Boshoff top of kicking pops
Brenden Nel, SuperSport
Johannesburg - It wasn’t totally unexpected, as any Lions fan will profess, but Marnitz Boshoff’s unbelievable accuracy with the boot has him at the top of the Super Rugby points-scoring list this season.
And that accuracy has been backed up as Boshoff also tops the kicking stats with an unbelievable 94.3% accuracy with the boot this season, according to the supersport.com website
Traditionally in international rugby anything over 80% is considered the norm, with Super Rugby’s top kickers hovering around that mark during a long and daunting season.
So after six rounds of this year’s competition, Boshoff and the Blues’ Simon Hickey are the only two kickers with an average of more than 90%, with just five kickers – three of them South African – averaging above 80 percent.
The giant boot of Frans Steyn – often long range attempts – is in fourth spot with Demetri Catrakilis belying his team’s poor start to the season with a third place and 86% average.
Bulls kicking coach Vlok Cilliers explained on his blog how things have changed in the competition, with accuracy now expected, rather than admired.
“Since starting at the Bulls in 2004, the general acceptable kicking performance percentage from 2005 until 2008 ranged between 60% up to 70%. The psychological barrier of accepting and maintaining 70% lasted for almost 4 years,” Cilliers wrote.
“2009 however saw world class kickers such as Morne Steyn, Daniel Carter, Matt Giteau, Joe Peterson and many more raise the standard to over 77%. The average acceptable kicking score benchmark for 2009-2012 was raised to 78%.
“In 2013, for the 1st time ever, Morne Steyn finished at the best ever kicking average in the history of the Super Rugby at a whopping average of 85%. To maintain such a high average from February until August was truly exceptional.
“In the Super Rugby of 2014 we suddenly started to see a lot of kickers raise their own personal standards and at the moment we note a number of players currently performing well over 80% after round 6. But the big challenge will remain; the kickers will have to maintain the high standards they have set for themselves as top class kickers.”
Tyler Bleyendaal of the Crusaders, who had a nightmare opening game this season and hasn’t kicked since, sits on 0% with 0/5 kicks successful.
Top Super Rugby kickers:
Marnitz Boshoff (Lions) 33/35 94.3%
Simon Hickey (Blues) 22/24 92.0%
Dimitri Catrakilis (Stormers) 12/14 86%
Frans Steyn (Sharks) 13/16 81%
Bernard Foley (Waratahs) 21/16 81%
Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders) 22/28 79%
Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls) 14/18 78%
Nick White (Brumbies) 21/27 78%
Tom Taylor (Crusaders) 16/21 76%
Beauden Barritt (Hurricanes) 21/28 75%
Sias Ebersohn (Force) 15/20 75%
Johan Goosen (Cheetahs) 23/31 74%
Quade Cooper (Reds) 20/27 74%
Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) 14/19 74%
Zack Holmes (Force) 4/6 67%
Peter Grant (Stormers) 4/7 57.1%