25 Apr

Super 15: Round Nine Stats
by Tracey Nelson
25 Apr 2012

All the numbers from Round 9.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Delany 78% 9
Tom Taylor 78% 9
Anscombe 75% 8
Barrett 67% 3
Cruden 60% 5

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 9 8
Chiefs 9 7
Canes 11 8
Crusaders 9 8
Highlanders 11 7

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 7 6
Chiefs 2 4
Canes 5 4
Crusaders 4 5
Highlanders 6 7

Handling Errors
Blues 7
Chiefs 12
Canes 8
Crusaders 10
Highlanders 9

Top ten tacklers
Todd 24
G Whitelock 19
S Whitelock 19
Cane 19
Flynn 18
Read 18
B Franks 17
Donnelly 17
Crockett 16
L Braid 16

Top Linebreakers
Vito 3
A Taylor 2
Gear 2

Lineout percentages This week
Blues 70
Chiefs 100
Hurricanes 67
Crusaders 100
Highlanders 83

25 Apr

Super 15: Round Nine Stats
by Tracey Nelson
25 Apr 2012

All the numbers from Round 9.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Delany 78% 9
Tom Taylor 78% 9
Anscombe 75% 8
Barrett 67% 3
Cruden 60% 5

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 9 8
Chiefs 9 7
Canes 11 8
Crusaders 9 8
Highlanders 11 7

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 7 6
Chiefs 2 4
Canes 5 4
Crusaders 4 5
Highlanders 6 7

Handling Errors
Blues 7
Chiefs 12
Canes 8
Crusaders 10
Highlanders 9

Top ten tacklers
Todd 24
G Whitelock 19
S Whitelock 19
Cane 19
Flynn 18
Read 18
B Franks 17
Donnelly 17
Crockett 16
L Braid 16

Top Linebreakers
Vito 3
A Taylor 2
Gear 2

Lineout percentages This week
Blues 70
Chiefs 100
Hurricanes 67
Crusaders 100
Highlanders 83

16 Apr

Super 15: Round Eight Stats
by Tracey Nelson
16 Apr 2012

Byes for the Hurricanes and Highlanders this week, so now all the NZ sides have played seven games.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Tom Taylor 100% 9
Anscombe 100 4
Cruden 86% 7

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 4 4
Chiefs 14 11
Crusaders 8 5

Total Penalties to date
Blues 57
Chiefs 82
Hurricanes 82
Crusaders 66
Highlanders 63

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 6 3
Chiefs 1 1
Crusaders 3 4

Handling Errors
Blues 17
Chiefs 8
Crusaders 5

Top ten tacklers
Todd 21
Latimer 19
D Braid 14
Woodcock 13
G Whitelock 13
S Whitelock 12
B Franks 12
B Retallick 12
Faumuina 11

Top Linebreakers
Ranger 2
Horrell 2

Lineout percentages This week Overall
Blues 75 73
Chiefs 92 86
Hurricanes - 78
Crusaders 83 78
Highlanders - 83

13 Apr

Super 15: Eighth Round Preview
by WAJ
13 Apr 2012

Blues v Sharks – How could you pick the Blues. Absolute crap last week in everything but scrums – God they were awful. And have we ever seen as much bloodletting following a game. Even at the heights of the Rowlands debacle orthe Hurricanes fall out last year, the past week takes the cake (which of course Weepu ate). It is pleasing that there have been no "this week will turn it all around" comments – the Blues just need to turn up with a simple game plan, dare I suggest we play a conservative 20 -30 minutes before throwing the ball about and get some kind of base. And the other aspect that needs major improvement is accuracy – passing especially. The Braid boys are big ins and we have 2 locks who will do plenty of work and not party out in the centres. Like it! The Sharks copped a hiding last week and will be equally as detemined to win to keep themselvesin the hunt. They looked a little hard done by at times and are a good side. They have also beaten the Blues the last seven times they have played. Going with the heart again but will have thedefibrilator handy!

