The stats and facts for the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-finals this weekend.
CRUSADERS vs HIGHLANDERS (Christchurch, Friday, 9:35am)
– The Crusaders have won five of their last six completed Super Rugby matches against the Highlanders (L1), coming from behind at half time to win two of those matches.
– The Highlanders have lost six of their last seven Super Rugby matches on the road (W1), conceding an average of 33 points per game in those defeats.
– The Crusaders have averaged 510 metres per game in Super Rugby 2019, the most in the competition and 78 more than the Highlanders (432).
– The Highlanders have conceded just seven penalties per game on average in Super Rugby this year, fewer than any other side.
– Aaron Smith (Highlanders) has provided 11 try assists in Super Rugby 2019, the most of any player in the finals series and the second most overall (Quade Cooper –12)
JAGUARES vs CHIEFS (Buenos Aires, Saturday, 12:05am)
– This will be the fourth meeting between the Jaguares and Chiefs in Super Rugby history; the away side on the day has been victorious in the first three encounters.
– The Chiefs have won only two Super Rugby finals matches outside New Zealand in their history (L3), both against the Stormers (2016, 2017).
– This will be the Jaguares’ second appearance in the Super Rugby finals series and first on home soil, having lost to the Lions in Johannesburg in 2018 (23-40).
– The Jaguares have scored 21 tries in the final quarter of matches in Super Rugby 2019, the most of any team and two more than the Chiefs in second place (19).
– Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs, 32) and Pablo Matera (Jaguares, 22) rank first and joint third respectively for offloads in Super Rugby this year.
HURRICANES vs VODACOM BULLS (Wellington, Saturday, 9:35am)
– The Hurricanes have won three of their last four Super Rugby matches against the Bulls (L1); three of the four matches in that span have been decided by five points or fewer.
– The Bulls come into this match on the back of a three-game undefeated run (W1, D2); the Pretoria-based side hasn’t had a longer undefeated stretch in Super Rugby since a seven-game span from March-April 2016 (W6, D1).
– The Hurricanes have won the most turnovers per game in Super Rugby 2019 (9), two more than the Bulls (7).
– The Bulls have recorded the best lineout success rate of any team in Super Rugby 2019 (93%); no team has a lower percentage than the Hurricanes (80%).
Handré Pollard’s (Bulls) 188 points in Super Rugby 2019 is the most in the competition and 63 more than the next best player involved in the finals series (125 points -Richie Mo’unga, Crusaders).
BRUMBIES vs SHARKS (Canberra, Saturday, 12:05pm)
– The Brumbies have won three of their last four Super Rugby matches against the Sharks (L1); the last three matches in that span have been decided by seven points or fewer.
– The Sharks have lost their last five away matches in the Super Rugby finals series; the last time they won a finals match outside South Africa was in Australia in 2012 (30-17 vs Reds).
– The Brumbies have lost their last two matches at home in the Super Rugby finals series, after winning eight of their previous nine such matches in competition history.
– Ruben van Heerden (Sharks) has the best tackle success rate of any player in Super Rugby 2019 to make 100+ tackles this season (95% -101/106).
– No player has won more lineouts on their own team’s throw this season than the Brumbies’ Rory Arnold (69) or Sam Carter (64, level with Guido Petti Pagadizaval).
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix