The 2016 Rugby Championship concluded its third round this past weekend, and as we head into the break period of the tournament, it’s time to recap some of the statistics and see which players are making the biggest impact so far:
Facundo Isa (Argentina) – 30
Argentina’s giant flank has ensured his name moves into the limelight thanks to his stellar start and consistant performances throughout the Rugby Championship so far. Isa had a standout game against the Springboks and Salta and showed that he has the skill and physicality to take on the best.
Runners up: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – 28; Kieran Read (New Zealand) – 24
Most clean breaks:
Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – 5
Would anyone else top this list other than Beauden Barrett? The All Black flyhalf has been in superb form all Super Rugby season and this has translated seamlessly into the Rugby Championship. Barrett managed to find gaps in the Australian defence with the utmost ease, cutting them apart from set-pieces and in open play.
Tied with: Dane Coles (New Zealand) – 5; Manuel Montero (Argentina) – 5
Most defenders beaten:
Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – 12
Barrett currently holds the top spot for defenders beaten, and it should come as no surprise too. As mentioned above with his clean breaks, Barrett is able to use his pace and swerving runs to beat even the best of defenders. His attacking game is unrivalled at the moment and his stats speak for that.
Runners up: Facundo Isa (Argnetina) – 10; Dane Coles (New Zealand) – 9
Most metres made
Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) – 157
Another mention for Barrett. The stat highlights the fact that Barrett’s breaks and beaten defenders are not short half-breaks, but rather clean runs where he made some serious ground over the advantage line everytime he attacked.
Runners up: Facundo Isa (Argnetina) – 147; Jerome Kaino (New Zealand) – 139
Malaki Fekitoa (New Zealand) – 6
The All Black centre hasn’t had the flashiest start to his incumbent move to the 13 jersey, but he has done the basics extremely well. Like Conrad Smith before him, Fekitoa has a knack for keeping the ball alive with some deft offloads and well-timed passes off the ground. Alongside Read, he tops the list for most offloads.
Runners up: Kieran Read (New Zealand) – 6; Ben Smith (New Zealand) – 4
Most points scored
Beauden Barrett – 26
Once again, no surprise. Barrett has one try to his name and has kicked 21 points for his side through conversions and penalties. Barrett has proven solid with the boot and looks to be delivering an all-round performance for New Zealand.
Runners up: Nicolas Sanchez – 21; Elton Jantjies – 21
Most tackles made
Teboho Mohoje (Springboks) – 30
The Springboks’ Teboho Mohoje tops the tackle list after round 3 thanks to some busy performances in Nelspruit and Salta. Mohoje accumulated 30 tackles in his time, averaging 15 a game, which is not bad at all for the busy loose forward.
Runner’s up: Sam Whitelock – 25; David Pocock – 2
Most missed tackles
Dane Haylett-Petty – 9
The Wallabies have not had a great defensive campaign so far. The All Blacks have managed to penetrate the Australian defence rather easily, and the stats show. New Wallaby winger Dane Haylett-Petty has been threatening on attack, but has managed to miss 9 tackles in two games. His colleagues Bernard Foley, Stephen Moore, and David Pocock have not faired well wither. Springbok centre Damian de Allende lands alongside the bottom three.
Runners up: Bernard Foley – 8; Stephen Moore – 5; David Pocock – 5; Damian de Allende – 5
Most knock ons
Johan Goosen (South Africa) – 9
Playing at fullback, Johan Goosen was bound to make a few knock-ons when contesting in the air, but 9 is quite a high amount of errors within two games. Goosen hasn’t had the aerial dominance required of a Test fullback and has been beaten by the Argentine chasers in Round 1 and 2, while also having a few knock-ons in open play.
Runners up: Israel Dagg (New Zealand) – 7, Manuel Montero (Argentina) – 6
Julian Savea – 2; Israel Dagg – 2
It seems like the All Blacks’ strategy to drop or bench out-of-form players has paid off, as both Julian Savea (playing off the bench) and Israel Dagg (working his way back into the squad following missing out on the World Cup) have been in great try-scoring form so far. The Hurricanes winger has scored two tries off the bench for the All Blacks, highlighting his impact in the final stages of the All Blacks’ encounters, and Dagg has scored one from fullback and one playing on the wing.