Stats review: Guinness PRO14 clubs dominate in Europe

cmcloughlin
14 January 2019

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There was a fantastic weekend of European rugby, with nine wins for Guinness PRO14 sides in the European Champions and Challenge Cup.

Here we take a closer look at the statistics, to see who has been dominating across the two competitions during Round 5.

An Ulster winger who can’t stop scoring features alongside two Leinster forwards that made all the difference as they beat Toulouse.

 

DARCY DOES THE BUSINESS

A first-half try from Darcy Graham set Edinburgh Rugby on their way to a victory 28-17 at RC Toulon.

The Scotland winger had 92 metres made on just nine carries, while racking up three clean breaks – more than any other player in the fixture.

Edinburgh No. 8 Bill Mata stole the headlines with his offload for James Johnstone’s try but he was fizzing throughout the match.

He did his trademark hard yards carrying the ball, as he registered 17 carries and made 72 metres.

Fellow Scottish outfit Glasgow Warriors toppled a Guinness PRO14 opponent, as they beat Cardiff Blues 33-24.

Ryan Wilson and Scott Cummings were stars in the pack at Scotstoun, as Wilson registered 16 carries and Cumming’s made 17 tackles.

 

RUDDOCK AND CONAN CARRY LEINSTER

Leinster leant on their back row as they took a crucial Champions Cup victory over Toulouse.

Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan both had 20 carries, while the pair and openside Josh van der Flier made 41 tackles between them.

Another carrying machine was Munster’s CJ Stander, who made 17 as Munster took a comfortable 41-15 win at Gloucester.

He was all over the place on defence as well, with 21 tackles and a turnover for the Irish outfit.

 

STOCKDALE AT THE DOUBLE

Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale has been on fire all season as his hot European hot-streak scored for a fifth consecutive round, grabbing two tries for Ulster against Racing 92.

He filled the offensive statistical categories as he carried for 64 metres on six carries – making two clean breaks for his side.

Rob Evans was a more unlikely source for a brace of tries, as the loosehead prop touched down twice for Scarlets against Leicester Tigers.

Despite carrying for just seven metres on his 10 carries, he made it count when he was close to the try line.

There has to be a mention of Ken Owens, standing in at No. 8 due to injury problems at Parc y Scarlets, who didn’t look out of place in the back row.

He made 42 metres on nine carries, while having two clean breaks, while also chipping in with 14 tackles against the English outfit.

 

BEST OF CHALLENGE CUP

There were three wins from five fixtures for Guinness PRO14 sides in the senior-tier competition, with Connacht, Benetton and Dragons all victorious.

Jordan Williams and Hallam Amos both carried for 167m for the Welsh side as they eased past Timisoara Saracens.

Amos was destructive as he made seven clean breaks on 14 carries while Williams had 16 carries, including four clean breaks.

Tito Tebaldi grabbed himself a hat-trick as Benetton look to push Harlequins at the top of Pool 5.

The scrum half was also a presence as a defender, leading the backs with 14 tackles and a turnover won.

Elsewhere Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane starred for Connacht as they beat Sale Sharks 20-18 at the Sportsground.

The Ireland centre had 13 carries and 10 passes while he dominated in midfield, while his second row teammate led the forwards with his 11 carries.

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