SuperRugby Aotearoa

As the 7th round of Super Rugby Aotearoa was played this past weekend, we couldn’t have asked for greater entertainment from this competition. While the Highlanders had a break, the rest of the teams were all in major battles to try achieve victory. The previously undefeated Crusaders suffered their first home loss since 2016 by a relentless Hurricanes performance. In the other match, we saw the Blues just managing to hold off the Chiefs to claim another victory, leaving the Chiefs winless with just 2 matches left to play.

Crusaders 32 – 34 Hurricanes

Although the Crusaders won their first meeting against the Hurricanes comfortably with a score of 39 – 25, they struggled this time around. Let’s take a closer look at the stats:

  • Interestingly, we find that although the Crusaders lost, they had more possession of the ball, as well as more line breaks in the match, but were unable to capitalise on either.
  • The penalty count decreased for both teams from the first match to this one, but the Hurricanes were again the less ill-disciplined which may have contributed to the win.
  • A slightly better defence with a higher tackle made percentage was enjoyed by the Crusaders, however their tackle made percentage dropped from 94% in the first encounter to 79% in this outing. This clearly indicates how the Hurricanes were able to break the line more often and score more tries than they previously did.
  • The Crusaders also lost more lineouts which turned over possession for the Hurricanes to attack.
  • The Crusaders scored more tries in both matches.

Overall, we find that the stats are not fully supportive of the outcome of this second encounter. The Crusaders had a better possession, better tackle made percentage, more line breaks and more tries than their opponents. The Hurricanes, however, took advantage of the high penalty conceded count and the lineouts lost by the Crusaders, as well as their decreased efficiency on defence and handed the Crusaders their first loss of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Blues 21 – 17 Chiefs

The Blues are back on a two game winning streak after their loss to the Crusaders a couple weeks back. This week they hosted and defeated the persistent Chiefs in a hard fought match at Eden Park. The Blues got a double over the Chiefs in Super Rugby Aotearoa after also winning the first match by 24 points to the Chiefs’ 12. How did the two games between these sides differ when we look at the stats?

  • In both matches the Chiefs had a higher possession of 55% and 53%, respectively, but yet again they were unable to take advantage of the ball possession and win.
  • In the first match the Chiefs were only able to score penalties while this time around they achieved 2 tries and 10 line breaks. However, the Blues did not give up at any point during the match and outscored their opponents with 3 tries and 11 line breaks during this match. In the second match the Blues achieved one more line break than the Chiefs, but in the first the Chiefs achieved one more line break than the Blues. Even though the second game was a tighter affair in terms of points scored, the Chiefs only had one less line break.
  • The Blues conceded more penalties in both games but saw the Chiefs not use these penalties to full advantage as they missed touch on a few occasions and lost possession.
  • The Blues defence in the first game was tighter than the Chiefs while in the second game the defence stats were very similar. The Chiefs showed their attacking skills and created chances through missed tackles in the second encounter.
  • The Blues made fewer handling errors but lost more possession at lineout time in this match.

Hurricanes and Blues now in with a chance to overtake Crusaders at top of the log!

The Super Rugby Aotearoa competition has certainly been exciting and close in almost every game played thus far. The race is on and it is doubtful that any team is going to slow down, especially with the Hurricanes and Blues now in with a chance to overtake the Crusaders at the top of the log.

Super Rugby Aotearoa

Want to read more on our breakdown of the Super Rugby Aotearoa matches? Read here.

About the Author
Gregory Gordon.
Gregory Gordon is currently a Senior Video Analyst at VS Sports, who is highly involved in the analytics process by performing the analysis as well as managing the video analysts in the company. Gregory is in charge of training the video analysts in all the sports which are offered at VS Sports as well as ensuring that the quality of the analysis is being maintained consistently. He is passionate about sport conditioning and assisting athletes in optimising their sporting abilities. Gregory has obtained his Master’s degree in Sports Science (MPhil) through the University of Johannesburg as well as acquiring a Higher Certificate in Exercise Science through the HFPA. He previously has worked at Orlando Pirates FC for an internship where many different skills were learned and developed through the process.