4 Dec

Game Stats: Ireland v All Blacks, Dublin, 24 November 2013
by Tracey Nelson
4 Dec 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player Who came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Hore, Charlie Faumuina, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read (C), Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Ben Franks, Owen Franks, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty

Points Scored NZ Ireland
Tries 3 3  
Conversions Cruden 3 Sexton 2
Penalties Cruden 1/1 Sexton 1/2
TOTAL 24 22

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 8 0
Ireland 6 1
TOTAL 14 1

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player Dagg, Mccaw, Nonu 3
Ruck entry Whitelock 1
Maul McCaw, Whitelock 2
Scrum Crockett 1
Foul play Read 1
TOTAL   8

Ireland Penalty Offences
Tackler not releasing 2
Ruck entry 1
Ruck offside 1
Offside from kick 1
Obstruction 1
TOTAL 6

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Dagg(2), Faumuina, Retallick, Savea, Nonu 6
Pass to opposition Nonu 1
Tackle Dagg(2), Coles 3
Ruck   2
Maul   1
Lineout   1
Miss touch from penalty   1
TOTAL   15

Turnovers Conceded by Ireland
Knock-ons 6
Forward pass 1
Spilled 1
Tackle 1
Maul 1
Lineout 1
Scrum 1
TOTAL 12

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Crockett
TOTAL 1

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 35 14+21
Whitelock 34 16+18
Retallick 32 18+14
Crockett 29 20+9
Read 18 8+10
Faumuina 17 12+5
B Smith 16 6+10
O Franks* 16  
B Franks* 13  
Coles* 11  
Hore 10 10+1
Messam* 8  
Nonu 8 1+7
Crotty* 7  
Cruden 5 3+2
Dagg 5 3+2
A Smith 5 1+4
Savea 4 1+3

Ball carries No of carries
Retallick 14
McCaw 9
Whitelock 9
Luatua 7
Coles* 6
Read 5
B Franks* 5
Faumuina 5
Hore 3
O Franks* 2
Messam* 2
Crockett 1
TOTAL 68

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Whitelock 16 (11+5) 4 (2+2)
McCaw 16 (11+5) 1 (0+1)
Read 12 (7+5) 0
Luatua 9 (6+3) 2 (1+1)
Retallick 9 (6+3) 2 (1+1)
Nonu 8 (5+3) 4 (2+2)
Faumuina 8 (7+1) 3 (3+0)
Cruden 8 (4+4) 0
Hore 6 (6+0)2 (2+0)
A smith 6 (4+2) 0
O Franks* 5 0
Crockett 5 (5+0) 3 (3+0)
Coles* 4 0
B Smith 4 (4+0) 0
Jane 3 (2+1) 1 (1+0)
B Franks* 3 0
Crotty* 3 0
Messam* 2 1
Savea 2 (1+1) 0
Dagg 2 (2+0) 0
TOTAL 131 22

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Nonu 3
A Smith 2
Crockett 1
Retallick 1
McCaw 1
Read 1
Cruden 1
B Smith 1
Messam* 1
Crotty* 2
TOTAL 14

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 4 4
Second half 1 2
TOTAL 5 6

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Read 3 3
Luatua 2 2
Whitelock 0 1
TOTAL 5 6

Ireland Line-outs Won From
First half 6 6
Second half 7 8
TOTAL 13 14

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 0 0
Second half 5 5
TOTAL 5 5

Ireland Scrums Won From
First half 4 4
Second half 1 2
TOTAL 5 6

4 Dec

Game Stats: England v All Blacks, London, 16 November 2013
by Tracey Nelson
4 Dec 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player Who came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock,Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read (C), Aaron Smith, Dan Carter, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith, Charles Piutau, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crocket, Charlie Faumiuna, Luke Romano, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty

Points Scored NZ England
Tries 3 1  
Conversions 3 1
Penalties 3/4 5/5
TOTAL 30 22

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 11 1
England 9 1
TOTAL 19 2

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player A Smith 1
Tackler Carter, O Franks, Nonu 3
Ruck off feet Faumuina* 1
Ruck entry Read YC 1
Maul Whitelock 1
Scrum Wheeling, front row up 2
Obstruction Woodcock, Crockett 2
TOTAL   11

England Penalty Offences
Tackled player 2
Tackler not releasing 2
Ruck off feet 1
Ruck hands 1
Ruck offside 1
Offside from kick 2
TOTAL 9

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Savea(2), Read, Dagg, B Smith 5
Pass to opposition Savea(2) 2
Spilled Faumuina* 1
Ruck spill Nonu 1
Maul Carter 1
Lineout   1
Kick out on full A Smith(2) 2
TOTAL   13

Turnovers Conceded by England
Knock-ons 10
Tackle 5
Ruck 2
Maul 1
Lineout 3
Scrum 2
TOTAL 23

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Piutau, Whitelock, Crockett, Read, McCaw
TOTAL 5

