Get Newsletter

Flyhalf: Stats continue to tell a story

Some interesting trends have emerged as we continue our statistics-based feature of the leading candidates for the Springbok No.10 jersey.

Sharks star Patrick Lambie did not play this past weekend (again), so we still have no stats to compare him with the other flyhalf candidates – incumbent Morné Steyn, Stormers pivot Peter Grant and Lions No.10 Elton Jantjies.

This past weekend the Bulls got hammered in Durban, the Stormers couldn't score tries in the rain in Bloemfontein and the Lions entertained with a rare win in Johannesburg.

However, that has done nothing to change the perceptions many pundits have of strengths and weaknesses of the trio.

The facts, or stats, continue to tell a story of their own.

For one, Steyn and Jantjies both got more distance with their kicks out of hand at the coast than Grant did on the Highveld, where the ball is meant to travel that much further.

The other perception is about Grant's brilliant play – how well he 'takes the ball to the line' and creates opportunities. Yet, the Stormers' only try this past weekend came from a Grant chip-kick (which does say something for his decision-making, of course).

And Jantjies has not had a single 'try assist' since we started monitoring these stats. Those assists came from players like Michael Bondesio, Anthonie Volminck and Lionel Mapoe.

We will let the numbers speak for themselves – again:

Morné Steyn (Bulls):

He is the Bok incumbent, has played 37 Tests and has 103 Super Rugby caps.

Played 59 minutes in the 40-24 demolition of the Cheetahs and the Bulls had a 40-0 lead when he left the field.

* Goal-kick success rate: 83.3 percent – five from six conversions.

* He received the ball 24 times – kicked nine times (for 401 metres gained – average distance of 44.5 metres per kick), passed 14 times, ran once and had one try-assist.

* He made five tackles and missed none.

Played 77 minutes in the 10-32 loss to the Sharks

* Goal-kick success rate: 100 percent – two from two (one conversion and one penalty)

* He received the ball 29 times – kicked six times (for 217 metres gained – average distance of 36.16 metres per kick), passed 21 times, ran twice and had no try-assist.

* He made five tackles and missed two.

Total:

* Goal-kick success rate: 88 percent – seven from eight

* He received the ball 53 times – kicked 15 times (for 618 metres gained – average distance of 41.2 metres per kick), passed 35 times, ran three and had one try-assist.

* He made 10 tackles and missed three.

Peter Grant (Stormers):

He has five Test caps, but has not played in Green & Gold since 2008. He has 83 Super Rugby caps.

He played all 80 minutes in the 27-17 win over the Lions.

* Goal-kick success rate: 100 percent – three from three conversion and two from two penalty goals.

* He received the ball 39 times – kicked twice (for 51 metres gained – average of 25.5 metres per kick), passed 32 times, ran five times and had one try-assist.

* He made eight tackles and missed two.

Played 80 minutes in the 13-6 win over the Cheetahs

* Goal-kick success rate: 100 percent – three from three (one conversion and two penalties)

* He received the ball 41 times – kicked 19 times (for 623 metres gained – average distance of 32.78 metres per kick), passed 15 times, ran seven and had one try-assist.

* He made seven tackles and missed one.

Total:

* Goal-kick success rate: 100 percent – eight from eight

* He received the ball 80 times – kicked 21 times (for 674 metres gained – average distance of 32.09 metres per kick), passed 47 times, ran 12 and had two try-assists.

* He made 15 tackles and missed three.

Elton Jantjies (Lions):

He was a Springbok tourist for the year-end tour of Britain and Ireland in 2010 and also a member of the Bok squad for the series against England in 2012, but has yet to play a Test. He has 23 Super Rugby caps.

He played all 80 minutes of the Lions' 17-27 loss to the Stormers.

* Goal-kick success rate: 75 percent – two from two conversions and one from two penalties.

* He received the ball 40 times – kicked eight times (for 258 metres gained – average of 32.25 metres per kick), passed 27 times, ran five times and had no try assists.

* He made 10 tackles and missed just one.

Played 80 minutes in the 37-32 win over the Rebels

* Goal-kick success rate: 100 percent – seven from seven (four conversions and three penalties)

* He received the ball 34 times – kicked 12 times (for 492 metres gained – average distance of 41 metres per kick), passed 17 times, ran five and had no try-assist.

* He made eight tackles and missed three.

Total:

* Goal-kick success rate: 91 percent – 10 from 11

* He received the ball 74 times – kicked 20 times (for 750 metres gained – average distance of 37.5 metres per kick), passed 44 times, ran 10 and had no try-assist.

* He made 18 tackles and missed four.

There you have it. Do the stats lie? Who would you say was the most influential flyhalf this week?

By Jan de Koning

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 2 | Sam Whitelock

Royal Navy Men v Royal Air Force Men | Full Match Replay

Royal Navy Women v Royal Air Force Women | Full Match Replay

Abbie Ward: A Bump in the Road

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

Write A Comment