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The Stats tell a Tale

The Vodacom stats app is really addictive, for those passionate about rugby. I spent the weekend deciphering some of the figures to try and gain some insight into why four out of 5 SA teams lost.

There are of course elements which are not reflected directly in the stats, such as the underperformance by the referee and the TMO in the Lions match. Crying foul after the event will not lead to a reversal of the outcome, but hopefully we will see some more inept officials taken off the list. At the time of writing, there was nothing on the IRB website in this regard.

Foul weather floored the Sharks, but that is not the only reason they lost. Francois Steyn had a very forgettable game, and this rubbed off on all those around him. Cobus Reinach had a brilliant game under difficult circumstances, and against a highly rated opponent, but for the rest, all they proved is that the voodoo of the second tour match is a reality.

  Highlanders Lions
Points 23 22
Tries 3 4
Kicks from hand 24 17
Metres run 312 520
Carries 81 161
Passes 93 169
Tackles 167 69
Handling errors 10 16
Lineouts won on own throw 10 19


  Brumbies Sharks
Points 16 9
Tries 1 0
Kicks from hand 45 42
Metres run 266 415
Carries 69 118
Passes 52 100
Tackles 124 42
Handling errors 12 15
Lineouts won on own throw 10 14


  Cheetahs Force
Points 16 23
Tries 1 2
Kicks from hand 17 25
Metres run 450 250
Carries 139 65
Passes 183 102
Tackles 75 109
Handling errors 6 2
Lineouts won on own throw 21 8


  Bulls Stormers
Points 28 12
Tries 1 2
Kicks from hand 26 20
Metres run 279 445
Carries 86 78
Passes 103 119
Tackles 87 76
Handling errors 10 11
Lineouts won on own throw 14 6

From the above it appears that a more conservative approach pays dividends, which is sadly why the rugby this weekend, featuring SA teams, was indeed droll. Dis maar goed ek skryf nie nou in Afrikaans nie, want ek sou dalk dieselfde woord kon gebruik, met een ā€œlā€ minder.

Van die verwagte slagting van die Stormers se jong slotte het toe ook min gekom ā€“ hulle het weliswaar twee lynstane afgestaan, maar ook een afgevat by die ooms in die ander span. Hopelik sal dit vir Alistair Coetzee aanmoedig om verder te eksperimenteer.

Die stryd tussen die Cheetahs en die Stormers om die laaste plek bly verbete. Ai, kan dit nie maar eerder aan die anderkant van die punteleer gewees het nie?

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