1 May 2012

The Form Guide - Super Rugby Leaders after 10 Rounds

The Chiefs, Stormers and Brumbies are currently leading their respective conferences after 10 rounds of Super Rugby 2012; each team typified by a solid, disciplined defence and a bit of x-factor too. While the Highlanders, Bulls and Crusaders have also shown enough in recent weeks to suggest that they will be challenging for honours at the business end of the competition too.

Today though, it's not about provincial allegiances...it's about whose in form for those tasty internationals coming up in June and the newly named 'Rugby Championship' that follows! Around this time of the season everyone starts to think of themselves as a bit of a national selector and after 10 rounds, there are enough stats to see if those hunches are justified or not.

For example is Beauden Barrett ready for international rugby, or is he still too rough a diamond? How about Johan Goosen for that matter...or Andre Taylor? Can Eben Etzebeth and Juandre Kruger fill the sizeable boots of Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield? All these questions need answers!

In response tho these internal queries...I have compiled the top five players for a few key stats from the opening 10 rounds of the competition. Of course you do not judge a player's influence on the field by stats alone...but that doesn't mean that one should ignore them. Read on to see which individuals are leading the way.


Most Points

Johan Goosen (Cheetahs) - 145
Morne Steyn (Bulls) - 128
Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) - 126
Bauden Barrett (Hurricanes) - 111
Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies) - 96

Most Tries

Andre Taylor (Hurricanes) - 7
Sona Taumololo (Chiefs) - 7
Bjorn Basson (Bulls) - 6
Robbie Fruean (Crusaders) - 6
Dom Shipperley (Reds) - 5

Most Try Assists

Willie LeRoux (Cheetahs) - 6
Zane Kirchner (Bulls) - 6
Hosea Gear (Highlanders) - 5
Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs) - 4
Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) - 4

Most Runs

Nasi Manu (Highlanders) - 120
Nathan Sharpe (Force) - 98
Adam Thomson (Highlanders) - 97
David Pocock (Force) - 92
Marcell Coetzee (Sharks) - 90

Most Run Metres

Hosea Gear (Highlanders) - 875
Tamati Ellison (Highlanders) -740
Andre Taylor (Hurricanes) - 734
Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs) - 703
Ben Smith (Highlanders) - 662

Most Linebreaks
Andre Taylor (Hurricanes) - 10
Sona Taumololo (Chiefs) - 10
Hosea Gear (Highlanders) - 9
Robbie Fruean (Crusaders) - 8
Israel Dagg (Crusaders) - 7

Most Linebreak Assists

Will Genia (Reds) - 9
Wille LeRoux (Cheetahs) - 7
Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies) - 5
Brett Sheehan (Force)  - 5
Aaron Cruden (Chiefs)  - 4

Most Offloads

Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs) - 21
Keegan Daniel (Sharks) - 15
Andre Taylor (Hurricanes) - 14
Johan Goosen (Cheetahs) - 13
Rene Ranger (Blues) - 13


Most Pilfers

Michael Hooper (Brumbies) -  9
David Pocock (Force) - 8
Liam Gill (Reds) - 8
Coonie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs) - 6
Andrew Hore (Highlanders) - 4

Most Turnovers

Dean Mumm (Waratahs) - 24
Tian Liebenberg (Stormers)  - 22
Bismark DuPlessis (Sharks)  - 21
Corey Flynn (Crusaders) - 21
Will Genia (Reds) - 21

Most Tackles Made

Matt Todd (Crusaders) - 152
David Pocock (Force) - 134
Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs) - 130
Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) - 129
Marcell Coetzee (Sharks) - 129

Most Tackles Missed

Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) - 29
Willem Alberts (Sharks) - 26
Nick Phipps (Rebels) - 24
Peter Grant (Stormers) - 24
Rob Horne (Waratahs) - 24

Which bolters do you think will/should make the NZ, Australian and Springboks squads this June?
 For my money, I would say:

NZ: Andre Taylor, Brodie Retallick, Robbie Fruean (if his form continues)
SA: Johan Goosen, Marcell Coetzee, Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger
Aus: Michael Hooper, Jesse Mogg

As always leave your opinion in the comments section!


  1. These stats are interesting. SBW has an awesome running game and it is funny how there are so many kiwis dominating the running metres.

    I think that most tackles missed stat will count against Barrett making the ABs until the end of year tour.

    Retallick should be in there easily. I wonder about Andre Taylor and Robbie Fruean given the competition in their positions.

    Fullback - Dagg, Ben Smith, Jane.
    Midfield - Kahui, Smith, Nonu, SBW, Ellison, Treeby. So many options.

  2. Agreed. Having said that...one should also consider that Barrett plays behind a struggling front five often which wouldn't help in terms of defence. I think perhaps it's a case of just let him develop for a couple of years first. Plus the AB's have Carter and Cruden anyway.

    I like Taylor and Fruean but agin it's about competition.

    I read an article the other day where Frank Bunce suggested picking Fruean on the wing for the All Blacks. Not enough work rate yet in terms of playing centre but has that explosiveness that could be devastating. Could be worth a try?