Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Super Rugby semifinals

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Richie McCaw during the semi final match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders. Photo / Getty Images
Richie McCaw during the semi final match between the Chiefs and the Crusaders. Photo / Getty Images

CHIEFS v CRUSADERS (20-17)

A high error rate by the Crusaders was the difference in this match, with the Crusaders making thirteen handling errors while the Chiefs only made five. Richie McCaw was a main culprit with the hands, knocking the ball on three times.

The Crusaders missed 30 tackles to the Chiefs' 14, with the normally reliable Sam Whitelock and Dan Carter both missing three.

Dan Carter's missed touch finder was the fourth time in three games he hasn't managed to put the ball over the sideline from a penalty.

The Chiefs conceded 13 penalties in this match, while the Crusaders conceded 10. Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Robbie Fruean were the most penalised players on the field with three each.

Despite the return of Craig Clarke this week the Chiefs still only won 60 percent of their lineout throws, losing two to overthrows, a penalty conceded for pushing, and one stolen by Richie McCaw.

Clarke was the Chiefs' main source of lineout ball winning all four of his throws.

The Crusaders did win five breakdown turnovers to the Chiefs' four, but were also penalised for not releasing the ball when tackled on three occasions.

Aaron Cruden became the top points scorer in Super Rugby 2012, with his two penalties and two conversions taking him to 234 points to date.

Dan Carter's third penalty goal of the night brought up his 100 points for the season, his fourth penalty shot of the game leaving him on 105 points in total for 2012.

Liam Messam was a stand-out on attack making two linebreaks and 81 running metres, as well as scoring a try.

Sona Taumololo celebrated his 50th Super game by scoring his ninth try of the season - equalling Andrew Blowers' 1996 record for most tries by a forward in a Super season.

STORMERS v SHARKS (19-26)

For the second year in a row the Stormers have lost a home semi-final, and this loss to the Sharks was their first in Capetown this season.

The Sharks conceded 12 penalties in this match, seven more than the Stormers. Tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis was the most penalised player conceding three in the first half.

When it came to the breakdown the Sharks won five turnovers to the three won by the Stormers. The Stormers conceded just one breakdown penalty in this game, while the Sharks conceded ten.

The Sharks lost just one of their 15 lineout throws, with Ryan Kankowski and Anton Bresler taking five throws each.

The Sharks put up a total of 29 kicks in play, and retrieved three of the seven high kicks they put up into Sharks' territory.

Frederic Michalak landed two drop goals from four attempts in this match after landing one against the Reds last week. He joins Dan Carter and Morne Steyn, who are the other players to have landed three drop goals this season.

JP Pietersen played at centre this week for the Sharks and made three linebreaks and 62 running metres, as well as scoring the second try of the game.

The Stormers only missed 15 tackles in this game, but it was their inability to score tries that ultimately cost them - this season they have averaged less than two tries per game, with their 28 tries being the least number scored by any other side.

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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