S14 stat attack: Aussie players (2010) - Green and Gold Rugby

S14 stat attack: Aussie players (2010)

S14 stat attack: Aussie players (2010)

Just read the article. You'll see the relevance.

About 12 months ago the esteemed Juan Cote put together a few stats from the 2009 Super 14.  Great idea I reckon. So I stole it.  Now the first Wallaby squad of has been named as of yesterday. As with any team announcement there are always surprise selections and omissions. So this now gives us a chance to review some of the key stats of the season and make some of our own observations.

As they say ‘98% of stats are made up’. As they (no, the other ones) also say ‘statistics are like bikinis – what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital’. So take what you read here however you want. Regardless I find them interesting to at least pick up some trends and tendencies.

As such I’ve tried to put together similar stats to those JC did last year. Unfortunately the stats I use don’t have the same details as Juan’s did, so I’ve extrapolated into a few other areas of interest, with regards the attacking stats. I’ve put together stats based on the attacking and defensive side of the game.

For the attacking stats I have based it on the number of ball carries per game.  For further comparison I’ve included stats on line breaks (and % of runs that eventuated in line breaks), off loads (and the % of runs that ended with an off load/pass in contact) and metres carried (and metres per carry). I’ve also included a total handle count (simply the number of times a player has touched the ball in play) as well as the number of handling errors giving us something that might be considered a ‘security rate’ (maybe?). Basically the percentage of times a player touched the ball that resulted in a stuff up of handling.

Thankfully defensive stats are a little more easy. Simply tackles made, tackles missed and an effectiveness percentage.

Attacking stats based on most ball carries – Forwards only

Player Team Ball Carries Line Breaks LB/ Carry Off Loads OL/ Carry Metres Gained Mtr/


Handle Count Handling Errors HE/ Carry
1 Matt Hodgson Force 153 5 3.27% 6 3.92% 698 4.56 257 24 9.34%
2 Nathan Sharpe Force 140 6 4.29% 13 9.29% 791 5.65 269 15 5.58%
3 Rocky Elsom Brumbies 99 7 7.07% 25 25.25% 655 6.62 210 22 10.48%
4 Ben Alexander Brumbies 94 7 7.45% 13 13.83% 555 5.90 170 18 10.59%
5 Ben Mowen Waratahs 94 6 6.38% 9 9.57% 564 6.00 206 21 10.19%
6 Stephen Moore Brumbies 93 4 4.30% 15 16.13% 514 5.53 153 12 7.84%
7 Stephen Hoiles Brumbies 92 13 14.13% 15 16.30% 667 7.25 249 30 12.05%
8 Saia Faingaa Reds 86 3 3.49% 3 3.49% 326 3.79 113 6 5.31%
9 Dean Mumm Waratahs 85 5 5.88% 5 5.88% 469 5.52 152 13 8.55%
10 Phil Waugh Waratahs 82 2 2.44% 12 14.63% 330 4.02 196 17 8.67%

Best Effective tackle stats (70 Tackle minimum) – Forwards only

Player Team Tackles Missed Effectiveness
1 Tim Fairbrother Force 90 4 95.56%
2 David Pocock Force 127 6 95.28%
3 Ben Hand Brumbies 84 4 95.24%
4 David Dennis Waratahs 113 6 94.69%
5 Van Humphries Reds 89 5 94.38%
6 Nathan Sharpe Force 113 7 93.80%
7 Rob Simmons Reds 80 5 93.75%
8 Rocky Elsom Brumbies 130 9 93.08%
9 Ben Mowen Waratahs 114 8 92.98%
10 Ben Daley Reds 114 8 92.98%

Worst Effective tackle stats (70 Tackle minimum) – Forwards only

Player Team Tackles Missed Effectiveness
1 Tatafu Polota-Nau Waratahs 78 20 74.36%
2 Tom Hockings Force 70 11 84.29%
3 Richard Brown Force 75 11 85.33%
4 Kane Douglas Waratahs 106 14 86.79%
5 Mark Chisholm Brumbies 103 13 87.38%
6 Dean Mumm Waratahs 112 13 88.39%
7 Matt Hodgson Force 183 21 88.52%
8 Scott Higginbotham Reds 109 12 88.99%
9 Saia Faingaa Reds 100 11 89.00%
10 Wycliff Palu Waratahs 72 7 90.28%

