/ Super Rugby 2014

/ Features

Super Rugby Statistics
Brumbies must improve scrum and goal kicking
Nick Bentley
May 2014
Ben Alexander and the Brumbies are doing little different in 2014 compared with 2013 © Getty Images

Much has been written this season about how Steve Larkham and Laurie Fisher have evolved the Jake White game plan that saw the Brumbies reach the Super Rugby grand final in 2013, and the team this year certainly feels like they have gone away from the South African's "territory-based" blueprint.

Jake White not Brumbies' focus

The Canberra-based outfit have been in prolific form, despite their heavy loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend. They have won their past four home games and they have the platform they need to win matches with Stephen Moore at the centre of the best lineout unit in the competition. Their below-par goal kicking rate (71%) and the weakest scrum in the tournament (75%) are serious causes for concern, though, if they are to mount a serious challenge for the title.

But the striking observation when comparing the Brumbies under Larkham and Fisher in 2014 with White's campaign in 2013 is that very little has changed.

The Brumbies have averaged virtually the same number of points per game, and they have almost the exact same success rates when it comes to goal kicking, tackling and the breakdown. When it comes to decision making, they have also maintained amazing consistencies: having averaged the same amount of time in possession per game, they have made an almost identical ratio of passes, carries and kicks from hand.

Having established their winning formula in 2013, they have stuck with the same brand of rugby, - the only obvious variation being their set-piece success rates, with their lineout improving and their scrum drastically worsening. It will certainly be interesting to see what tricks Larkham and Fisher have up their sleeve to negate Jake White's inside knowledge of the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

White has returned to Canberra with his Sharks showing a more discernible change in play, the ladder leaders clearly having adopted White's territory-first blueprint. They have chosen to kick the ball in open play on average five more times per game compared with 2013. They are averaging fewer tries per game than in 2013, but they have knocked over a competition-high 4.9 penalties per game at 80%.

The stats show, however, that the Sharks' tackling, scrum and ruck success rates are all diminished in 2014 - proving there is still room for improvement, even at the top of the table.

© Opta Stats for ESPNscrum

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Chinese GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open
  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Kevin Sinfield swaps league for union

    Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield has opted to cross codes to union and has signed for Yorkshire Carnegie

  • Formula 1

    Ferrari still has work to do to catch Mercedes - Kimi

    Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari still has work to do to be consistently competitive with Mercedes but is confident it has taken a big chunk out of Mercedes lead following Sebastian Vettel's victory in Malaysia

  • Rugby

    Ulster close in on All Black Charles Piutau

    Ulster are on the verge of completing the signing of All Blacks winger Charles Piutau

  • Formula 1

    2014 upheaval was crucial for Ferrari future - Allison

    Ferrari technical director James Allison says the sweeping changes made to Ferrari over the winter are making it stronger every month following the team's first victory since May 2013 on Sunday

  • Football

    Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas understands Spain bench role

    Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas has told Marca he understands why other players get picked ahead of him for the Spanish national team

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income