For the Vodacom Super Rugby matches involving South African teams in round 11.
CRUSADERS vs LIONS (Friday, 9:35am)
– The Crusaders have won 10 of their last 11 matches against the Lions in Super Rugby (L1), the sole Lions victory coming in a 2016 Super Rugby finals playoff (42-25).
– The Lions’ victory a week ago against the Chiefs was their first in New Zealand since round two 2016 (L5). The Lions have never won consecutive Super Rugby matches in New Zealand.
– The Crusaders will be playing for 25 consecutive Super Rugby victories at home. Their club record is 26 straight wins on home soil, stretching from 2004 to 2007.
– No side has scored more tries this campaign after winning a turnover than the Lions (eight, level with the Hurricanes), while no team has scored more tries following kick returns than the Crusaders (six, also level with the Hurricanes).
– The Crusaders’ Will Jordan has scored a joint-high eight tries this year, level with Jack Maddocks and Rieko Ioane, crossing the tryline once every 44 minutes on average, the best rate of any player to cross more than twice this campaign.
WARATAHS vs SHARKS (Saturday, 11:45am)
– The Waratahs have won their last eight home games against the Sharks, their last defeat at home to the Durban club coming back in 2000.
– The Waratahs will be facing South African opposition for the first time this season. Since the beginning of 2017 they’ve won just one of their seven games against sides from South Africa (D1, L5), that victory coming against the Stormers in February 2018.
– The Sharks have lost their last two matches in Australia. They’ve not lost more consecutive games there since a run of four straight defeats in Australia across the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
– No side has scored more tries in the opening quarter of games this season than the Waratahs, who have crossed eight times in that period (level with Highlanders and Brumbies).
– The Waratahs’ Michael Hooper has made the most tackles of any player this year (122), the Sharks’ Daniel du Preez has made the most carries of any forward in 2019 (106).
STORMERS vs VODACOM BULLS (Saturday, 3:05pm)
– The Bulls won their most recent meeting with the Stormers, in the opening round of this season. However, they’ve not won consecutive games against the Cape Town side since winning five on the bounce between 2005 and 2009.
– The Stormers have won their last seven home games against the Bulls, their last such defeat coming back in June 2011 (16-19).
– The Bulls have won their last two away games, against the Lions and Sharks, as many as they’d won in their previous 16 road games (W2, L14).
– The Bulls’ Corniel Els has found a teammate with all 27 of his lineout throws in 2019. No other hooker has attempted more than seven throws without missing at least one.
– The Bulls have conceded just five first-half tries in Super Rugby this year, fewer than any other side, while the Stormers have scored the fewest in the opening 40 minutes of matches (six).
Stats source: Opta Sports
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix