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Opta rankings: Kinghorn takes flight

Rich Dore

9 Jan 2018

The January blues were banished at the weekend with a full schedule of Guinness PRO14 action that featured plenty of first-class rugby.

Munster got back to winning ways, Glasgow Warriors and Scarlets maintained their positions at the top of the conferences and Leinster clicked into gear against Ulster.

We’ve taken a look at the Opta rankings to see who were the key performers in round 13.


Astonishingly, round 13 saw Edinburgh’s 20-year-old full-back Blair Kinghorn set the pace across three categories (Defenders Beaten, Breaks, Metres Made) as he scored a try in his side’s win over the Southern Kings.

In challenging conditions at Edinburgh’s Myreside, Kinghorn put in an all-round display and currently holds the most Metres Gained (1,088) and Defenders Beaten (48) across the Guinness PRO14.

On a night to remember, Kinghorn beat 11 defenders, made five clean breaks and took 143 metres out of the Kings during the 37-7 win.

Most defenders beaten in round 13

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 11
Mark Bennett (Edinburgh) – 9
Nico Lee (Cheetahs) – 8

Most clean breaks in round 13

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 5
Andrew Conway (Munster) – 4
Teboho Mohoje (Cheetahs) – 3

Most metres made in round 13

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 143
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) – 112
Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby) – 105


Benetton Rugby won five games in the Championship last season but have already won six this term thanks to their bonus-point 27-21 victory over the Toyota Cheetahs on Saturday.

The Treviso-based side came from behind in the match and crucial to their chances was the performance of openside flanker Braam Steyn, who put in a round-topping 19 carries.

This is a standout figure when you consider the next best from round 13 was Edinburgh duo Hamish Watson and Blair Kinghorn, with both having made 15 carries against the Kings.

When looking at the season overall, Steyn is in the top 25 ranked players for carries, tackles and turnovers won – indicating that he’s one of the most influential players in the Guinness PRO14.

Most carries made in round 13

Braam Steyn (Benetton) – 19
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 15
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 15


The Ospreys and Cardiff Blues played out a cracker of a match on Saturday, with Steve Tandy’s side eventually coming out on top 29-28.

Frustrating the home side every step of the way was Blues No.8 Nick Williams, who made an eye-catching four turnovers in the match.

Williams also scored a first-half try and made 13 carries as he looked to prevail in the Welsh derby, ably assisted by fellow back-rower Josh Navidi who made two turnovers.

Williams has now won 15 turnovers across the season as a whole, second only to Scarlet Tadhg Beirne – way out in front of the chasing pack with 20.

Turnovers won in round 13

Nick Williams (Cardiff Blues) – 4
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blue) – 2
Jack O’Donoghue (Munster) – 2
Tienie Burger (Kings) – 2
Teboho Mohoje (Cheetahs) – 2

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie