Tracey Nelson 's Opinion

Stats guru Tracey Nelson crunches the numbers

The Stats Don't Lie: Brumbies face travel hoodoo

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No team travelling to or from South Africa to play a Super Rugby final has gone on to win the title. Photo / Getty Images
No team travelling to or from South Africa to play a Super Rugby final has gone on to win the title. Photo / Getty Images

Can the Brumbies break the travel hoodoo where no side has crossed the Indian Ocean to win the Super Rugby title?

SUPER 15 FINAL CHIEFS v BRUMBIES (Hamilton, Referee Craig Joubert)

No team travelling to or from South Africa to play a Super Rugby final has gone on to win the title.

Two New Zealand teams have hosted a final and lost - the Blues in 1998 and the Highlanders in 1999, both losing to the Crusaders. No New Zealand side hosting a non-New Zealand side in a final has gone on to lose.

The Chiefs and Brumbies have met 18 times, with the Brumbies ahead on wins by 12 to six. They haven't played each another this season, the last time they met was in 2012 when the Chiefs won 29-22.

The Brumbies are the most penalised team this season, conceding 10.9 penalties per game. Last week they conceded 11 penalties under referee Craig Joubert, who will be officiating in the final.

The Chiefs are conceding 9.6 penalties per game, and last week conceded just 6.

The Chiefs have the worst lineout success rate of any team this season, winning only 78 percent of their throws. Last week they won 70.6 percent of their lineouts.

The Brumbies have won 87 percent of their lineouts, with Ben Mowen the top lineout jumper in the competition with 71 takes. Lock Peter Kimlin has played the most of any player this season with 1409 minutes.

The Chiefs are averaging 3.1 tries, 9 clean breaks and 9 offloads per game, while the Brumbies are averaging 2.5 tries, 5.7 clean breaks and 8.6 offloads.

Despite having the lowest average time in possession of all sides the Chiefs have scored more points (458), tries (50), and made more clean breaks (153) than any other team this season.

Christian Lealiifano is the third highest points scorer this season with 211 points. He is kicking at 77 percent, which is better than Aaron Cruden's 70 percent. Gareth Anscombe is the best of the goal kickers in this final with an 80 percent success rate.

George Smith is averaging 10 tackles and almost two turnovers per game, but is also a danger on attack making 8.5 carries and at least one offload in the tackle per game.

If the Chiefs can win this weekend they will be just the fourth Super Rugby team to win back to back titles, joining the Blues (1996 & 1997), Crusaders (1998-2000, 2005 & 2006), and the Bulls (2009 & 2010).

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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