The Stats Don't Lie
Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Defence shines in Brisbane

The Blues made 125 tackles in this game and only missed 11, Jackson Willison being their best defender with 14 tackles and just one miss. Photo / Getty Images
The Blues made 125 tackles in this game and only missed 11, Jackson Willison being their best defender with 14 tackles and just one miss. Photo / Getty Images

Tracey Nelson crunches the stats from the weekend's Super 15 action where the Blues and Reds showed remarkable levels of defence in Brisbane.


It was two tries apiece in this game, but the superior goal kicking of Joe Pietersen (60 percent) saw the Stormers home. Beauden Barret's six attempts at goal resulted in three misses and one charged-down conversion.

In total the Hurricanes conceded nine penalties in this game, fiur of which were for collapsing mauls (the second of which resulted in a yellow card for Jeremy Thrush in the 29th minute). They only conceded two penalties in the second half.

The Stormers conceded just six penalties in this game, and like the Hurricanes had just two penalties awarded against them in the second half.

There were 15 handling errors (including 12 knock-ons) by the Hurricanes, while the Stormers made just nine.

The Hurricanes made four linebreaks, with Alapati Leiua's resulting in a try to Andre Taylor. Leiua made the most running metres of any player on the field, with a total of 112.

The Stormers missed almost twice as many tackles as the Hurricanes, with first-five Gary van Aswegen missing six. The Hurricanes missed 11 tackles, with Brad Shields and Victor Vito missing three each.

It was the third time the Hurricanes and Stormers have played in Palmerston North (the Stormers have now won two of those games) and it was the 10th Super Rugby match the Hurricanes have played in Palmerston North, the Hurricanes have now dropped to a 50 percent winning record there.

REDS v BLUES (12-11)

This game was remarkable for the level of defence shown by both teams. The Reds had to defend 21 phases in the opening three and a half minutes of the match, and also defended a 20 phase play and an 11 phase play from the Blues in the second half. In total the Reds made 201 tackles and missed 31.

The Blues made 125 tackles in this game and only missed 11, Jackson Willison being their best defender with 14 tackles and just one miss.

The Blues won the battle of the breakdown with six turnovers won, plus they held up five mauls by the Reds.

Handling errors cost the Blues potential points on attack, with 11 knock-ons and a pass going straight into touch. Charles Piutau was their worst offender with 3 handling errors this week.

The Blues' sole try of the game came from a Callum Retallick steal from a Reds' maul, and the Blues strung together 13 phases to finally result in the try to Jackson Willison.

Like the Hurricanes, the Blues could have won this game had their goal kicking been better. Both Chris Noakes and Albert Nikoro landed just one kick from four attempts, while Quade Cooper missed just one of his five shots for goal.

The Reds and Blues both maintained their record as the only two sides yet to concede four tries in a game this season.


The Chiefs scored the same number of points against the Sharks as they did in last year's final but this time the Sharks made a game of it, although at no time did they take the lead in the game. An 82nd minute penalty goal by Aaron Cruden denied the Sharks an extra bonus point.

It had been 284 minutes between tries for the Sharks before they scored their first of four in this game. Three of those tries came from set piece, with flanker Derrick Minnie crashing over for two tries from rolling mauls while Lubabalo Mtembu scored from a scrum.

The Chiefs' lineout was again under pressure this week, and they lost four of their 13 throws. The Sharks lost just one of their 10 throws, with Craig Clarke getting the steal.

It was an even score sheet at the breakdown, with both sides winning just one breakdown turnover each.

The Chiefs minimised their errors this week, and made just six handling errors. The Sharks made 11 handling errors, including two forward passes.

Gareth Anscombe was 100 percent with the boot landing four conversions and two penalties for an individual tally of 14 points from the match.

Tim Nanai-Williams' two tries sees him first equal with the Brumbies' George Speight as top try scorers on 6 tries. Nanai-Williams made 110 metres with his seven runs in this game.


Luckily for the Crusaders Tom Taylor was accurate with his goal kicking, missing just one kick from eight attempts (and that one missed conversion hit the upright) to give the Crusaders the narrowest of wins as they came from two points down to beat the Rebels in the last 10 minutes of the game.

The Rebels conceded five penalties in the last 20 minutes of the game, including two scrum penalties - one of which was on their own feed.

Both sides made the same number of tackles (121) but the Rebels only missed 12 while the Crusaders missed 27. Owen Franks and Zac Guildford both missed four tackles.

Top tackler for the Rebels was Scott Fuglistaller with 20 tackles and just one miss. The openside flanker also won two breakdown turnovers.

While the Crusaders did fall off some tackles as the game wore on, they defended an opening two minute stanza of 16 phases from the Rebels before pouncing on spilled ball and scoring at the other end of the field.

The Rebels made 13 linebreaks to the five by the Crusaders, with James O'Connor the top linebreaker with three. They also made 18 offloads in the tackle, while the Crusaders only managed six.

The Crusaders made just two knock-ons in this game, but marginally lost the breakdown losing three turnovers to two by the Rebels. In total the Crusaders made just seven turnovers this week.

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