Stats: Rieko Ioane shines as Mitre 10 Cup's best

By Sam Hewat

Rieko Ioane has quickly become one of New Zealand's most prominent new talents. Photo / Photosport
Rieko Ioane has quickly become one of New Zealand's most prominent new talents. Photo / Photosport

Some might say it's only a matter of time before Rieko Ioane is in an All Blacks jersey - stats suggest it's only a matter of time before he's one of the greats.

At just 19 years of age, he's already got a wealth of experience under his belt, being an integral part of the New Zealand Sevens programme as well as having two caps for the Maori All Blacks.

He was called into the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad back in August, but never took the field.

Instead, he pulled on the Auckland jersey and led the Mitre 10 Cup field from start to finish.

Some of his stats, even for a winger, are not what you expect from a 19-year-old.

At the end of the Mitre 10 Cup regular season, here's how Ioane rose to the top.

Top Try Scorer

This was almost a given for Ioane. 10 tries in nine appearances for Auckland, three tries more than next best Iliesa Ratuva from Waikato.

That's an average of 1.1 tries per game.

He's the youngest ever top try scorer in NPC history.

812

That's the total amount of metres Ioane has gained in this year's Mitre 10 Cup.

It's 117m better than the next best - North Harbour's Tevita Li.

Ioane's also played one less game than Li.

22 Clean Breaks

Ioane loves a clean break. He's done it on 22 occasions this season.

Two more than Wellington's Wes Goosen and five more than Hawkes Bay's Jonah Lowe.

Once again, Ioane played one game less than both of those two players.

6.9 Defenders Beaten

That's not very impressive at first glance. But this is how many defenders Ioane beats - per game.

He's beaten 62 in total this year, three more than his brother Akira and 22 more than Tevita Li.

22 more, one less game played.

50 Points

It's essentially impossible for an outfield player to outscore a goal kicker when it comes to points for the season.

Indeed, the first 14 names on the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup points scoring table are all goal kickers.

But Ioane sits in 15th, the only non-goal kicker in the top 18.

In fact, he's scored more points than Bay of Plenty's two fly-halves - Dan Hollinshead and Kelly Haimona.

80 minutes per game

Ioane missed one game for Auckland this season. That was when he joined the All Blacks squad in Wellington for a week.

In each of the other nine games, he played every single minute.

The Sevens convert has a very bright future ahead indeed.

- NZ Herald

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