JEREMY PROOME looks at the players who topped the stats in key areas of the game during round three of Vodacom Super Rugby.
The carries category is often dominated by the big men, but Chiefs scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow made 17 carries in the 21-19 win over the Highlanders. The Stormers’ Jaco Taute was in second with 16, while the Rebels’ new No 9 recruit Luke Burgess managed 15.
The Stormers’ new wing Kobus van Wyk made three clean linebreaks, but was matched by Rebels fullback Jason Woodward and Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga.
Rebels winger Tom English carved up the Cheetahs, beating 11 defenders. Gio Aplon came second with seven, while Luke Burgess beat six defenders with his 15 carries.
The Rebels’ Angus Roberts and the Bulls’ Jacques-Louis Potgieter were the only two to land drop goals over the weekend, with each getting one.
The Rebels really did enter the tournament with a bang, and wing Tom English made 168 running metres, while his colleague Jason Woodward covered 119m with ball in hand, and it is no surprise that Waratahs fullback Israel Folau made 109m against the Reds.
Folau continues to impress in the statistics department, making five offloads in the 32-5 destruction of the Reds. Aaron Cruden and his team-mate Asaeli Tikoirotuma each made four.
The Blues’ Luke Braid and the Cheetahs’ Lappies Labuschagne each put in 19 tackles, while Philip van der Walt managed 18.
The Waratahs’ impressive performance was helped by two try assists from centre Kurtley Beale, who delivered two great passes that resulted in tries.
The Waratahs’ Michael Hooper topped the turnover statistics, stealing five of the Reds’ balls during the match. Dane Coles, Tamati Ellison and Tanerau Latimer each made three successful turnovers.
Jacques-Louis Potgieter was the top point-scorer for round three, with 20, while the Blues’ Simon Hickey came in second with 15 on his debut.
The Crusaders’ Sam Whitelock made the most lineout steals with three, followed by Ben Mowen, Hugh Pyle, James Horwill and Jeremy Thrush on two.
For all the Super Rugby stats, follow SARugbymag.co.za’s revamped Match Centre (on the site from Friday to Sunday), which features in-depth analysis, stat-tracking and insight into all the games.
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