Attacking stats based on most ball carries – Backs only

Player Team Ball Carries Line Breaks LB/ Carry Off Loads OL/ Carry Metres Gained M/ Carry Handle Count Handling Errors HE/ Carry
1 Adam Ashley- Cooper Brumbies 126 15 11.90% 5 3.97% 1626 12.90 245 24 9.80%
2 Digby Ioane Reds 120 18 15.00% 21 17.50% 1047 8.73 171 22 12.87%
3 Quade Cooper Reds 111 19 17.12% 41 36.94% 2106 18.97 488 42 8.61%
4 Ryan Cross Force 108 10 9.26% 18 16.67% 925 8.56 156 8 5.13%
5 Drew Mitchell Waratahs 106 16 15.09% 17 16.04% 1398 13.19 223 21 9.42%
6 Peter Hynes Reds 99 15 15.15% 9 9.09% 1317 13.30 180 9 5.00%
7 Pat McCabe Brumbies 93 15 16.13% 9 9.68% 983 10.57 135 12 8.89%
8 James O’Connor Force 92 15 16.30% 15 16.30% 1489 16.18 274 15 5.47%
9 Anthony Faingaa Reds 92 14 15.22% 13 14.13% 826 8.98 167 18 10.78%
10 Tom Carter Waratahs 87 10 11.49% 9 10.35% 701 8.06 118 7 5.93%

Best Effective tackle % stats (40 Tackle minimum) – Backs only

Player Team Tackles Missed Effectiveness
1 Lachie Turner Waratahs 78 3 96.15
2 Matt Toomua Brumbies 44 2 95.45
3 Ryan Cross Force 77 5 93.51
4 Josh Holmes Waratahs 43 3 93.02
5 Pat McCabe Brumbies 54 4 92.59
6 Peter Hynes Reds 52 5 90.38
7 Chris O’Young Force 40 4 90.00
8 Tom Carter Waratahs 85 9 89.41
9 Will Genia Reds 92 11 88.04
10 Luke Burgess Waratahs 79 10 87.34

Worst Effective tackle % stats (40 tackle minimum) – Backs only

Player Team Tackles Missed Effectiveness
1 Quade Cooper Reds 69 25 63.79%
2 Josh Valentine Brumbies 44 12 72.73%
3 Drew Mitchell Waratahs 71 18 74.65%
4 Christian Lealiifano Brumbies 44 11 75.00%
5 James O’Connor Force 72 15 79.17%
6 Brett Sheehan Force 59 12 79.66%
7 Matt Giteau Brumbies 79 16 79.75%
8 Digby Ioane Reds 50 10 80.00%
9 Berrick Barnes Waratahs 97 19 80.41%
10 Daniel Halangahu Waratahs 84 15 82.14%

The players in red are those that were not selected in the Wallaby squad, despite being fit (to the best of my knowledge).

You can make your own comments below as to specific elements, but a couple of quick observations:

  • Hoiles has some pretty damn decent attack figures.
  • Cooper just bloody brilliant on attack. Quite dismal on defense.
  • JOC pretty bloody brilliant as well, on attack.
  • Reds did all their attacking through their backs.
  • Timmy Fairbrother – the quiet achiever!
  • Lachie Turner – best defender in the game?
  • TPN? Seriously? Perhaps he needs to reign in his torpedo hits? Comparatively, are these stats as bad as QC’s?

Match Highs:

Whilst those stats carry over the season there were a few stand out performances by individuals in single matches that I thought worth recording.

  • Rob Simmons (v Lions) and Matty Hodgson (v Tahs) had the season high tackle count with 24 one on one tackles for the game. Simmons also had the season high ‘tackle assist’ stat, for the same game, with 10. So 34 tackles for the game for the young lock!
  • Hodgson also had the most ball carries in a match, v the Stormers, with 20.
  • Whilst the Brumbies thrashed the Reds, it was this game that saw Gits missed the most tackles of anyone in a single match in the season, with six missed tackles.
  • Quade’s game v the Sharks was as brilliant as we all thought making the most line breaks (6) and metres (242) of anyone this season.
  • His mate in the halves, Will Genia, had a staggering 103 touches of the ball in the Reds upset win over the Bulls. A indication of their game plan based on possession and recycling.
  • At the ruck, Dave Pocock lead the way with an incredible 41 in a single game (v the Crusaders) whilst fellow open-side Phil Waugh set the mark for the most number of opposition rucks hit (counter rucking) in a game, with 25 also against the Crusaders.
  • Sammy Harris won’t remember his return to Super footy this year with a season high nine errors in the Force’s opening match against the Brumbies.