Blues 1 – 12

Force v Waratahs -I’m thinking the Waratahs will get up here in a close one. The Force surprised the Waratahs last time with their bull at the gate tactics and knocked them off their stride early and they were never able to recover. But the Waratahs have a more pragmatic look about them this time, Palu and Carter give them a bit more grunt, and if Barnes can get his shit together they will have a bit too much for the Force. The Force – well they flatter to deceive, especially at home where they really struggle to get a win. They have never beaten the Waratahs in Perth, and in facthave a better record away than at home! Always competitive though with a solid pack, their backs however have a certain flakiness thatlets them down. I think the Waratahs more rounded team will get up.

Waratahs 1 – 12

Crusaders v Stormers – So Justin what happens here? Can the Crusaders pick the defensive lock of the Stormers? Though I was a bit surprised to see that the Chiefshave the best defensive record this season for tries scored against them, not the Stormers. And the Stormers proved last week that they can attack with the best of them with one of the tries of the season by Peterson. However they are missing Aplon this week – which will hurt. So expect more trench warfare from those big forwards, with a lot of reliance on them to get them into scoring range. I can’t work out why O Franks is benched, surely you want the best on the field. And also the Taylor/Carter combois a bit confusing but I suspect that Carter will spend a lot of time at 1st receiver regardless where he is named. These two do offer more variation and hopefully some more space for the back 4, certainly Treeby has not helped this area. You would back the Crusaders forwards to break even, and if Carter can engineer something out wide?? Fancy it will be close.

Crusaders 1 – 12

Brumbies v Rebels – The Brumbies should get the job done here. Though they have made a lot of changes which perhaps speaks of a little complacency – Ben Alexander benched – really. And a rookie centre and No.8?? The Rebels areon a bit of a high from last weeks great win, and get to keep the same backline together for a change. They have increased the grunt up front to match the Brumbies. Hell I’m going for the Rebels to upset!

Rebels 1 – 12

Cheetahs v Chiefs – Is this a danger game or what! The Cheetahs have been great this season with their ball running in particular a highlight, but I don’t know if they can maintain this against a team playing as well as the Chiefs. Much will depend on the Chiefs hugely improved defence to get them through this game – some of the forwards are doing a huge amount of tackling – but they are consistently doing it, they have a great attitude. And if they can retain possession when on attack a little bit more, actually a lot more, especially on turnover ballthey should win comfortably.

Chiefs 13+

Lions v Bulls – A smashing awaits the Lions.

Bulls 13+
Regards Waj
10 Apr

Super 15: Seventh Round Stats
by Tracey Nelson
10 Apr 2012

Are the Blues gone for the season having lost their fifth game now? The Canes kept their title hopes alive with a great win over the Sharks and currently have the best attack, while the Chiefs kept their line intact against the Force. The Stormers kept the Highlanders tryless, while the Crusaders just missed beating the Bulls in an edge of the seat finish in Pretoria.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Tom Taylor 100% 1
Gareth Anscombe 83% 6
Aaron Cruden 80% 5
Dan Carter 57% 7
Beauden Barrett 56% 9
Chris Noakes 50% 4

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 10 4
Chiefs 13 10
Hurricanes 12 6
Crusaders 11 7
Highlanders 6 3

Total Penalties to date
Blues 53
Chiefs 68
Hurricanes 82
Crusaders 58
Highlanders 63

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 0 4
Chiefs 5 4
Hurricanes 6 2
Crusaders 6 1
Highlanders 2 6

Handling Errors
Blues 14
Chiefs 15
Hurricanes 7
Crusaders 8
Highlanders 9

Top ten tacklers
Latimer 26
Levave 20
Lowe 19
Messam 18
Todd 17
B Retallick 17
Lam 16
C Smith 15
Eaton 15
Haskell 13

Top Linebreakers
Kade Poki 3
Andre Taylor 2
Dan Coles 2
Sean Maitland 2
Lelia Masaga 2

Lineout percentages This week Overall
Blues 80 73
Chiefs 100 84
Hurricanes 82 78
Crusaders 56 77
Highlanders 77 83

3 Apr

Super 15: Sixth Round Stats
by Tracey Nelson
3 Apr 2012

Bye for the Blues this week, while the Highlanders, Chiefs and Crusaders had wins and the Hurricanes a loss.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Cruden 100% 6
Tom Taylor 83% 6
Beauden Barrett 78% 8
Chris Noakes 43% 7

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Chiefs 10 6
Hurricanes 9 8
Crusaders 10 7
Highlanders 6 3

