handling errors were high for the Chiefs with eight knock-ons which was twice as many as the Crusaders, although it was the Crusaders' passing errors (two) that were more costly with Ryan Crotty's intercepted pass by Aaron Cruden leading to a converted try.

The Chiefs conceded just six penalties, while the Crusaders conceded nine. All but one of the Chiefs' penalties were conceded at the breakdown the other being a scrum penalty, while the Crusaders conceded seven breakdown penalties, one lineout penalty, and one for offside play from a kick.

Dan Carter's 14 points in this game took him to 170 points for the season, and his second penalty of the night saw him clock up 150 points against the Chiefs. Carter kicked four from six penalty attempts (one miss bouncing off the upright), converted Dagg's try, and missed with two drop goal attempts. Carter has a total of 11 Super Rugby drop goals but hasn't landed one this season.

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