Ahead of Saturday’s Super Rugby Final, we compare some of the key numbers racked up by the Hurricanes and the Lions this year.
There is precious little to choose between Super Rugby’s two best attacking sides but at this level, the smallest margins can make a huge impact.
Both of these sides have been a pleasure to watch as they tore opposition apart with expert-running and progressive rugby. The Lions have scored the most tries this season with 81 while the Hurricanes are way behind with 70. The reason for these statistics being the way they are is because the Hurricanes have relied more on kicking while the Lions game-plan seems exclusively based on quick decision making from either fly-half Elton Jantjies or scrum-half Faf de Klerk as both of these players have some of the highest try-assist counts in Super Rugby up to date. The former is top of the list with 16 and De Klerk is currently fourth with 11 assists. The best of the Canes bunch is fly-half Beauden Barrett with nine so far.
Other Attacking statistics:
Hurricanes – 399
Lions – 467
Hurricanes – 8549
Lions – 9264
Hurricanes – 135
Lions – 156
The Lions and the Hurricanes have very similar tackle completion statistics with the men from Johannesburg slightly lower with 83,8 and the Hurricanes with 84,5. The Hurricanes have been in excellent defensive form especially in the last two games after not conceding a try in the quarter-final and semi-final. They also harbour defensive dynamo Ardie Savea who has racked up the second most tackles in the competition with 191 while the Lions’ mobile giant Franco Mostert has also been exceptional as he ranks eighth overall with 146. Ball pilfered at the breakdown is a hotly contested area for these two sides. The Lions have been great at stealing ball at the breakdown all year and racked up 137 steals while the Hurricanes are just behind them with 132.
The two teams are neck and neck and when it comes to scrummaging as the Hurricanes have a 95 percent scrum completion rate while the Lions are just behind them with 91 percent. The Lions have been dominant when it comes to line-outs this season. The Johannesburg side’s tall timber have a 89.3 percent line out completion rate opposed to the Hurricanes statistic of 83.4 percent. The Lions line-out has been a strong asset to get front-foot ball off of and have been generally superior to their Antipodean opposition. They have won 177 line-outs to the Hurricanes’ 161 even though the Hurricanes have kicked more which would lead to more line-outs. In terms of line-outs stolen, the Lions just pip the Hurricanes with 14 to 13.
The Hurricanes and the Lions have relatively high error rates compared to other teams in the competition. The men from Wellington have 281 handling errors for this year while the Lions have made 274.
Other error statistics:
Hurricanes – 161
Lions – 141
by Nicholas McGregor