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 32 15+17
Crockett* 17  
Whitelock 17 5+12
Retallick 16 7+9
O Franks 13 8+5
Faumuina* 12  
Mealamu 11 7+4
B Smith 10 4+6
Read 9 2+7
Piutau 9 6+3
Woodcock 8  
Coles* 7  
Messam 6 2+4
Savea 6 0+6
Luatau* 6  
Romano* 4  
Nonu 4 2+2
Dagg 3 1+2
Cruden* 2 0+2
A Smith 2 1+1
Kerr-Barlow* 1  
Crotty* 1  

Ball carries No of carries
Read 11
McCaw 6
Whietlock 4
Crockett* 3
Retallick 3
Messam 3
Faumuina* 2
Franks 2
Mealamu 2
Romano* 1
Luatua* 1
TOTAL 37  

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Whitelock 19 (5+14) 2 (2+0)
O Franks 15 (10+5) 0
McCaw 14 (6+8) 2 (1+1)
Nonu 13 (9+4) 2 (0+2)
A Smith 11 (5+6) 1 (0+1)
Messam 10 (5+5) 5 (4+1)
Read 9 (1+8) 3 (1+2)
Crockett* 9 0
Cruden 8 (2+6) 0
Mealamu 7 (3+4) 1 (1+0)
Retallick 6 (4+2) 2 (2+0)
Woodcock 5 4
Carter 4 0
Luatua* 4 0
Faumuina* 3 4
Romano* 3 0
Coles* 3 0
B Smith 3 (2+1) 0
Piutau 3 (2+1) 0
Crotty* 2 2
Kerr-Barlow* 1 0
Dagg 1 (0+1) 1 (1+0)
Savea 1 (0+1) 0
TOTAL 154 29

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Piutau 4
Mealamu 2
A Smith 2
Nonu 2
Crockett* 2
Franks 1
Retallick 1
Whitelock 1
Savea 1
Dagg 1
Romano* 1
TOTAL   18

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 5 5
Second half 5 5
TOTAL 10 10

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Whitelock 4 4
Read 3 3
Retallick 1 1
McCaw 1 1
Messam 1 1
TOTAL 10 10

England Line-outs Won From
First half 8 8
Second half 6 9
TOTAL 14 17

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 1 2
Second half 2 3
TOTAL 3 5

England Scrums Won From
First half 2 4
Second half 2 2
TOTAL 4 6

16 Nov

Game Stats: England v All Blacks, Twickenham
by Tracey Nelson
16 Nov 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player Who came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock,Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read (C), Aaron Smith, Dan Carter, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith, Charles Piutau, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crocket, Charlie Faumiuna, Luke Romano, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty

Points Scored NZ England
Tries 3 1
Conversions 3 1
Penalties 3/4 5/5
TOTAL 30 22

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 11 1
England 9 1
TOTAL 19 2

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player A Smith 1
Tackler Carter, O Franks, Nonu 3
Ruck off feet Faumuina* 1
Ruck entry Read YC 1
Maul Whitelock 1
Scrum Wheeling, front row up 2
Obstruction Woodcock, Crockett 2
TOTAL 11

England Penalty Offences
Tackled player 2
Tackler not releasing 2
Ruck off feet 1
Ruck hands 1
Ruck offside 1
Offside from kick 2
TOTAL 9

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Savea(2), Read, Dagg, B Smith 5
Pass to opposition Savea(2) 2
Spilled Faumuina* 1
Ruck spill Nonu 1
MaulCarter 1
Lineout 1
Kick out on full A Smith(2) 2
TOTAL 13

Turnovers Conceded by England
Knock-ons 10
Tackle 5
Ruck 2
Maul 1
Lineout 3
Scrum 2
TOTAL 23

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Piutau, Whitelock, Crockett, Read, McCaw
TOTAL 5

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 32 15+17
Crockett* 17
Whitelock 17 5+12
Retallick 16 7+9
O Franks 13 8+5
Faumuina* 12
Mealamu 11 7+4
B Smith 10 4+6
Read 9 2+7
Piutau 9 6+3
Woodcock 8
Coles* 7
Messam 6 2+4
Savea 6 0+6
Luatau* 6
Romano* 4
Nonu 4 2+2
Dagg 3 1+2
Cruden* 2 0+2
A Smith 2 1+1
Kerr-Barlow* 1
Crotty* 1

Ball carries No of carries
Read 11
McCaw 6
Whietlock 4
Crockett* 3
Retallick 3
Messam 3
Faumuina* 2
Franks 2
Mealamu 2
Romano* 1
Luatua* 1
TOTAL 37

