Playing For 80 Minutes

14 Mar 2019
Playing For 80 Minutes

Whether trailing on the scoreboard or looking to consolidate a dominant points differential for the season ahead, finishing fast and strong is key to stamping your authority on the competition.

The 2019 Super Rugby campaign has seen several teams flex their strengths in the final exchanges of games already, with some proving more effective than others.

The Hurricanes have come at their opposition like a tornado in the dying exchanges of their fixtures in the 2019 campaign, scoring a competition-high five tries in the 71st minute or later. They’ve also beaten the most defenders (23) in that period and gained over 300m from just 81 carries.

Fellow offensive outfits the Brumbies and Jaguares aren’t far behind with a tally of four tries each in the final 10 minutes of games; the pair of clubs have also each made 10 clean breaks in that period, more than any other team.

These three squads have proven significantly more potent in the final moments of their games than any other in Super Rugby 2019 - no other team has scored more than two tries in the final 10 minutes.

The Lions are the only team yet to score a try after the 70th minute this season, while it’s the Jaguares (352m) and resurgent Sunwolves (351m) who’ve gained the most territory in the final 10 minutes.

There’s not much use in scoring the points if you can’t defend them at the other end, though, and that’s what makes the Brumbies the premier squad in the final 10 minutes of games this season. The ACT side’s tackle success rate of 89% in the final stages of their games this season is the best of any team - they’ve missed just four tackles in that period.

It’s an all-Australian affair at the top, with the NSW Waratahs (87%) and Melbourne Rebels (85%) the next two best teams in this regard.

Interestingly, it’s the Crusaders who have shelved their defensive assets in the last 10 minutes of games this season. The Christchurch club has a tackle success rate of just 68% in that period, the lowest of any team in the competition by a margin of three percentage points.