Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Was Haskell's stint worth it?

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James Haskell received his the second yellow card of the season on Friday. Photo / Getty Images
James Haskell received his the second yellow card of the season on Friday. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers from the latest round of Super 15 action and looks at how Englishman James Haskell performed during his stint with the Highlanders.

CRUSADERS v HIGHLANDERS (51-18)

It was the Crusaders' second half century of points in a row as they clocked up a record number of points against the Highlanders, their previous best being a 46-29 victory over the southern men in 2004.

George Whitelock earned the first yellow card of the game in the 17th minute, and the Highlanders scored ten points while the Crusaders were down to 14 men.

James Haskell received the second yellow card in the 23rd minute, and the Crusaders rattled up 22 points during his absence. It was Haskell's second yellow card of the season, and his first game back following a three week suspension for striking a player in the Round 10 game against the Cheetahs.

Haskell now leaves the Highlanders, returning to England for their internationals. He played in a total nine games for the Highlanders this season, made 72 tackles, two linebreaks, and conceded nine penalties plus the two yellow cards.

The Crusaders made 12 linebreaks to the Highlanders' one, with Robbie Fruean, Israel Dagg and Quentin MacDonald all making two each.

Dan Carter only kicked in general play seven times in this game, and two of those kicks resulted in tries to Zac Guildford to take his season's tally to six.

Sam Whitelock had a stellar game, taking seven kick-off receipts, winning seven of the Crusaders' ten lineout throws, and stealing one off the Highlanders. He also made 10 tackles and one linebreak.

It took 23 minutes for the first knock-on of the game to occur, which came from Israel Dagg.

BLUES v CHIEFS (34-41)

The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot for just third time in their history, and this latest victory sets a new Chiefs' franchise record of 11 wins in a season.

Aseli Tikoirotuma's four tries equalled Sitiveni Sivivatu's record for most tries in a game for the Chiefs, which was also set against the Blues in 2009. Tikorotuma joins a group of 11 players to have scored four tries in a Super Rugby game.

Rudi Wulf scored a try in what was his 50th game for the Blues. He made one linebreak, two offloads in the tackle, and made a total of 108 running metres.

The Blues scored their first four-try bonus point of the year when Rene Ranger scored in the 66th minute. Ranger was the top linebreaker in this game with three and made the most running metres with a total of 127.

Maritino Nemani received the Chiefs' first yellow card of the season for a dangerous tackle in the 35th minute of the game. It came exactly two minutes after Steven Luatua earned a yellow card for the Blues for the same offence.

Sonny Bill Williams made three linebreaks, three offloads in the tackle and scored a try. He also made 16 tackles, making him the top tackler for the Chiefs.

Aaron Cruden's 19 points with the boot (184 points for the season) puts him just nine points behind Morne Steyn as the competition's top points scorer.

The Blues have now been beaten twice by all the other NZ franchises this season, and the Lions' upset win over the Sharks this round now relegates the Blues to bottom place on the competition table.

WARATAHS v HURRICANES (12-33)

This was the Hurricanes' first victory over the Waratahs since 2006 and their first four-try bonus point against the Sydney-siders since 2004.

The Waratahs hadn't lost three home games in a row since 2007 and it's the first time they have lost six in a row. It is also the first time the Waratahs have lost 10 games in a Super Rugby season and it came in their 100th game at Allianz Stadium.

The Hurricanes' starting pack made a combined 80 tackles, with Jack Lam top tackler in the match with 17. Jeremy Thrush and Ben May were the next best with 14 each.

Victor Vito stole two lineouts off the Waratah's throw, made eleven ball carries, and got away two offloads in the tackle.

Julian Savea scored the first try of the night and he has now scored seven tries in his last six games.

Beauden Barrett missed his second conversion kick, which was the first kick he had missed in his last 15 attempts. He now sits on 177 points for the season and in third place overall for most points scored.

Chris Eaton's try in the last minute of the game saw the Hurricanes move to 438 points for the season, breaking their previous record for most points scored in a single season of 436 in 1997.

The Hurricanes' bonus point win was the eighth time in 14 matches this season they have scored four tries or more.

Tracey Nelson

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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