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Whitelock 19 (5+14) 2 (2+0)
O Franks 15 (10+5) 0
McCaw 14 (6+8) 2 (1+1)
Nonu 13 (9+4) 2 (0+2)
A Smith 11 (5+6) 1 (0+1)
Messam 10 (5+5) 5 (4+1)
Read 9 (1+8) 3 (1+2)
Crockett* 9 0
Cruden 8 (2+6) 0
Mealamu 7 (3+4) 1 (1+0)
Retallick 6 (4+2) 2 (2+0)
Woodcock 5 4
Carter 4 0
Luatua* 4 0
Faumuina* 3 4
Romano* 3 0
Coles* 3 0
B Smith 3 (2+1) 0
Piutau 3 (2+1) 0
Crotty* 2 2
Kerr-Barlow* 1 0
Dagg 1 (0+1) 1 (1+0)
Savea 1 (0+1) 0
TOTAL 154 29

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Piutau 4
Mealamu 2
A Smith 2
Nonu 2
Crockett* 2
Franks 1
Retallick 1
Whitelock 1
Savea 1
Dagg 1
Romano* 1
TOTAL 18

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 5 5
Second half 5 5
TOTAL 10 10

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Whitelock 4 4
Read 3 3
Retallick 1 1
McCaw 1 1
Messam 1 1
TOTAL 10 10

England Line-outs Won From
First half 8 8
Second half 6 9
TOTAL 14 17

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 1 2
Second half 2 3
TOTAL 3 5

England Scrums Won From
First half 2 4
Second half 2 2
TOTAL 4 6

12 Nov

Game Stats: France v All Blacks, Paris, 9 November 2013
by Tracey Nelson
12 Nov 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Dan Carter, Charles Piutau, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Stephen Luatua, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Aaron Cruden, Ryan Crotty

Points Scored NZ France
Tries 2 1  
Conversions Carter 1 Cruden 1 Parra 1
Penalties Carter 3/3 Cruden 0/1 Parra 4/6
TOTAL 47 29

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 12 1
France 7 0
TOTAL 19 1

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player Faumuina* 1
Tackler not rolling McCaw 1
Ruck entry ? 1
Ruck offside Mealamu 1
Offside from kick Messam & B Smith 1
Maul Crockett* 1
Scrum FRx2, Woodcock, Crockett*, wheeling 5
Pushing player Retallick 1
TOTAL   12

France Penalty Offences
Tackler 1
Ruck entry 1
Ruck off feet 1
Ruck offside 1
Scrum 3
TOTAL 7

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Read(2), Nonu, Piutau, Messam, McCaw 6
Spilled ball Dagg 1
Tackle Piutau, Dagg 2
Lineout   1
Scrum   2
TOTAL   12

Turnovers Conceded by France
Knock-ons 6
Pass 2
Ruck 1
Lineout 2
Scrum 1
TOTAL 11

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 24 14+10
Retallick 15 5+10
whitelock 15 4+11
Woodcock 13 5+8
Mealamu 12 4+8
Franks 11 6+5
Read 10 4+6
B Smith 9 2+7
Dagg 8 5+3
Faumuina* 6  
Piutau 6 4+2
Jane 6 4+2
Nonu 6 1+5
Crockett* 5  
Carter 3 2+1
Messam 3 1+2
Cruden* 2  

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
McCaw 6 25
Whitelock 5 16
Woodcock 4 9
Mealamu 3 11
Retallick 3 5
Read 2 12
Messam 2 11
Coles* 2 8
Faumuina* 1 4

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
McCaw 17 (6+11) 5 (3+2)
Read 16 (9+7) 2 (0+2)
Retallick 15 (10+5) 5 (2+3)
Whitelock 12 (7+5) 1 (1+0)
B Smith 9 (5+4) 1 (0+1)
Franks 9 (8+1) 0
Woodcock 8 (8+0) 3 (1+2)
Messam 8 (5+3) 2 (2+0)
Mealamu 7 (7+0) 2 (2+0)
Nonu 7 (6+1) 3 (1+2)
Piutau 7 (3+4) 1 (0+1)
Carter 7 (7+0) 0
Cruden* 5 0
Jane 4 (2+2) 0
Coles* 3 1
Faumuina* 3 0
Kerr-Barlow* 2 0
Dagg 2 (0+2) 0
Crockett* 1 0
TOTAL 150 26

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Nonu 5
Coles* 3
Woodcock 2
Messam 2
Piutau 2
Retallick 1
Whitelock 1
Carter 1
Dagg 1
Faumuina* 1
Crotty* 1
TOTAL 20

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 3 4
Second half 3 3
TOTAL 6 7

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Read 2 3
Whitelock 2 2
Retallick 2 2

France Line-outs Won From
First half 3 3
Second half 5 7
TOTAL 8 10

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 3 4
Second half 2 3
TOTAL 5 7

France Scrums Won From
First half 2 2
Second half 2 3
TOTAL 4 5

21 Oct

Game stats: All Blacks v Wallabies, Dunedin, 19 October 2013
by Tracey Nelson
21 Oct 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu, Charlie Faumunia, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith, Charles Piutau, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Steven Luatua, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Tom Taylor

