Apr 14, 2014
Saracens vs Northampton - The stats
Saracens defeated Northampton Saints 28-24 at Allianz Park on Sunday afternoon to move ten points clear at the summit of the Aviva Premiership.
The match was billed to be a tight affair, and judging by the final score it was very much the close contest that many predicted. In truth the game was open with the Premiership's top two sides both looking to play an expansive, enterprising brand of rugby. This was reflected in the statistics, with both sides cumulatively missing 35 tackles and making 12 clean breaks in the game.
Saracens were the most dangerous of the two sides in attack with Mark McCall's side making seven clean breaks, offloading 18 times in the tackle whilst accumulating 396 metres with ball in hand.
In amongst an impressive team performance that Mark McCall described as one of the best he's seen from his side all season, were some strong individual displays. Here Henry Fraser looks at some of the players that stood out in yesterday’s win.
Mako Vunipola - In a match where the forward battle would decide the outcome of the match Mako Vunipola played a massive part in proving this. The stats have him down as one of the games top performers. Ball in hand he took a lot of ball at first receiver and forced to carry in tight and ground out hard yards, he made a total of 9 carries, second most in the forwards. Mako also put in a great effort in defence up front. The Saints carried close in the forwards and Mako made 7 tackles, the third most in the forwards. He put in this huge effort despite only being on the pitch for 57 minutes.
Marcelo Bosch - A man of the match performance was definitely backed up by his stats. Bosch was the second highest carrying back with 9 carries, but had the greatest success with ball in hand in the team. In those 9 carries he beat 5 defenders as well as averaging over 5.5 metre gain per carry and scored a try. His constant gains gave Sarries great front foot ball to attack from and really put the opposition on the back foot which allowed Sarries free flowing attack. His monstrous long range penalty gave Sarries breathing space during the first half.
Richard Wigglesworth - The scrum-half might not be an obvious but his stats show the impact of the bench and the hard work put in throughout the team. Coming on for Neil de Kock (who had another impressive display in his 201st Saracens appearance) Wigglesworth only got the chance to make 2 carries, but however did average 10 metres gain on those carries. The players coming off the bench were more involved in a defensive effort for Sarries. He made 7 tackles, the fifth most in the team and only missed one. With the other substitutes making nearly the same amount of tackles it showed great resolve during the Saints best attacking moments.