Total Penalties to date
Blues 43
Chiefs 55
Hurricanes 70
Crusaders 47
Highlanders 57

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Chiefs 5 2
Hurricanes 6 4
Crusaders 4 1
Highlanders 3 2

Handling Errors
Chiefs 6
Hurricanes 11
Crusaders 10
Highlanders 12

Top ten tacklers
Levave 20
Lowe 19
Retallick 17
Messam 16
Toomaga-Allen 16
Thrush 16
G Whitelock 15
S Whitelock 14
Clarke 13
Taumololo 13

Top Linebreakers
Ben Smith 2
Andre Taylor 2
Zac Guildford 2

Lineout percentages This week Overall
Blues Bye 71
Chiefs 67 81
Hurricanes 75 77
Crusaders 82 81
Highlanders 100 84

30 Mar

Super 15: Round 6 Preview
by WAJ
30 Mar 2012

Highlanders v Rebels – A big ask for the mighty Rebels to come away with points even with Twinkle Toes and Kurtley back. Inbredcargill is a bit of a fortress for the Highlanders, the weather looks Ok though so that gives me a small hope. But the Rebels forwards have been under some ppressure the last couple of weeks and will need to front here – scrums especially have been a worry, and we gave away a truckload of ball at the breakdown, though Pocock is a freak. This is a very strong looking Highlanders side, even without Hore or their injured 1 5/8′s Treeby and Thommo are pretty good ins – how big is the Highlanders forward pack, well over 900kg. The way JJ has these forwards playing, breakdowns especially (warning signs flashing for the Rebels)and the excellent work of the likes of Ellison and Smith out back will be too much for the mighty Rebels. I hope we get to see some TT and Kurtley magic, but feel it is really the big boys bashing up the small boys,
Highlanders 13+

Hurricanes v Cheetahs – A bit of a danger game for the Hurricanes – why so many changes? The Cheetahs have been very competitive in all their games in Australasia, going right to the wire in all 3. They will be keen to keep this momentum up and in The Goose they have a player that could be the difference. Don’t like that Hammett has made 4 changes to the forwards, sureone was forced, but the likes of Thrush and Lam have been important with their workrates, and their replacements will have to really step up as the Cheetahs will surely test them up front. I would be particularly nervous at scrum time where JTA and Moran will struggle. HAmmett though seems to be pulling the right strings so we should give them the benefit of the doubt, and with so many players performing for him you would be silly not to back them. Can we in fact say they have lost their flakiness?
Hurricanes 1 – 12

Chiefs v Waratahs – Probably the game of the round. The Waraths are talking themselves up again, well the press are anyway, saying they have turned the corner and their new attitude is the way of the future. This would be the "run the ball and minimise kicking when under pressure" plan. Blah blah blah – what is the bet they will revert to type sooner rather than later. The press over here love a bandwagon, currently it ia Tom Carter as a Wallaby bolter, 2 weeks ago it was Harris – both a long way off test standard. Anyway the big question for this game is how the Chiefs will front after the bye. They are fielding a pretty good lineup with few injuries, and if they can get their backline combinations running smoothly and continue their good work at the breakdown and set oieces they should be too strong. A must watch on Wynot and the Flying Affro, if these two get a roll on they give the Waratahs huge go forward.
Chiefs 1 – 12

Brumbies v Sharks – There have been a few surprises in this years comp, and the Brumbies are one of the big ones. This bunch of no names has floruished under Jake White and with the aid of a good draw sit comfortably on top of the Aus conference. But things are going to start to heat up in the Brumbies kitchen starting with the Sharks. Slighty unlucky to lose to the Waratahs the Sharks have a strong team named with dangers all over the park. Led by the Battleship (who was interviewed on Inside Rugby last week, andwhat a nice humble guy, came across very well, still hate the prick though) I think they will be just too stron for a tenacious Brumbies team. The Brumbies need to be watched, they are very good at converting chances into points, ask the Highlanders, but with that game in mind the Sharks will be too pragmatic and should win. Only one win in CAnberra for the Sharks though -mmmmmmmmm.
Sharks 1 – 12