Points Scored NZ Australia
Tries 4 3  
Conversions Cruden 3 Cooper 3
Penalties Cruden 4/6 Barrett 1/1 Cooper 3/3
Drop goal   Cooper 1/1
TOTAL 41 33

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 9 1
Wallabies 10 1
TOTAL 19 2

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player Read, Messam 2
Tackler not releasing Cane 1
Ruck off feet Mealamu, Cane(2) 3
Ruck offside Woodcock 1
Maul Whitelock/Messam 1
Scrum   1
TOTAL   9

Wallabies Penalty Offences
Tackled player 1
Tackler 1
Ruck hands 1
Ruck off feet 1
Offside from Kick 2
Maul 1
Scrum 1
Offside from knock on 2
TOTAL 10

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Cane, Coles, Taylor 3
Intercepted pass Savea 1
Spilled ball Dagg 1
Ruck   1
Maul   1
Scrum   2
Lineout   1
Accidental offside   1
TOTAL   11

Turnovers Conceded by Wallabies
Knock-ons 10
Forward pass 1
Pass to touch 1
Pass to opposition 1
Maul 2
Tackle 3
Lineout 1
Scrum 1
Accidental offside 1
TOTAL 21

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Cane, Faumuina, Barrett, Retallick
TOTAL 4

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
Whitelock 24 9+15
Mealamu 22 14+8
Woodcock 21 14+7
Cane 18 6+12
Faumuina 14 9+5
Messam 13 4+9
Retallick* 11  
Thrush 10 9+1
Crockett* 9  
Read 9 6+3
B Smith 6 3+3
Cruden 5 4+1
Luatua* 4  
Franks* 4  
Dagg 4 2+2
Piutau 4 0+4
Barrett* 2  
Coles* 2  
Nonu 2 1+1
Taylor* 1  
Savea 1 0 1
A Smith 1 0+1

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
Cane 10 36
Messam 8 76
Read 8 63
Whitelock 6 16
Retallick 5 13
Faumuina 3 8
Coles 2 12
Franks 2 11
Woodcock 2 3
Mealamu 2 4
Thrush 1 8
Crockett 1 1

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Cane 15 (7+8) 5 (3+2)
Nonu 14 (4+10) 4 (3+1)
Whitelock 11 (4+7) 2 (2+0)
Read 10 (7+3) 0
Faumuina 7 (7+0) 3 (2+1)
A Smith 7 (7+0) 1 (1+0)
Piutau 6 (5+1) 1 (0+1)
Dagg 6 (3+3) 0
Coles* 5 0
Thrush 5 (4+1) 1 (1+0)
Mealamu 5 (4+1) 1 (1+0)
B Smith 5 (3+2) 1 (0+1)
Retallick* 4 0
Woodcock 4 (3+1) 1 (1+0)
Taylor* 3 1
Barrett* 3 0
Cruden 3 (3+0) 1 (1+0)
Savea 3 (2+1) 0
Crockett* 2 0
Luatua* 2 0
Kerr-Barlow* 2 0
Messam 1 (1+0) 3 (2+1)
TOTAL 123 25

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Nonu 3
Dagg 3
Crockett* 2
Kerr-Barlow* 2
Mealamu 1
Thrush 1
Whitelock 1
B Smith 1
Savea 1
Piutau 1
Coles* 1
Barrett* 1
TOTAL   18

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 3 3
Second half 2 3
TOTAL 5 6

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Read 3 4
Whitelock 1 1
Retallick 1 1

Wallabies Line-outs Won From
First half 6 6
Second half 8 9
TOTAL 14 15

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 2 4
Second half 6 6
TOTAL 8 10

Wallabies Scrums Won From
First half 1 2
Second half 0 0
TOTAL 1 2

8 Oct

Game Stats: All Blacks v Springboks, Johannesburg, 5 Oct 2013
by Tracey Nelson
8 Oct 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Charlie Faumuina, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read (C), Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Steve Luatua, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau

Points Scored NZ South Africa
Tries 5 4  
Conversions Cruden 3, Barrett 2 Steyn 2
Penalties Barrett 1/1 Steyn 1/1
TOTAL 38 27

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 9 1
South Africa 5 0
TOTAL 14 1

NZ Penalty Offences
Ruck hands Hore 1
Ruck entry Messam Yellow Card 1
Ruck offside C Smith, Nonu 2
Maul Hore 1
Scrum Bind?, Crockett 2
Obstruction Whitelock 1
Foul play Franks Yellow Card 1
TOTAL   9

South Africa Penalty Offences
Tackler no arms 1
Tackled player 1
Ruck offside 1
Offside general 1
Scrum 1
TOTAL 5

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Whitelock, Retallick, Read, A Smith, Crockett, McCaw 6
Pass to opposition Dagg, Luatua 2
Forward pass Cruden 1
Scrum   1
Lineout   2
Accidental offside 2
TOTAL   16