Ok. I think that will do.  Make sure you let us know your interpretations below.

PS: Following a request, the below table shows the leaders in average tackles per game.

Player Team Ave/Game
David Pocock Force 15.88
Matt Hodgson Force 14.08
Daniel Braid Reds 13.4
Anthony Faingaa Reds 12.33
George Smith Brumbies 11.75
Phil Waugh Waratahs 11.17
Rocky Elsom Brumbies 10.83
Wycliff Palu Waratahs 10.29
Dean Mumm Waratahs 10.18
  • i was talking to the fox sports commentators the other day about the effective tackle stat, i still dont understand it and they basically said it shows nothing as TPN putting a hit on but not holding the guy to ground counts as a missed tackle even though he has put him on the ground and stopped his momentum, the tackle then goes to the second player in who touches him while he is on the ground.

    interesting read anyway, having no one else do work in the backs really helped JOC stats this year.

    • Noddy

      So the same applies to Quade? His defense is just fine? Or is it different for NSW players?

      • dont think i mentioned quade noddy, was talking to the commentators at a nsw game, but the same would apply, its a bullshit stat that means nothing except if it was a one on one tackle or the person who came into contact with the defending player achieved more metres once that person fell off the tackle, it could be measured by a percentage of times that subject a (attacker) ran at subject b (defender) and was grounded by subject c (second player in the tackle) without gaining e2 (metres past contact area) allowing a 2.6 percent chance of a variable in f7 (qld bias) to achieve a positive remedy for the negative assumption that bias was encountered in the original post.

      • Langthorne

        I know which one opposition players would like to be trying to get past.

    • armatt

      he’s right.

      the way the matches are coded, tacklers are given no benefit of the doubt – unless they actually control the player to ground, it’s normally counted as ‘missed’.

      QC’s defence is pretty weak and his tackles were broken, but a vast number of his misses were instances where he made contact, stopped or significantly slowed momentum, by which time others arrived and he often broke out of the tackle to rejoin the line. Not trying to make excuses, just clearing up what is counted as ‘missed’.

      • You guys want a ‘speedbump’ stat?

    • For once I actually agree with waratahjesus. Stats are not a great way of picking a team, Eddie Jones only used stats and look how well that worked.

  • reds fan

    In Quade’s defence (cos the stats show he can’t do it himself) he often slows a defender while the second guy in brings the defender to ground, whereupon Quade resets himself back in the line, or behind the line as the case usually is when he defends at 15.

    But clearly ineffective tackling isn’t a barrier to Wallaby selection. Almost the whole wallaby backline is in the ineffective list.

    • Robson

      On the criteria for making a tackle illustrated in these tables (i.e grounded the player being tackled), Carlos Spencer and Andrew Merhtens would have missed many, many more tackles than QC. The interesting point about this is that Andrew Merhtens was first choice first five in quite a few of Robbie Deans teams.

    • El Gamba

      We’ll need Pocock and Hodgson to make all the tackles for the backs!

  • Geeves

    Some interesting stuff in there. One question as the values are total over a season. It would be interesting the see the results as an average per game as looking at Pocock 127 tackles in how many games.

    This might give you an overall indication of the players value to a side by work rate per game.

    • Noddy

      there you go mate, chucked it at the end there for you!

      • Geeves

        Damn based on that A.Finger is a loosie. Always knew I liked the bloke and he wasn’t a Prima Donna back.

        This then raises huge issues for me. Firstly his coverage for Cooper is sensational. (Be interesting to see avg missed tackles by game, yes I’m getting annoying). Secondly will Giteau be able to cover or is Barnes a better option?

