The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Some statistics on a number of important facets of the Super 15. I divided this in three sections, based on the title of one of my favourite Clint Eastwood movies. For purposes of this exercise, I will restrict myself to SA players and their actual positions in the rankings which include players from other countries.

The Good
Most tackles: Heinrich Brüssow (1st – 112) Marcel Coetzee (2nd – 109) Siya Kolisi (5th – 92)
Most turnovers won: Adriaan Strauss (2nd – 18) Callie Visagie (4th – 16) Bismarck du Plessis (5th – 15)

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The Bad
Most Kicks: Johan Goosen (1st – 67) Morné Steyn (2nd – 54) Joe Pietersen (3rd – 53)

The Ugly
Missed tackles: Willem Alberts (1st – 23) Keegan Daniels/Peter Grant (5th – 17)
Penalties Conceded: Derick Minnie (1st – 12) Bismarck du Plessis/WP Nel (3rd – 11)
5th place is shared by 5 players, 3 of whom are from SA: Coenie Oosthuizen, Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger.

It not without reason that “lies” and “statistics” often appear in the same sentence. The figures quoted above do not take into account the actual amount of time spent on the field. This could explain why Pat Lambie has only kicked 35 times, but then he missed out on a number of games.

The data on penalties conceded is a concern though, for three reasons. Firstly, the fact that 6 of the 9 players who feature here are from SA, and secondly, the fact that all of the latter play in the front row. A third concern is that the Bulls and Cheetah first choice front rankers
all feature here.

Willem Alberts

Willem Albert’s omission from the side for the weekend against the Blues could be the result
of these stats, but my own thinking is that he was being played out of position the whole
season. With Jean Deyzel back, I would drop Keegan Daniel and move Alberts to number 8
where he is at his most effective. Maybe readers would like to suggest a replacement

The most interesting aspect of the Lions/Bulls encounter is whether the visitors will don their
pink outfits or not. Sorry guys, that was meant tongue-in-cheek. The Lions are blooding
some youngsters, and while they take pain at the moment, this will pay off in the next year or

The Cheetahs face a very tough hurdle when they host the Chiefs this weekend, and will rely
to a large extent on their positive frame of mind to defeat the team currently second on the
log, two points behind the Stormers. Is this an omen? Will they lose by two points? Hope
springs eternal…

The Stormers face an equally daunting prospect when they take on the Crusaders at home.
While the media try and sell their papers with stories about them wanting revenge after the
eye-gouging accusations, I think their wounded pride is a far stronger motivating factor. As
far as the Stormers are concerned, I think they will experience in increasing ferocity what
Shakespeare explained in Henry IV: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”. Hopefully
their blend of youthful exuberance and experienced campaigners will pull this one off against
a side loaded with All Blacks.

Lekker naweek, ou Grote!

Stats retrieved from an Australian website:


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