Turnovers Conceded by South Africa
Knock-ons 11
Spilled ball 1
Forward pass 1
Ruck 1
Tackle 4
Maul 2
Lineout 5
Scrum 1
TOTAL 26

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Read, Retallick, Cane
Ruck McCaw
TOTAL 4

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 34 18+16
Whitelocks 23 13+10
Woodcock 15 13+2
Retallick 14 10+4
Crockett* 12  
Read 11 7+5
Hore 11 11+0
Faumuina 10 6+4
Coles* 8  
Messam 7 6+1
Nonu 7 3+4
B Franks* 5  
Cane* 4  
Dagg 4 3+1
Savea 4 3+1
Luatua* 3  
B Smith 3 1+2
C Smith 3 0+3
Cruden 2 2+0
Kerr-Barlow* 1  
Barrett* 1  
A Smith 1 0+1

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
Read 7 86
Whitelock 7 25
Messam 5 60
B Franks 4 26
Retallick 4 19
McCaw 4 14
Faumuina 3  
Woodcock 2 15
Luatua 2 12
Coles 2 11
Cane 1 4
Hore 1 1
TOTAL 42 282

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
McCaw 15 (4+11) 7 (3+4)
Read 13 (2+11) 6 (1+5)
Nonu 11 (5+6) 2 (1+1)
C Smith 11 (3+8) 1 (1+0)
A smith 10 (2+8) 1 (1+0)
Faumuina 9 (7+2) 0
Crockett* 7 1
Woodcock 6 (2+4) 3 (1+2)
Whitelock 6 (0+6) 2 (1+1)
Cruden 6 (3+3) 1 (1+0)
Coles* 5 1
B Smith 5 (2+3) 1 (0+1)
Savea 5 (3+2) 0
Dagg 5 (2+3) 0
Messam 4 (1+3) 4 (3+1)
Barrett* 4 0
Retallick 4 (2+2) 3 (1+2)
Hore 3 (3+0)1 (0+1)
Luatua* 3 0
Kerr-Barlow* 3 0
Piutau* 3 0
B Franks* 2 0
Cane* 1 0
TOTAL 141 35

Missed and Slipped Tackles
McCaw 3
Read 2
A Smith 2
B Smith 2
Hore 1
Faumuina 1
Retallick 1
Cruden 1
Nonu 1
C Smith 1
Savea 1
Crockett* 1
Kerr-Barlow* 1
Barrett 1
TOTAL   19

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 5 6
Second half 4 5
TOTAL 9 11

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Whitelock 4 4
Read 3 3
Messam 1 1
Retallick 1 1
Overthrown   2
TOTAL 9 11

South Africa Line-outs Won From
First half 7 9
Second half 3 6
TOTAL 10 15

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 2 2
Second half 3 4
TOTAL 5 6

South Africa Scrums Won From
First half 5 5
Second half 2 2
TOTAL 7 7

17 Sep

Game Stats: All Blacks v Springboks, Auckland, 14 Sept 2013
by Tracey Nelson
17 Sep 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (C), Aaron Smith, Dan Carter, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Steve Luatua, Matt Todd, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau

Points Scored NZ South Africa
Tries 4 2  
Conversions Carter 1, Barrett 2 Steyn 1
Penalties Barrett 1/2 Steyn 1/2
TOTAL 29 15

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 15 2
South Africa 8 1
TOTAL 23 3

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player B Smith(2), Messam, Woodcock, A Smith, Whitelock 6
Tackler not rolling Messam, Not sighted 2
Ruck hands C Smith 1
Offside general Luatua 1
Lineout Retallick, Read 2
Scrum front row, Woodcock 2
Foul play Nonu Yellow Card 1
TOTAL   15

South Africa Penalty Offences
Tackler not releasing 1
Scrum 2
Obstruction 3
Foul play 2
TOTAL 8

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons C Smith, Dagg(2), Nonu(2), A Smith, B Smith, Savea, Read, Luatua 10
Pass Read 1
Tackle B Smith 1
Scrum   2
Lineout   2
TOTAL   16

Turnovers Conceded by South Africa
Knock-ons 8
Spilled ball 1
Pass 1
Ruck 2
Maul 2
Lineout 2
Missed touch from penalty 1
TOTAL 17

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle B Smith, Todd, Crockett
TOTAL 3

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
Woodcock 24 11+13
Whitelock 24 9+15
Cane 20 5+15
Retallick 16 6+10
Franks 15 6+9
Read 12 5+7
Coles 12 8+4
Nonu 10 5+5
C Smith 10 4+6
Savea 10 3+7
Messam 8 6+2
Faumuina* 8 0
Piutau* 5 0
B Smith 5 3+2
Dagg 4 0
Mealamu* 3 0
Crockett* 3 0
Luatua* 3 0
Barrett* 3 0
Todd* 3 0
Kerr-Barlow 1 0
A Smith 1 0

