A fundamental of the sport, the lineout can often be the crux around which Super Rugby games are won and lost. It’s one of the basics that can provide the foundation for the rest of the game, both through maintaining possession on your own throw as well as pinching the ball from your opposition.

The South African teams have long shown an affinity for both their own lineouts and their opposition’s, and already in Super Rugby 2017 we can see that they’ve been significantly busier at the throw than the other clubs. The South African teams have won 211 lineouts between them, markedly more than any other nation even considering the fact that they have an extra team. Likewise, they’ve stolen their fair share of opposition lineouts, although New Zealand based teams have certainly upped their game in 2017 as well, posting 26 lineout steals already this season.

Both New Zealand and South Africa have seen their teams score more than 20 tries off the back of success at the lineout, while both the Jaguares (6) and Sunwolves (5) have also enjoyed success via that method. The Australian squads seem to be lagging behind the rest of the competition in this regard, though they have managed to defend well when their opposition claim a throw. The Reds (2) have conceded the equal fewest tries when their opposition win possession with a lineout, while the Brumbies (3) are not far behind.

It’s no surprise to see South African duo Ruan Botha (Sharks) and Eben Etzebeth (Stormers) at the top of the lineout charts so far this season. Botha is the first player to have won 20 lineouts in 2017, though pulling in at equal third are the Waratahs’ Jack Dempsey and Sunwolves’ Willie Britz who are carrying their nation’s lineout hopes.

While Etzebeth hasn’t maintained his knack for lineout steals from 2016, Stormers teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit has more than picked up where he left off. The Stormers lock has already stolen four lineouts this season, twice as many as any other player in the competition. The rest of the pack will have a chance to catch up now as his Stormers sit out for a bye during the fourth week of the tournament.