South African Players Shine In URC Season Stats

South African Players Shine In URC Season Stats

It’s been a fantastic season for South African sides in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship with two teams in the top eight and it won’t come as a surprise that many of the local players have dominated the Championship’s statistics after the completion of the league format.
The Bulls 85 season tries is one more than Leinster’s mark last season, and shows an improvement on the 78 tries that the Bulls scored in the same year that Leinster made their mark in the record books.
The Bulls are also the top side when it comes to points scored with 639, which is also a tournament record, eclipsing the 613 they scored in their first season in the URC.
They second in offloads, third in metres gained and fourth in clean breaks, showing what an exceptional attacking season it has been for the Bulls.
The Bulls scrum may be formidable, but they’re only fourth in terms of penalties won, with the Stormers topping that stat with 49 penalties, way ahead of Ospreys (34) and Edinburgh (31).

And it shows when it comes to the individual records as well for the season. While Glasgow Warriors’ Johnny Matthews leads the try-scoring stakes with 14, there are no less than five Bulls players in the top ten try scorers for the season.

Akker van der Merwe, who scored many a try from the back of a rolling maul, is second on 12 tries, with David Kriel third on 10 and Canan Moodie joint-fourth on nine. Kurt-Lee Arendse and Johan Grobbelaar are joint eighth in a group of players with eight tries that includes the likes of Evan Roos (Stormers) and Francke Horn (Lions).

On the points-scoring side it is unlikely someone will catch Edinburgh’s Ben Healy with 175 points for the season, but the Bulls’ Johan Goosen is the next best with 126 points while South African-born Cardiff flyhalf Thinus de Beer is third on 118. Sanele Nohamba is fourth with 117 while Manie Libbok features at eighth with 111 points for the season.

Munster’s Gavin Coombes may top the successful carries stat, but it is Evan Roos in second spot, one carry behind Coombes on 103, and Elrigh Louw in fourth that feature highly. Aphelele Fassi is a surprising name in fourth spot alongside Louw, while Marius Louw (sixth), Francke Horn (8th) and Sanele Nohamba (9th) all feature in the top ten for the tournament.

There’s South African flavour in the defenders’ beaten stat, topped by Scottish international Duhan van der Merwe with 61 for the season, and followed by Roos with 49 in second spot.

Fassi dominates the metres made, no surprise for a fullback it seems, with a massive 1232 metres while Warrick Gelant is the only other South African in the top five.

Gelant does top the offloads stat for the competition with a massive 34, while Cameron Hanekom is a surprising second with 22, ahead of double World Cup winner RG Snyman, who plies his trade for Munster with 20.

The Stormers’ Ruben van Heerden is the competition’s top tackler, making an astounding 224 tackles with Elrigh Louw (7th) and Ben-Jason Dixon (ninth) also featuring highly.

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