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
Retallick 7 50
Messam 6 27
Whitelock 6 20
Read 5 21
Cane 4 16
Franks 4 10
Woodcock 2 5
Coles 2 4
Mealamu* 2 2
Luatua* 1 6
Crockett* 1 1
TOTAL 40 162

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Cane 12 (6+6) 2 (2+0)
Read 10 (5+5) 4 (2+2)
Whitelock 8 (4+4) 3 (1+2)
Messam 8 (6+2) 2 (0+2)
Nonu 7 (4+3) 1 (0+1)
Retallick 5 (2+3) 1 (0+1)
Barrett* 7 (1+6) 1 (0+1)
Woodcock 5 (4+1) 0
Faumuina* 4 1
Luatua* 4 0
Piutau* 4 0
Franks 4 (3+1) 1 (1+0)
Coles 4 (3+1) 0
C Smith 4 (1+3) 0
A Smith 3 (3+0) 0
Todd* 3 0
Crockett* 3 1
Mealamau* 2 1
B Smith 1 (1+0) 2 (1+1)
Savea 1 (1+0) 2 (1+1)
TOTAL 99 23

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Retallick 2
Franks 1
Whitelock 1
Messam 1
Nonu 1
C Smith 1
TOTAL   7

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 6 8
Second half 8 8
TOTAL 7 8

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Read 5 5
Whitelock 3 4
Messam 3 3
Retallick 1 1
Quick 2 2
Overthrown   1
TOTAL 14 16

South Africa Line-outs Won From
First half 8 9
Second half 9 10
TOTAL 17 19

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 3 5
Second half 4 4
TOTAL 7 9

South Africa Scrums Won From
First half 3 3
Second half 3 3
TOTAL 6 6

26 Aug

Game Stats: All Blacks v Wallabies, Wellington, 24 August 2013
by Tracey Nelson
26 Aug 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Tom Taylor, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Jeremy Thrush, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Colin Slade, Charles Piutau

Points Scored NZ Australia
Tries 1 1  
Conversions Taylor 1 Lealiifano 2
Penalties Taylor 4/6 Dagg 1/1 Lealiifano 3/4
TOTAL 47 29

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 8 1
Wallabies 16 0
TOTAL 24 1

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player A Smith 1
Tackler not rolling Whitelock, A Smith 2
Going off feet Dagg 1
Offside from kick Dagg 1
Offside general play C Smith 1
Scrum Crockett 1
Deliberate knock down B Smith 1
TOTAL   8

Wallabies Penalty Offences
Tackled player 1
Tackler 5
Ruck hands 1
Ruck off feet 1
Offside from Kick 2
Holding player back 1
Scrum 3
Obstruction 2
TOTAL 16

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons McCaw, Luatua, B Smith, Read 4
Forward pass Taylor 1
Intercepted pass Nonu, Piutau 2
Spilled ball McCaw 1
Ruck   2
Maul   1
Tackle Taylor, Nonu, A Smith 3
Lineout   5
TOTAL   19

Turnovers Conceded by Wallabies
Knock-ons 5
Pass 1
Ruck 2
Tackle 4
Lineout 5
Scrum 2
Missed touch from penalty 1
TOTAL 20

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Hore, Read, Retallick
TOTAL 3

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 26 18+8
Whitelock 19 12+7
Luatua 17 10+7
Retallick 16 11+5
O Franks 16 11+5
Woodcock 15 13+2
Read 12 6+6
Hore 10 8+2
C Smith 8 3+5
Crockett* 5  
Nonu 4 2+2
Taylor 4 2+2
B Smith 4 2+2
Dagg 3 0+3
A Smith 2 1+1
Coles* 2  
Faumuina* 2  
Savea 2 1+1
Piutau* 1  

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
Luatua 5 55
Whitelock 5 31
McCaw 5 12
O Franks 3 14
Read 3 9
Retallick 2 9
Hore 2 3
Woodcock 3 2
Coles 1 1

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Taylor 15 (8+0) 0
McCaw 14 (9+2) 5 (4+1)
Read 11 (9+2) 2 (2+0)
Retallick 8 (6+2) 2 (2+0)
Whitelock 8 (5+3) 4 (4+0)
Luatua 8 (4+4) 1 (0+1)
O Franks 7 (5+2) 1 (1+0)
C Smith 7 (2+5) 3 (3+0)
Hore 6 (2+4) 2 (2+0)
Nonu 6 (4+2) 1 (0+1)
A Smith 5 (3+2) 0
Piutau* 4 1
Woodcock 4 (2+2) 1 (1+0)
B Smith 4 (2+2) 0
Coles* 3 1
Faumuina* 2 1
Savea 2 (2+0) 0
Dagg 1 (0+1) 1 (0+1)
Crockett* 1 1
TOTAL 116 30

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Luatua 2
O Franks 1
Whitelock 1
McCaw 1
Read 1
Taylor 1
Savea 1
B Smith 1
Dagg 1
Crockett* 1
TOTAL   11

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 4 8
Second half 10 11
TOTAL 14 19

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Whitelock 5 7
Retallick 5 6
Luatua 1 1
O Franks 1 1

Wallabies Line-outs Won From
First half 5 6
Second half 6 10
TOTAL 11 16

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 2 2
Second half 1 1
TOTAL 3 3

Wallabies Scrums Won From
First half 1 1
Second half 4 6
TOTAL 5 7

20 Aug

Game Stats: All Blacks v Wallabies, Sydney, 17 August 2013
by Tracey Nelson
20 Aug 2013

The usual analysis of the All Blacks game, being the First 3 to the Breakdown, tackle stats, penalties conceded, turnovers, the lineouts, and scrums.