Force v Reds – Have we ever seen the previous years champs get walloped like the Reds were last week? What a shallacking, embarassing to say the least.They are nowhere near the potent force of last year without The Burglar and Diggers. Link will be hoping last week was an anomoly but they will find it tough in Perth where they have only won once. Injuries are playing havoc and the likes of Genia are probably trying too hard and thus the team is suffering as a consequence. Relax fellas, you still have a formidable team and if you play to give your speedy back three some space then this is very winnable. The Force are predictable, they will attacke the breakdown with Pocock and Brown and use the inevitable turnovers to get them in a position to score. Defence is the key, to be always aware that a turnover will come and defend accordingly. The reds to bounce back for me.
Reds 1 – 12

Lions v Crusaders – Did we finally see something of the real Crusaders last week? At times they were very good, scrum awesome again and some very good tries, but defensively they are still looking a bit suspect, lineouts were a bit wobbly, and some combinations are still not gelling. The Man is back this weekand you would think he will add significantly to their options, he makes those around him look so much better. Can’t say much about the Lions, don’t know where they are going to find an edge that will win them this game. I actually expect the Crusaders will turn it up a notch now, class cannot be kept down for too long and the SA grounds may be just what the Crusaders need to finally click.
Crusaders 13+

Stormers v Bulls – Wow this should be a thriller! The strong defensive mindset of the Stormers v a Bulls side bound to revert to type knowing they won’t get anywhere near the opportunities that the Reds offered. I expect this to be a close game with theStormers too strong at home.
Stormers 1 – 12

Regards Waj

26 Mar

Super 15: Fifth Round Stats
by Tracey Nelson
26 Mar 2012

Stats from the fifth round of the competition. The Chiefs had the bye this week.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Chris Noakes 100% 1
Colin Slade 100% 3
Lachie Munro 88% 8
Tom Taylor 71% 7
Beauden Barrett 60% 5

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 3 3
Hurricanes 11 8
Crusaders 7 4
Highlanders 10 8

Total Penalties to date
Blues 43
Chiefs 45
Hurricanes 61
Crusaders 37
Highlanders 51

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 6 7
Hurricanes 7 6
Crusaders 6 3
Highlanders 5 9

Handling Errors
Blues 13
Hurricanes 9
Crusaders 8
Highlanders 5

Top ten tacklers
Jeremy Thrush 16
Daniel Braid 13
Brad Mika 12
Jack Lam 11
Luke Romano 11
Ali Williams 11
Luke Whitelock 11
Beauden Barrett 10
Chris Lowrey 10

Top Linebreakers
Andre Taylor 2

Lineout percentages This week Overall
Blues 75 71
Chiefs - 8
Hurricanes 80 78
Crusaders 73 81
Highlanders 77 81

23 Mar

Super 15: Round 5 Preview
by WAJ
23 Mar 2012

Blues v Hurricanes – Hard to know where to go here. A lot against the Blues winning – all sorts out, trip back from SA, Weepu at 1 5/8, Comical still named. Sigh. My sympathy metre for LamB has even crept up from 1/100 to 2/100. But the overriding issue for the Blues is that they have to win, cliche yes but unfortunately true. For me it is about holding the Hurricanes backs in check, they have some great runners and BB is putting the ball in the best places fro them to use that skill. The easiest way is to disrupt them up front of course, but are the Blues capable of doing that – consistently! Not on form displayed so far. I fancy this will be a close one and have to go with the heart – of course. Oh and far from happy that Hollywood Walsh has the pea – preening git
Blues 1 – 12

Rebels v Force – Bloody hell this could be a great nite or a real stinker. I am backing the Rebels to get up here – if they can play like they did in the 2nd half of last Sunday then they are a good chance. Strangely things turned around when Cippers came on, more options to cover for the Cheetahs and thus more holes?? They looked a tad disorganised in the 1st half with Twinkle Toes still trying a bit too hard. The Force will look to come over and dominate the loose and ruck area, thus the Rebels need to be disciplinedon defence , still not their strong point, when there is turnover ball. If we can break even up front then I am backing a better looking to get us home, because whilst the Force fullback turnrd everything he touched into gold, he is slow, and thus vulnerable if played to the right way.
Rebels 1 – 12

