Super Rugby semifinals: What the stats say

The Chiefs and the Hurricanes will square off in Wellington on Saturday night. Photo / Darren Taumata
The Chiefs and the Hurricanes will square off in Wellington on Saturday night. Photo / Darren Taumata

Statistics are not everything but they give an good indication of how things have gone in the past.

Opta Sport have looked back on past results and provided some interesting stats to note head of this weekend's Super Rugby semifinals.

Hurricanes v Chiefs, Saturday 7.30pm, Wellington

Last five encounters:
Chiefs 28-27, April 23
Hurricanes 21-13, June 13, 2015
Hurricanes 22-18, May 16, 2015
Chiefs 24-16, July 4, 2016
Hurricanes 45-8, May 24, 2014

• The Hurricanes have won nine of their last 11 games against the Chiefs on home turf, though they lost their last such encounter by one point in Round 9 earlier this season.

• The Hurricanes have lost all six of their playoff games against fellow New Zealand teams in Super Rugby, including a 14-10 defeat to the Chiefs in 2009.

• The Chiefs have previously contested four semi-finals in Super Rugby history, winning each of the last three.

• Each of the Chiefs' last four away games in New Zealand have been won by the team trailing at half-time.

• The Hurricanes have scored more than twice as many points as they've conceded in their last six Super Rugby games (197-88), of which they have won all of them.

• Aaron Cruden has 15 try assists this season, more than any other player in the competition; however the last of these came back in May.

• The Hurricanes have a points difference of +99 in the final 20 minutes of their games this season, the best figure of any team.

• 55 percent (36/66) of the Hurricanes' tries this season have come from first phase possession, the highest rate in the competition.

• Beauden Barrett (193) and Damian McKenzie (190) are both within reach of becoming the first and second players this season to score 200 points.

• Ardie Savea made 11 tackles in the opening weekend of the finals to take his season tally to 176, second only behind the Chiefs' Sam Can (180).

Lions v Highlanders

Last five encounters:
Highlanders 34-15, March 12
Lions 28-23, May 10, 2015
Highlanders 23-22, May 10, 2014
Lions 26-23, May 28, 2011
Highlanders 39-29, Mar 26, 2010

• The last eight meetings between these sides has seen the winner alternate in each match, the Highlanders were 34-15 victors in the last encounter.

• The Lions have won eight of their 10 home games this season, however both of their defeats on their own patch in 2016 have come at the hands of teams from New Zealand.

• The Highlanders have won their last three away games, only once before have they won four on the trot (2005).

• The Highlanders have won five of their last seven games against South African opposition, scoring 34+ points in each of their wins.

• The Lions have scored 26 tries after winning possession from a lineout, the most of any of the four remaining teams and behind only the Brumbies (28) overall.

• Waiseke Naholo has scored 11 tries in his last 10 games, and has scored three tries in four games against South African opposition in his Super Rugby career.

• Malakai Fekitoa has made a competition high 31 offloads this season, the only team to prevent him from getting the ball away in the tackle in a game this season are the Brumbies (twice).

• Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe and Courtnall Skosan have all scored nine tries each for the Lions this season, the Chiefs are the only other side with more than one player to score that many tries (McKenzie and Tamanivalu).

• The Lions have been the top attacking side in the competition this year, averaging more points, tries, defenders beaten and metres per game of any team.

• The Highlanders meanwhile have been the busiest side in defence, averaging the most tackles (125) of any team in 2016 yet conceding the fewest points and tries.

- NZ Herald

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