Some notes on these stats:

First Three to the Breakdown stats are looking for those players who are getting to the tackle/breakdown quickly and are also being useful by either cleaning out opposition players or setting up ruck ball. Anyone arriving and just leaning on the ruck isn’t included, so there are times when I will only tally one or two players. Likewise, if four players arrive simultaneously and perform a clean-out and setting up of a ruck, I will include all four in the stat.

Completed Tackles means that player actually brought the ball carrier to ground (ie. as the Laws of the Game actually described the tackler), not assists in the tackle situation which are tallied separately.

Missed tackles also includes slipped tackles where the ball runner gets away. Most importantly, I do NOT included slipped tackles in the Tackles Made stats, it gets noted as a missed tackle. Either you’ve made the tackle or you’ve missed it.

Numbers in brackets are the first half/second half breakdown for each TOTAL. An asterisk denotes a player that came on as a substitute. This week:

Team: Tony Woodcock, Andrew Hore, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Steven Luatua, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Aaron Smith, Aaron Cruden, Julian Savea, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Israel Dagg
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty

Points Scored NZ Australia
Tries 6 2  
Conversions Cruden 3 Barrett 1 Lealiifano 2
Penalties Cruden 3/3 Lealiifano 5/5
TOTAL 47 29

Penalties/Free Kicks Conceded Pen FKs
NZ 12 1
Wallabies 6 1
TOTAL 18 2

NZ Penalty Offences
Tackled player McCaw, A Smith 2
Tackler not rolling Whitelock 1
Ruck off feet McCaw, Whitelock 2
Ruck entry McCaw 1
Offside from kick Savea 1
Offside general play Backs 1
Scrum O Franks 1
Scrum feed A Smith 1
Taking player in air Read 1
Not making ball available Whitelock 1
TOTAL   12

Wallabies Penalty Offences
Tackled player 3
Ruck entry 1
Offside 1
Scrum feed 1
TOTAL 6

Turnovers Conceded by NZ
Knock-ons Read (2), Luatua, McCaw 4
Ruck   1
Tackle Savea, Nonu, Read 3
Missed touch from penalty Barrett 1
Lineout   4
Scrum   3
TOTAL   16

Turnovers Conceded by Wallabies
Knock-ons 4
Spilled ball 1
Pass 4
Ruck 2
Tackle 1
Scrum 3
Accidental offside 1
TOTAL 16

Tackle turnovers won by NZ
Tackle Luatua, McCaw(2)
TOTAL 3

Linebreaks
B Smith 3
C Smith 2
Cruden 1
Savea 1
McCaw 1
TOTAL 8

First 3 to Breakdown Total Per half
McCaw 27 20+7
Luatua 25 17+8
Whitelock 23 13+10
Woodcock 17 15+2
O Franks 17 14+3
Retallick 15 6+9
Hore 12 11+1
C Smith 9 6+3
Mealamu* 7  
Nonu 7 6+1
Faumuina* 6  
Dagg 6 3+3
Cane* 5  
Romano 4  
B Smith 4 2+2
B Franks* 2  
Kerr-Barlow* 2  
Savea 2 2+0
A Smith 2 1+1
Cruden 1 0+1

Ball carries and metres gained No of carries Metres
McCaw 10 38
Read 5 38
Luatua 5 36
Retallick 5 17
O Franks 3 8
Whitelock 2 3
Romano 1 3
Woodcock 1 2
Hore 1 1
B Franks 1 1

Completed Tackles and Assists Tackles Assists
Luatua 13 (6+7) 5 (3+2)
Whitelock 11 (5+6) 8 (3+5)
Mealamu* 8 1
C Smith 8 (4+2) 1 (0+1)
Savea 8 (4+4) 0
McCaw 7 (2+5) 4 (2+2)
Read 7 (4+3) 1 (0+1)
O Franks 7 (4+3) 1 (0+1)
Cruden 6 (4+2) 2 (1+1)
Nonu 6 (3+3) 2 (1+1)
Retallick 5 (2+3) 2 (0+2)
Faumuina* 5 1
B Smith 5 (3+2) 1 (0+1)
Woodcock 5 (3+2) 0
Crotty* 4 1
B Franks* 4 0
Kerr-Barlow* 3 0
A Smith 3 (1+2) 0
Hore 3 (1+2) 0
Dagg 1 (1+0) 2 (0+2)
TOTAL 119 31

