Silver linings on dark weekend for SA

    2015-05-19 08:11

    Cape Town - In a weekend where the South African Conference experienced its worst Super Rugby showing in more than eight years it is hard to find the positives.

    The four sides that were in action - the Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions - all suffered defeats at the hands of Australian and New Zealand opposition.

    With the teams failing to launch, it is down to the individuals to supply the silver lining in terms of the statistics taken from the Vodacom Rugby App.

    Lions fullback Andries Coetzee and flank Jaco Kriel’s names crop up among the top statistics from the past weekend.

    The duo were shining lights in their side’s otherwise dreadful display against the Brumbies in Johannesburg on Saturday.

    Coetzee proved to be quite the dagger for the Lions to top the Defenders Beaten category with 11, with the Blues’ George Moala beating eight for the second most.

    Kriel shares third spot along with Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), and Hosea Gear (Chiefs).

    The Lions fullback also made three Clean Breaks along with four other players, the second most behind Chris Feauai-Sautia of the Reds who made five in his side’s win over the Rebels.

    Four South African players made it into the top-10 Tackle statistics with Lions captain Warren Whiteley, Kriel and Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee making 14 each, with Willem Alberts putting in 13 tackles.

    Cheetahs fullback Clayton Blommetjies also features among the top players this weekend ranking second in terms of Metres Run with 115m, with the Rebels’ Sefanaia Naivalu topping this category with 137m.

    Blommetjies and Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies each collected four loose balls in their respective matches to make it into the top five of this category.

    When a lineout works well it seems like a remarkably easy facet of rugby but there is a lot more to this set-piece than meets the eye.

    Bulls stalwart Victor Matfield once again demonstrated that he is still a genius in the lineouts topping the rankings with the eight on his side’s own throw.

    He is followed by Alex Ainley (Highlanders), Dave Dennis (Waratahs) and Rob Simmons (Reds) with six apiece.

    Team-mate and Bulls captain Pierre Spies and Alberts each took five while Kriel, who is not seen a traditional jumper at 1.83m tall, took four.

    Considering that Bulls lock Flip van der Merwe also topped the Lineouts Stolen category along with the Highlanders’ Gareth Evans with two each, this set-piece belonged to the Pretoria side hands down.

    Round-14 statistics:

    Metres Run:

    1.      Sefanaia Naivalu (Rebels) – 137

    2.      Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs) – 115

    3.      Israel Folau (Waratahs) – 114

    4.      Hosea Gear (Chiefs) – 104

    5.      James O’Connor (Reds) – 104

    Clean Breaks:

    1.      Chris Feauai-Sautia (Reds) – 5

    2.      Andries Coetzee (Lions) – 3

    3.      Ben Smith (Highlanders) – 3

    4.      Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 3

    5.      Bryce Heem (Chiefs) – 3

    Defenders Beaten:

    1.      Andries Coetzee (Lions) – 11

    2.      George Moala Blues) – 8

    3.      Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs) – 7

    4.      Hosea Gear (Chiefs) – 7

    5.      Jaco Kriel (Lions) – 7

    Loose ball collected:

    1.      Bernard Foley (Waratahs) – 5

    2.      Stefan Ungerer (Sharks) – 5

    3.      Ben Smith (Highlanders) – 4

    4.      Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs) – 4

    5.      David Pocock (Brumbies) – 4

    6.      Elton Jantjies (Lions) – 4

    Lineouts stolen:

    1.      Flip van der Merwe (Bulls) – 2

    2.      Gareth Evans (Highlanders) – 2

    3.      Dave Dennis (Waratahs) – 1

    4.      Jake Schatz (Reds) – 1

    5.      Jeremey Thrush (Fore) – 1

    6.      Marco Wentzel (Sharks) – 1

    Lineouts won on own throw:

    1.      Victor Matfield (Bulls) – 8

    2.      Alex Ainley (Highlanders) – 6

    3.      Dave Dennis (Waratahs) – 6

    4.      Rob Simmons (Reds) – 6

    5.      Pierre Spies (Bulls) – 5

    6.      Willem Alberts (Sharks) – 5

    7.      Jaco Kriel (Lions) – 4

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