Now that the dust has settled on yet another stellar Super Rugby season that saw the Crusaders claim back to back titles we take a look at who dominated the numbers during the 2018 season.
Surprisingly the Crusaders only topped the Stats in two departments on their way to the title.
The 2018 Champions scored more tries than any other side, they had the joint highest ruck percentage and they were also the joint-most yellow carded side in the competition.
The Waratahs attack was the driving force in their resurgence in 2018 as they went from 16th overall in 2017 to 3rd overall at the end of the regular season.
The Sydney-based side scored 81 tries the third highest in the competition behind the Crusaders and Lions.
The Tahs topped the charts in clean breaks (276) and metres carried (9 218) meaning that they made a clean break every 7th carry and an average of 4.31 metres per carry.
The Lions had the best lineout % this season maintaining 90.8% of their lineouts, while the Chiefs had the best scrum in the competition despite the number of injuries during the season maintaining 95% of their own ball.
1. Lions - 90.8
|1. Chiefs 95%|
2. Bulls - 89.9
|2. Blues 94%|
3. Jaguares - 88.2
|3. Crusaders 93%|
The Sharks edged the Crusaders in this department making 85.2% of their attempted tackles just 0.2% higher than the Saders.
Despite the Sharks making the highest percentage of their attempted tackles, the Crusaders' defence conceded the least amount of tries during the regular season (39) in 16 games.
1. Sharks - 85.2% (57 tries conceeded)
2. Crusaders - 85% (39 tries conceeded)
3. Chiefs - 84.6% (48 tries conceeded)
This season saw two players equal the record for the most tries scored in single Super Rugby season with George Bridge and Taqele Naiyaravoro both scoring 15 tries, while Ben Lam broke the record in the Hurricanes semi-final against the Crusaders scoring his 16th try of the season. Lions' hooker scored 12 tries this season, the highest total by a forward in the competition.
1. Ben Lam - 16
2. Taqele Naiyaravoro - 15
2. George Bridge - 15
3. Malcolm Marx - 11
Rebels no.8 Amanaki Mafi made 253 carries in 16 matches for his side making an average of 15 carries per game. Mafi made 56 carries more than his closest competitor, Andries Coetzee who played 3 games more than the Rebels loose-forward. His stats get even more impressive as he made the fourth highest running metres making 1,345 from his 253 carries meaning he averaged about 5 metres per carry.
1. Amanaki Mafi - 253
2. Andries Coetzee - 197
3. Solomon Alaimalo - 191
Northampton Saints-bound winger Taqele Naiyaravoro made 1,478 metres edging Solomon Alaimalo by just 30 metres. The pair also topped the clean breaks stats with Alaimalo getting the better of Naiyaravoro in this department by just 1 clean break more (43). Amanaki Mafi made more metres than any other forward.
1. Taqele Naiyarovo - 1 478
2. Solomon Aliamalo - 1 447
3. George Bridge 1 407
Lions lock Franco Mostert won the most lineouts throughout the season claiming 87 lineouts and made more than 13 steals, the most by any other player.
Mostert was also one of just two players to play every single minute of every game for his side with fellow teammate Elton Jantjies achieving the same feat.
1. Franco Mostert - 87
2. Richie Arnold 62
3. Lood de Jager -58
The forwards topped the offloading stats this season with Sharks' flanker Jean-Luc du Preez making 31 offloads, while Bulls second rower RG Snyman making 27.
1. Jean-Luc du Preez - 31
2. RG Snyman - 27
3. Taqele Naiyaravoro/ Jordie Barrett - 26
Waratahs first-five Bernard Foley scored more points throughout the competition scoring 223 points for the Sydney-based side, with his 25-point personal haul against the Highlanders certainly helping his cause.
1. Bernard Foley - 223
2. Robert du Preez - 215
3. Damian McKenzie - 177
The Highlanders trio of Luke Whitelock, Thomas Franklin and Dillon Hunt topped the charts in this category throughout the season but in the end, it was Lions lock Franco Mostert who topped the charts at the conclusion of the season.
1. Franco Mostert - 234
2. Matt Todd - 209
3. Luke Whitelock - 205
The ability to turn over the ball on a regular basis was key to the Lions' success this season with Kwagga Smith and Malcolm Marx topping this category with 31 and 27 turnovers respectively.
1. Kwagga Smith - 31 (1.72 per game)
2. Malcolm Marx - 27 (1.69 per game)
3. David Pocock - 23 (2.3 per game)