Waratahs v Sharks – picking the Waratahs to get it right here and come away with a good win. Some important ins with Palu especially a key, his duel with Alberts could well decide this. The Sharks were gutsy in coming back to beat the Reds last week and they are a side if given momentum will roll over the top of you, they don’t win the easy way and take a while to get into the game. So if the Waratahs can start fast and keep their foot on the pedal it will become too hard for the Sharks. Shutting down the threquarters (and Horne is missing a few tackles) and not allowing them to get the forwards rumbling needs to be offset by a better controlling influence, and in Barnes they will be hoping thay have that. So on the back of a pretty good home record against the Sharks, having not lost against them in Sydney since 2000
Waratahs 13+

Crusaders v Cheetahs – I am still not convinced about the Crusaders, though this is a better looking team they have picked. They need to recapture their efficiency, so far lacking, up front. A few have been coasting, not switched on enough for me, as there is no doubting the talent. Like the look of the changes in the backline as well, hopefully this will give better ball to the outsides. The Cheetahs are on a bit of a hiding to nothing, but what an opportunity with emotionsbeing high in Chch with the Hobbs and quake factors a big part of this occasion. At their pragmatic best they can cause problems but I think ultimately their lack of class will tell but not before the likes of Brussouw and Strauss have caused a few problems. And check out the size of some of the Cheetahs forwards – small houses for sure!!
Crusaders 13+

Brumbies v Highlanders – The alarm bells are going off here. Thommo and Hardieout, Crosswell on the bench mmmmm. And who the hell is Teitjens?? And the Brumbies have been far from the easy beats their playing roster would indicate, with 2 wins at home and a hard fought loss in sunny Tauranga. Jakey boy can sure coach and he has managed to get the best out of his no names, and even a few injuries has not hindered them. They will fight tooth and nail and expect a scrappy game. The Highlanders have to keep their intensity up to win here, especially that mongrel up front, and ensure that their set pieces are accurate with no Thommo at linout time. Like Treeby back in and hopefully Slade will keep improving with the game time. This Highlandersbackline is starting to look as good as any and Hansen would be advised to keep all seven in mind. The Highlander backs to win it for me.
Highlanders 1 – 12

Bulls v Reds – Not much hope is given for a Reds win here. But they have a lot of quality in this team, are extremely well coached and will be pissed about letting the Sharks get over the top of them last week. And I am not convinced the Bulls are anything that special – I mean they lost to the Blues – convincingly! At home! The Blues! The easybeats of the comp! That is not a sign of a consistent team. Steyn doesn’t look at his best, and they rely on the rolling maul too much. I fancy the Reds to win here even with a 4th string 1 5/8.
Reds 1 – 12

Lions v Stormers – does anyone really care. It will probably be a cracking game with 10 tries and be won in the 81st minute by the Lions – not!
Stormers 13+

Bloody Japanese Yen

19 Mar

Super 15: Fourth Round Stats
by Tracey Nelson
19 Mar 2012

Some stats for the NZ sides after the fourth round of play. The Crusaders had the bye this week.

Goal Kicking % Success Total attempts
Aaron Cruden 100% 7
Chris Noakes 100% 1
Beauden Barrett 80% 5
Colin Slade 80% 5
Gareth Anscombe 75% 4
Lachie Munro 0 1
Andre Taylor 0 1

Penalties conceded Total At breakdown
Blues 9 3
Chiefs 10 4
Hurricanes 12 8
Highlanders 10 6

Total Penalties to date
Blues 40
Chiefs 45
Hurricanes 50
Crusaders (bye this week) 30*
Highlanders 41

Breakdown turnovers Won Lost
Blues 4 4
Chiefs 4 3
Hurricanes 2 4
Highlanders 4 2

Handling Errors
Blues 6
Chiefs 10
Hurricanes 9
Highlanders 12

Top ten tacklers
Jason Eaton 18
Jeremy Thrush 17
Jack Lam 15
Liam Messam 14
Charlie Faumuina 14
Victor Vito 13
Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen 13
Ben May 12
Dane Coles 12
Craig Clarke 11

Top Linebreakers
Julian Savea 2
Tim Nanai-Williams 2
Ben Smith 2

Lineout percentages
Blues 64
Chiefs 88
Hurricanes 73
Highlanders 65