Battle for the Gain Line

01 May 2019
Battle for the Gain Line

Which teams in the competition have been the best at getting themselves over the gain line, as well as stopping their opponents from doing the same?

At any level of rugby, the battle for the gain line is crucial and in Super Rugby this is no different, with front foot ball being the catalyst to many breaks and ultimately tries.

The Rebels have comfortably the best record of getting across the advantage line, boasting a gain line success rate of 60%, four percentage points better than the Bulls and the Brumbies who are the next best sides when in possession.

However, it’s not always about getting yourself across the gain line, but also stopping your opponents from doing the same. Teams facing both the Stormers and the Bulls this season have only been able to muster a 45% success rate in getting over the gain line, while the Hurricanes have provided the meanest gain line defence of teams from outside South Africa.

On an individual level, it is the Reds’ Chris Feauai-Sautia who boasts the best success rate of any player to make at least 30 ‘gain line’ carries, with New Zealand-based duo Tevita Li and Rieko Ioane hot on his heels, both boasting a 75% success rate in getting over the advantage line.

For the forwards though it’s often a more difficult job to get over the gain line, with the big men often making the hard yards in tighter channels around the fringes of the breakdown. However, that hasn’t stopped the Rebels’ Isi Naisarani making inroads into opposition territory, as he’s recorded a 74% gain line success rate, the best of any forward. Perhaps the players who deserve most credit for making the top 10 gain line-breaking forwards are Armand van der Merwe and Agustin Creevy, representing the front row union and each making their way over the gain line on over 60% of their carries.