Rugby Championship: The nine individual stat leaders after two rounds

David Skippers
Rugby Championship stats leaders pic after 2 rounds 2023.jpg

Los Pumas back-row Pablo Matera, All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo'unga and Wallabies wing Marika Koroibete.

Following the first two rounds of the Rugby Championship, Planet Rugby takes a look at the individual stats leaders from the action in the southern hemisphere tournament so far.

New Zealand are sitting pretty at the top of the standings after claiming two successive victories while South Africa are in second position, with Argentina and Australia in third and fourth respectively.

There were 32 tries scored during the two rounds, with a total of 228 points amassed in the competition up to now.

Rugby Championship stat leaders

Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse (3)

Despite not being in action in the Springboks’ 35-20 defeat to the All Blacks in Auckland, speedster Arendse’s hat-trick of tries in their tournament opener against the Wallabies keeps him at the top of the try-scoring chart.

All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith followed up his try in his team’s Round One win over Argentina with another five-pointer in their victory over the Boks, which means he is in second position, while several players have crossed the whitewash on one occasion.

Points: Richie Mo’unga (20)

All Blacks fly-half Mo’unga came off the replacements bench in his side’s 41-12 win over Argentina but did not score any points in that encounter.

He made up for it, however, with a 20-point contribution in the victory over the Boks at the weekend, courtesy of a try, three conversions and as many penalties.

Los Pumas full-back Emiliano Boffelli occupies second position with 16 points after a solitary conversion in Round One against the All Blacks and a 14-point haul in his side’s 34-31 triumph over the Wallabies in Sydney at the weekend, after he slotted four conversions and two penalties.

Arendse’s hat-trick of tries in Round One means he is in third place while veteran Wallabies fly-half Quade Cooper is in fourth spot.

Tackles: Rob Valetini (33)

Australia were under the cosh for long periods in their defeat to Los Pumas and it showed in that encounter’s overall tackle statistics with the Wallabies completing a whopping 200 hits compared to Argentina’s 80.

Leading the way for Eddie Jones’ troops was Valetini, who made 22 tackles which puts him at top in that department for the tournament as he has now made 33 tackles in total after two rounds.

Not far behind Valetini in second place is team-mate Dave Porecki, who has made 29 tackles after two matches while fellow Wallabies Allan Alaalatoa and James Slipper are third and fourth with 28 and 25 hits respectively.

Carries made: Pablo Matera (32)

Experienced Los Pumas back-row Matera led from the front against Argentina as he was a willing ball carrier in Sydney, completing 18 runs which combined with an impressive shift in Round One puts him at the top in this category with 32 carries completed.

His team-mate Santiago Carreras (fly-half) is next best with 25 carries made while All Blacks inside centre Jordie Barrett is in third position after completing 23 carries so far. Two of his team-mates – Ardie Savea and Shannon Frizell – and Mateo Carreras are in joint-fourth spot with 22 carries made.

Most clean breaks: Multiple players

Springbok wing Arendse occupied first position on his own after four rounds, with four clean breaks, but he has been joined by Wallabies flyer Marika Koroibete and All Blacks speedster Will Jordan, who were both in the thick of the action for their respective sides.

Canan Moodie is another Bok wing who was not in action over the weekend and he is alone in second place with three clean breaks while numerous players – fellow Bok flyer Cheslin Kolbe, Los Pumas back Lucio Cinti, Wallabies midfielder Len Ikitau and All Blacks duo Frizell and Rieko Ioane (outside centre) – are in joint-third place.

Defenders beaten: Marika Koroibete (11)

Despite the Wallabies’ poor start to the Rugby Championship, Koroibete has been in fine form with ball in hand as he has already beaten 11 defenders after the first two matches.

That puts him ahead of Frizell, who is in second spot with nine defenders beaten, while team-mates Jordan and Ioane as well as Argentina’s Mateo Carreras occupy joint-third position after each one of them beat seven defenders respectively.

Running metres: Marika Koroibete (172)

Koroibete’s good start to the tournament is also reflected in this statistic and he has already gained 172 metres with ball in hands after Australia’s first two matches.

Next up is his team mate Carter Gordon, who has run for 146 metres while Moodie is just one metre adrift in third position while Jordie Barrett is in fourth spot with 142 metres gained.

The chasing pack are not far behind as another Wallaby Mark Nawaqanitawase (wing) and Santiago Carreras are just two metres behind Barrett in joint-fifth position.

Lineouts won: Juan Martín González (12)

The Argentina flanker scored the match-winning try in his side’s memorable victory over Australia but has also been a valuable source of possession for his team at the lineouts where he has already won 12 balls.

González is well ahead of the chasing pack which is led by All Blacks lock Scott Barrett, who has won seven lineouts, while his second-row partner Brodie Retallick is in joint-third position after winning five balls along with Bok duo Marvin Orie and RG Snyman.

Offloads: Pablo Matera (4)

Matera has been in fine form for Los Pumas and leads the way in this department with four offloads made and he edges out his team-mate front-row Thomas Gallo, All Black Scott Barrett and Wallaby full-back Tom Wright.

There are numerous players in joint-third position in this category, including Los Pumas back-row Rodrigo Bruni and the Wallabies duo of Samu Kerevi and Will Skelton.

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