Champions Cup: The nine stat leaders heading into Round Three, including most metres, turnovers and tries
A bumper weekend of action awaits us in the Champions Cup, with Clermont hosting Leicester Tigers in the opening game on Friday evening.
In Pool A, Leinster and Exeter lead the standings with a full house of 10 points from their opening two games. In Pool B, French sides La Rochelle and Toulouse are out in front with nine points each.
With Oval Insights‘ help, we look at the nine individual stat leaders from the first two rounds of the competition.
Top try scorers
Three players share the tag of the top try-scorer in the competition, with Harlequins centre Andre Esterhuizen, Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier and Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie all notching up three tries.
Esterhuizen scored twice against his former club, the Sharks, before adding another against Racing 92 at the Stoop. Van der Flier scored two against Racing 92 before grabbing another against Gloucester.
Meanwhile, Cowan-Dickie is the only player to have scored a hat-trick this season, finding his way over the whitewash on three occasions against the Bulls. Not only is he the first player to score three this season, but he is also the first to score a hat-trick since teammate Sam Simmonds did against Montpellier last season.
19 other players have scored more than once in the competition.
Fast Fact: All of Bordeaux’s try scorers this season are forwards: Renato Giammarioli, Sipili Falatea and Tom Willis.
Top points scorers
La Rochelle’s Antoine Hastoy unsurprisingly leads the competition for most points after his 26-point haul against Ulster in Round Two, which included five penalties, three conversions and a try.
He has a 14-point cushion over the next-best tally from Sharks fly-half Curwin Bosch (28), with Leicester Tigers’ Charlie Atkinson two points behind him.
Fast Fact: Hastoy scored more points than any other player in Round Two; his 26 points is the most by a player in a Champions Cup match since AJ MacGinty’s 32 for Sale Sharks against Scarlets in 2021.
Montpellier back-row Clement Doumenc leads the way for the most tackles completed in the competition, making 34 of his 35 attempted hits.
Munster’s Gavin Coombes and Northampton Saints’ David Ribbans are in joint second place with 30. Ulster lock Alan O’Connor and Clermont flanker Alexandre Fischer follow in third, having made 29 apiece.
Coombes also made the most tackles in Round Two (25); he missed just twice.
Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs), George Martin (Leicester Tigers) and Matt Rogerson (London Irish) have all made the joint most dominant tackles racking up five over the first two rounds.
Fast Fact: Jonny Hill missed seven tackles in Round Two; no player missed more.
Montpellier’s Zach Mercer has made more carries (40) than any other player in the competition, with Exeter Chiefs’ Dave Ewers in second place with seven fewer carries.
Mercer is also made the joint-most metres in contact (47) and has successfully got Montpellier over the advantage line with 22 carries crossing the gain line, the most in the competition.
Conversely, Ewers has made the most dominant carry contacts so far (14), dominating the contact 42% of the time.
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Viliame Mata (Edinburgh) and Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle) have posted the next-best tallies, all making 29 carries.
Fast Fact: Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) made the joint-most carries in Round Two (20) and made the most metres in contact (44).
Most defenders beaten
Unsurprisingly the outside backs lead the way in defenders beaten, with London Irish speedster Ben Loader beating 13 defenders in the first two rounds.
The elusive Exiles back managed a round high of nine in the clash against the Stormers after beating four against Montpellier.
He is followed by Harlequins full-back Nick David (10) and Bulls flyer Stravino Jacobs (10). Three players have managed to evade nine defenders; they are Damian Hoyland (Edinburgh), Tom Willis (Bordeaux), and Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks).
Fast Fact: Ulster and Gloucester have beaten the joint-fewest defenders in the competition (21).
Most line breaks
James Lowe leads the competition in line breaks, racking up five over the opening two rounds.
The Leinster outside back isn’t too far ahead of the pack, with four players notching up four clean breaks, namely, Loader, Mapimpi, Hacjivah Dayimani (Stormers) and Lucas Tauzin (Toulouse).
Several players have made three, but Clermont’s Bautista Delguy and Jordan Larmour have done so despite playing just one game.
Fast Fact: Dayimani matched Lowe’s tally of four clean breaks in Round Two, but no other forward has made more than two clean breaks in the competition.
Munster’s Mike Haley (204) is the only player to have reached the double-ton mark for metres gained in the competition.
However, the chasing pack is pretty close, with Alex Newsome (195) and Mapimpi (191) on his tail.
Loader (184) and Lowe (167) are the only other players to pass the 150 mark, while Dayimani (136) has racked up more metres than any other forward.
Fast Fact: Dayimani made the most metres for a forward Round Two (119).
Sharks back-row Vincent Tshituka is currently the competition’s turnover king, having claimed five in the opening two rounds.
The title is hotly contested, though, with Deon Fourie (Stormers), Gael Fickou (Racing 92), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Evans (Harlequins), Albert Tuisue (Gloucester) and Tom Stewart (Ulster) all claiming four.
There are 17 players in the competition that have won three.
Fast Fact: Evans (4) won more turnovers in Round Two than any other player.
Securing possession at the set-pieces is crucial, and no player has been as successful at doing just that as Leicester Tigers back-row Hanro Liebenberg.
The South African has claimed 17 lineout wins in the opening two games, while Ospreys’ lock Adam Beard follows closely with 15.
London Irish lock Rob Simmons is in third place with 14, and Montpellier’s Florian Verhaeghe (13) is in fourth.
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