Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Turnovers cost Chiefs dearly

Sonny Bill Williams made 18 runs for a total of 161 metres, two linebreaks, and got away six off-loads in the tackle. Photo / Getty Images
Sonny Bill Williams made 18 runs for a total of 161 metres, two linebreaks, and got away six off-loads in the tackle. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers after the final round of the Super 15 regular season.


The Hurricanes have now won their last seven home matches against the Chiefs, and keep their record of not losing to the Chiefs in Wellington since 2001 intact.

Turnovers cost the Chiefs dearly in this game, with a total of 19 including 10 knock-ons and six breakdown turnovers. They also conceded 11 penalties, five of which were for off-side at the ruck.

Liam Messam was the top tackler in this game with 19, followed closely by his captain Craig Clarke with 17. The Chiefs' backs were guilty of 17 missed tackles, Tawera Kerr-Barlow the worst offender with four.

The Hurricanes made 151 tackles in this game, and it was the defensive efforts of Beauden Barrett (10), Tim Bateman (11) and Conrad Smith (16) that kept the Chiefs' playmakers in check.

Sonny Bill Williams made 18 runs for a total of 161 metres, two linebreaks, and got away six off-loads in the tackle. On defence he made six tackles and missed three.

The Chiefs got their lineout back into shape this week, winning nine from 11 throws with Craig Clarke their top jumper with four takes.

Andre Taylor was the Hurricanes' top try-scorer this season with 10, and he finished first equal top try-scorer in the competition with the Bulls' Bjorn Basson at the end of the round robin. Julian Savea's two tries in this game took his season's tally to nine.

Three Hurricanes players brought up 50 Super Rugby caps in this match - Faifili Levave (Chiefs 12, Hurricanes 37), Tim Bateman (Crusaders 35, Hurricanes 14) and Ben May (Crusaders 2, Chiefs 33, Hurricanes 14).

The Hurricanes scored 489 points in 2012, including 58 tries which is a new record total for the franchise, beating the 54 they scored in 1997. Their 489 points were the most by any team during the round robin, and their eight four-try bonus points were also the most by any team. They finished with 10 wins from 16 games, the same number of victories as the Bulls, Sharks and Brumbies.


The Blues may have finished 12th, but they saved their best till last and put away a Brumbies side that had only needed a single competition point from this match to win the Australian conference.

The battle of the breakdown was won by the Blues, counter-rucking the Brumbies three times while Daniel Braid, Ma'a Nonu and Peter Saili won turnover ball at the tackle.

The Blues missed just 15 tackles in this match, while the Brumbies missed a staggering 50. The Brumbies backs missed a total of 23, with fullback Jesse Mogg missing six. Chris Lowrey was top tackler for the Blues with 14.

The Blues made 10 linebreaks in this game, with Charles Piutau topping the stats with four linebreaks, three off-loads, and a total of 152 running metres.

Francis Saili and Sherwin Stowers were dangerous with ball in hand, Saili making three linebreaks and Stowers making two. Stowers made 143 metres with his seven runs with the ball.

Liaki Moli scored his first Super try, made six carries and took two lineouts. Andrew van der Haijden made an impact off the bench stealing two lineouts off the Brumbies.

The Blues conceded just 127 penalties in their 16 games, the least of all the New Zealand sides. Their lineout ran at 73 percent on their own throw, the worst of the New Zealand sides but just one percent less than the Hurricanes'.

Luke Braid was the standout forward for the Blues this season, with a total of 160 tackles, eight breakdown turnover wins, 117 runs, 15 off-loads in the tackle, and three tries.

Ma'a Nonu made 100 tackles in his 13 appearances, made five linebreaks, scored two tries, and made 802 metres which was the most running metres for any Blues player this season.


The Crusaders had scored four tries (just their fifth four-try bonus point of the season) and had this game in the bag by halftime, which was lucky as they lost the second half 21-6 after benching Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.

Matt Todd had a huge game on defence making 25 tackles, the most of any player on the night. He also made six runs with the ball, one linebreak, and made three off-loads in the tackle.

Israel Dagg scored his sixth try of the season (albeit a somewhat dubious decision), and made the most running metres with 122 from nine runs. He made two linebreaks and managed two off-loads in the tackle.

The Crusaders made 12 linebreaks to the Force's three, with Adam Whitelock the leading linebreaker with three. He also managed three off-loads in the tackle, and was the top tackler in the Crusaders' backline with a total of 10.

The Crusaders were dominant at the breakdown winning that battle ten to one, with seven claimed in the first half. Of their total breakdown wins five were counter-rucks, while Cory Flynn, Richie McCaw, Matt Todd and Willie Heinz all won tackle turn-overs.

Nathan Sharpe proved why he is one of the best locks in the business in his record 162nd Super appearance, taking eight lineout throws to make him the competition's top lineout winner at the end of the round robin with a total of 85 takes.

The Crusaders conceded a hefty 18 penalties in this game, twice their 2012 average per game. 12 of those penalties came in the second half with six at the breakdown, eventually leading to George Whitelock being yellow carded.

Despite the rather messy second half, this win sees the Crusaders finish the round robin as the second best attacking side in the competition with a total of 485 points, just four less than the Hurricanes.

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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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