  • reds fan

    Also good to see Rob Simmons getting some coverage for his work. His profile in the QRU website says he has “a passion for farming” and I’d say his tackling stats highlight that.

    He’s going to make a good long term partnership with Horwill for the Reds.

  • Henry

    how about some tackle bust stats?

    • Noddy

      agree, I didn’t have them. Do you?

      • Henry

        Only via foxsports fantasy… Could be a little dodgy…

        Drew Mitchell: 78
        Digby Ioane: 59
        Quade Cooper: 47
        Will Genia: 45
        Rocky Elsom: 31
        Ben Alexander: 24
        Dean Mumm: 15

        Because most of the stats are not due to just the Stormers-Bulls final the only way i could see Aussie players is in the tackle bust ‘dream team’ of the comp. So i’m sure there are other aussies higher up but they don’t feature in the dream team… If any of that makes sense…

        I Guess after Sunday morning we’ll be able to see all the stats again… At least that is what happened last year…

        • Henry

          Should have re-read that first…

          “Because most of the stats are not up due to just the Stormers-Bulls final, the only way i could see Aussie players is in the ‘dream team’ of the comp and checking out the tackle busts.

        • Chiraag

          Here’s a few more. You can see them on the fantasy stats tab still.

          Drew Mitchell 78
          Digby Ioane 59
          Peter Hynes 48
          Quade Cooper 47
          James O’Connor 47
          Will Genia 45
          A. Ashley-Cooper 43
          Ryan Cross 35
          Stephen Hoiles 34
          Kurtley Beale 34
          Anthony Faingaa 33
          Rocky Elsom 31
          Pat MacCabe 27
          Tatafu Polota-Nau 26
          Ben Alexander 24
          Daniel Halangahu 24
          Lachlan Turner 24
          Matt Giteau 23
          Tom Carter 23
          Huia Edmonds 21

  • Reddy!

    Great to see Faingaa as the only back in that stats sheet at the bottom. His defence against the Stormers was probably one of the best defensive performances I have seen at a live game.

    – And that bottom stats sheet also highlights how Pocock is in a league of his own when it comes to work rate. Insano.

    • Drew

      yeah agree about Anthony Faingaa – against the stormers I think he made about 5 tackles in the first couple of minutes.

  • Boomer

    Sharpe and Elsom get high marks for go-forward and clean handling.

    Interesting, no?

    Consider the criticism of Elsom this year and Sharpe’s general sea-gulling.

    Plus it does a fair bit to discount the idea that the Wobblies pack announced yesterday is lacking in ball carriers.

  • Newb

    i love AAC and nearly everything he does, but that man NEEDS to learn to pass. all those runs and line breaks and he has only 5 offloads? and i don’t buy that it was from lack of opportunity either.

    if you look at offloads and handling errors i think there is a bit of a correlation between the too. looser play means more risk and more errors potentially. by all accounts he plays safe as (no offloads) but has a horrible error ratio. most other backs are near 1:1 for offloads and errors. he compares more to the forwards than the backs in this area.

    • Who Needs Melon

      Yes those offload stats reinforce impressions having watched him for a fair while. I used to think his best position was outside centre but I’m revising that now. You want an OC that will dent/break the defensive line AND offload. We do have some that I think will do that – Chambers? Horne? Ioane? Leave AAC at fullback and a victory for common sense.

  • Hawko

    Am I the only one who thinks it remarkable that Giteau was selected in the first team when the only list he made was “worst effective tackle %”. He is supposed to be our premier back ball runner and can’t make the top 10 ball carries.

    If Giteau continues his poor form in the internationals, how long will Deans continue to make excuses for him? How does he feel, knowing he got selected and others playing much better didn’t. Just reinforces his “divine right to play” attitude.

    Deans has, in my opinion, sown the seeds of massive internal team problems in the team selected. By not selecting on performance, but on “potential” or “people I selected before” or whatever, he sets down a standard that says bad performances are acceptable. Last year the Wallabies put in some very poor performances, especially against NZ. This year, some of the guys who played best didn’t get selected or only made the junior squad. They’ve been given a very poor message.

  • Langthorne

    So is Kurtley Beale Mr Average when it comes to stats? Not the worst or best at anything?

  • Where do you find your stats?

  • Good blog.

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