Opta Rankings: Coetzee equals record in Round 6

Andy Baber
10 October 2018

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With Round 6 of the Guinness PRO14 now in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to analyse a dramatic weekend of action through the lens of the Opta statistics.

The storylines were plentiful as Glasgow Warriors romped to victory over Zebre, Connacht edged out Ulster, Scarlets claimed bragging rights over Ospreys and Leinster triumphed over Munster.

Meanwhile, Benetton Rugby got back to winning ways with a dominant forward display against Isuzu Southern Kings, while Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh also picked up victories.

But who were the players that stood out for their sides? Here’s a rundown of the standout performers according to Opta from a fast and furious round of action.

TURNOVER KING COETZEE

His efforts may have ultimately proved in vain, but Marcell Coetzee made a huge impact for Ulster in their narrow 22-15 defeat to Connacht at Kingspan Stadium.

The flanker equalled the record for the most turnovers in a game, claiming seven as his side had to settle for a losing bonus point and a first defeat to Connacht in Belfast since 1960.

Coetzee matched the same figure achieved by James Davies for Scarlets against Edinburgh in 2015, with Connacht’s Bundee Aki his nearest rival in Round 6 with four turnovers.

Cardiff Blues duo Olly Robinson and Ellis Jenkins claimed three and two turnovers, respectively, with the latter level with Coetzee on ten turnovers overall for the season so far.

Most turnovers in Round 6 of the Guinness PRO14

Marcell Coetzee (Ulster) – 7

Bundee Aki (Connacht) – 4

Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues) – 3

Sean O’Brien (Connacht) – 2

Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues) – 2

BUTLER BACK WITH A BANG

Having missed Connacht’s defeat to Leinster in Round Five, captain Jarrad Butler made up for lost time as he topped the tackle charts with his showing against Ulster.

The back-rower racked up an impressive 25 hits in his side’s victory, with Ospreys pair Alun Wyn Jones and Owen Watkin just behind him with 22 and 21 tackles, respectively.

Leinster’s James Ryan and Dan Leavy round off the top five with 20 apiece as they drove the reigning Guinness PRO14 champions on to a 30-22 triumph over Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

None of this week’s top performers were able to make a dent on the top five for the season, though, with Nico Lee still leading the way with 85 tackles, with Bobby de Wee second on 77.

Most tackles made after six rounds of the Guinness PRO14

Nico Lee (Toyota Cheetahs) – 85

Bobby de Wee (Southern Kings) – 77

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) – 71

Andisa Ntsila (Southern Kings) – 71

Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) – 70

MORGAN MIXES IT UP

The signing of Wales’ Sevens record try-scorer Luke Morgan always appeared to be a clever move for Ospreys and he certainly showed his potential against Scarlets in Round 6.

Morgan beat seven defenders at Parc y Scarlets and scored one of three tries for the visitors as they were beaten 20-17 in the derby clash between the two Welsh regions.

His tally was matched by Connacht’s Aki in a sterling performance by the Ireland international, while Rabz Maxwane (Cheetahs) and Josh Lewis (Dragons) finished with six each.

Adam Hastings still tops the charts for most defenders beaten so far this season, with Ospreys’ George North and Duhan van der Merwe of Edinburgh close on his tail.

Most defenders beaten in Round 6 of the Guinness PRO14

Luke Morgan (Ospreys) – 7

Bundee Aki (Connacht) – 7

Rabz Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs) – 6

Josh Lewis (Dragons) – 6

Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 5

MATA EATS UP METRES

Viliame ‘Bill’ Mata was the star man for Edinburgh as they secured a second home win in a week with a thrilling victory against Toyota Cheetahs at BT Murrayfield.

Mata was in irresistible form as he made 113 metres and scored one of his side’s four tries in the 37-21 bonus-point win, which moved Edinburgh up to fourth in Conference B.

His nearest rival in the stats for most metres made was Maxwane for the Cheetahs, who also broke the 100 barrier, while Stuart McCloskey racked up 90 metres for Ulster.

While Mata leads the charts for most carries overall this season with 81, he remains some way behind Dragons’ Jordan Williams (490) in the overall stakes for most metres made with 296.

Most metres made after six rounds of the Guinness PRO14

Jordan Williams (Dragons) – 490

Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 401

Craig Gilroy (Ulster) – 381

Darren Sweetnam (Munster) – 371

George North (Ospreys) – 364

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