Missed and Slipped Tackles
Woodcock 2
McCaw 2
A Smith 2
Nonu 2
Mealamu 2
O Franks 1
Luatua 1
Cruden 1
Savea 1
B Smith 1
Dagg 1
Faumuina 1
Retallick 1
Kerr-Barlow 1
Barrett 1
TOTAL   20

NZ Line-outs Won From
First half 3 4
Second half 5 8
TOTAL 8 12

NZ Line-out Jumpers Won From
Read 3 4
Whitelock 2 3
Luatua 1 1
Retallick 1 1

Wallabies Line-outs Won From
First half 2 2
Second half 7 7
TOTAL 9 9

NZ Scrums Won From
First half 2 3
Second half 1 3
TOTAL 3 6

Wallabies Scrums Won From
First half 1 2
Second half 2 4
TOTAL 3 7

12 Jul

Super 15 — Round 20 Preview
by WAJ
12 Jul 2013

Crusaders v Hurricanes – The Crusaders have finally hit top gear. In their demolition of the Chiefs last week they covered plenty of bases. The main ones were the return to form of Fred and the intensity of the forwards in all aspects. If the forward pack continue with this form then expect Carter and Fred to steer them around the paddock, and with their great ability to create pressure, and maintain it, the points inevitably come. They really need a bonus point to put pressure on the Chiefs for the top NZ spot – you’d back them to do that. The Hurricanes look to be treating it as a bit of a trial, a few of the forwards will have points to prove, like when will Vito ever dominate a game, and they do score good tries so should be a reasonable spectacle.
Crusaders 13+

Rebels v Highlanders – Mmmm much ado at the Mighty Rebels of late – new coach, Beiber given the flick, and plenty of others leaving as well – Henderson, Robinson, Delve, Phipps, Vuna…… 2014 is looking interesting already! And then I read that JJ has a clause in his contract that he cannot lose his job due to playing results – what the!! Anyway this could go either way. Two pretty average teams, but if the Rebels can start well, and maintain that intensity, they can win this. The worry is the Highlanders backs – with Slade in better nick, the likes of the Smiths, Ellison and Gear will cause problems, and with Inman out for the MR, their midfield defence is a worry. This is a toughie – the Highlanders have been utter crap but can turn it on, the Mighty Rebels have been better but are missing a few.
Rebels 1 – 12

Blues v Chiefs – Should be a bit of feeling in this between these oldest of rivals. The first meeting this year was a very intense affair, lots of good defence in a really tough encounter. And plenty on this game. The Chiefs have to get back to some form after a couple of scrappy weeks. Get their line-out right and compete better in the loose/breakdown would be high priorities. Messam is a huge in as he is a dominant player at this level with his work-rate. Is Afeaki injured? Would have thought he would be invaluable before bringing on the Incredible Hulk for the last half hour. The Blues have only pride to play for. Some will be playing for spots next year – the likes of Kerr, Barrett and Moli need strong games to convince the coaches they have a future at this level. And of course it is a farewell game for others. On top of the travel, the average form of the Blues of late and the injuries to some you fancy they will struggle. But if they get enough ball those backs are capable of anything. And I would be applying the blowtorch to TKB.
Chiefs 1 – 12

Waratahs v Reds – Plenty of Wallabies missing from both teams, which evens things nicely, but may mean this game is not as intense as usual. But this of course is the biggest rivalry in Australian rugby, so what am I saying, there will be plenty of feeling again. The big question for the Reds is whether Quade can function as well as normal without Genia’s genius inside him. Never quite looks as good, and expect Hooper and the Waratahs to be all over him. The Waratahs look the more settled combination, and with the Reds missing their two talisman in Horwill and Genia, the Waratahs should get this.
Waratahs 1 – 12

Force v Brumbies – Might be tight early, but this should be a convincing win for the Nags in the end. The Brumbies will want to put in a good performance, keep the intensity up right through the 80 and set themselves up for the play-offs the following weekend, probably against the Cheetahs. And a few will be looking to impress link after lass than stellar test performances – yes that is you Joe Tomane and Ben Alexander.
Brumbies 13+

Sharks v Kings – Yawn!
Sharks 13+

Stormers v Bulls – I reckon the Stormers won’t be going out to do the Bulls any favours and this will be another intense South African derby. There won’t be much in it, probably a kick or two, as the forwards go hard at it. These two have been very even of late, but the Bulls have plenty to play for as a win will guarantee them top spot and a home semi. They looked a bit sluggish last week and will need to lift for this, perhaps injuries/absences taking a toll with replacement players not quite up to the standard. But then it is pretty much the same in the Stormers camp. In a grind with plenty of intensity you have to back Morne’s boot
Bulls 1 – 12

Regards Waj