Guinness PRO14 Opta stats: Gray, Evans and Gibson-Park star in Round 20

Joe Leavey
17 April 2019

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Round 20 of the Guinness PRO14 will forever be remembered for some record-breaking numbers.

The penultimate weekend of regular season action, Connacht booked their place in the Final Series and Dan Evans once again underlined his credentials as a try-machine.

But it was at the RDS Arena where spectators were blessed by a truly remarkable display of defensive rugby.

GLASGOW WARRIORS SHOW BITE

Jonny Gray set a Guinness PRO14 record when he made 43 tackles against a stunned Leinster Rugby side this weekend.

But he wasn’t the only Glasgow Warriors player to shine – Matt and Zander Fagerson made 33 and 26 tackles apiece, and Fraser Brown had 28 in a brilliant win for the Scottish side.

To complete the list, Scott Cummings and Rob Harley both put in 27 tackles, while Adam Ashe made 26 to ensure a Warriors clean sweep of the stats.

Most tackles in Round 20 of the Guinness PRO14

Jonny Gray (Glasgow) – 43

Matt Fagerson (Glasgow) – 33

Fraser Brown (Glasgow) – 28

Scott Cummings (Glasgow) – 27

Rob Harley (Glasgow) – 27

CONNACHT SHOW NERVE TO SECURE WIN

Healy may have scored himself after excellent pressure from his Connacht side forced a mistake, but it was his ability to break through the lines which caught the eye.

In a match where Cardiff Blues dominated possession, carries and territory, Healy was crucial as an outlet – he led his team in metres gained with 55.


Equal to him was Ulster Rugby’s Rob Lyttle – the speedster dotted down his side’s third in the victory against Glasgow Warriors after a brilliant break downfield.

Credit must also go to Dan Evans – who notched three tries along with three clean breaks – and Scarlets’ Ioan Nicholas, whose two late forays helped embellish his side’s win.

Most clean breaks in Round 20 of the Guinness PRO14

Matt Healy (Connacht) – 4

Rob Lyttle (Ulster) – 4

Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 3

Dan Evans (Ospreys) – 3

Shan Venter (Cheetahs) – 3

EVANS THE STAR ONCE AGAIN

After the Ospreys full-back scored four phenomenal tries against Dragons last month, fans were hoping the Welshman could single-handedly lead his team to glory.

Despite his best efforts, the Guinness PRO14 Final Series places are already decided for Conference A – but that wasn’t going to stop Evans.

Three tries and six defenders beaten supplemented a brilliant all-round performance from the 30-year-old as he led the league in metres gained with 129.

He edged out Zebre Rugby trio Edoardo Padovani – their best offensive player on a day where his side struggled to break through – Paula Balekana and Renato Giammarioli, who both did well to relieve pressure.

Metres gained in Round 20 of the Guinness PRO14

Dan Evans (Ospreys) – 129

Edoardo Padovani (Zebre) – 125

Renato Giammarioli (Zebre) – 122

Keelan Giles (Ospreys) – 107

Paula Balekana (Zebre) – 104

GIBSON-PARK KEEPS THINGS TICKING

His side may have lost, but Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park could not have been faulted for his efforts.

The scrum-half recorded 125 passes in the Glasgow Warriors defeat, beating out Edinburgh’s Henry Pyrgos, who also reached a century and led all players in kicking out of hand.

Falling just short of three digits were Ulster’s John Cooney and Benetton’s Dewaldt Duvenage.

Most passes made in Round 20 of the Guinness PRO14

Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) – 125

Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 100

John Cooney (Ulster) – 98

Dewaldt Duvenage (Benetton) – 90

Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) – 86

The Guinness PRO14 Final is one of the most entertaining games in the rugby calendar and takes place in Glasgow’s Celtic Park on May 25. Tickets start at just £25 for adults, £1 for kids. Visit www.pro14rugby.org/finaltickets

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