Home Rugby Analysing The Premiership’s Top Stat Champions

Analysing The Premiership’s Top Stat Champions

The 2015/16 Premiership campaign is done and dusted but that means there’s time to investigate and see who excelled across each area of the game over the last season.

So let’s dive in…

Tackles

Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) – 230
Julian Salvi (Exeter Chiefs) – 229
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) – 226

There was a heavy cry from the north of England for Wilson to be taken on the Saxons tour to South Africa and it’s not hard to see why.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 17:  Luke Narraway of London Irish is tackled by Will Welch and Mark Wilson (R) during the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and London Irish at Kingston Park on April 17, 2016 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wilson’s name came up in conversation during Newcastle’s crucial run of home wins over Bath, Harlequins, Leicester and Northampton. His team-mate Will Welch wasn’t far behind.

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Carries

Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 327
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) – 260
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) – 257

A surprise? Not really, because “The Tank” was used tirelessly by the Chiefs this season to get over the gain line from the backs of scrums and mauls.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Trivento Top Try Scorer, Thomas Waldrom of Exeter Chiefs poses for a picture during the Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards at Hilton Park Lane on May 18, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Premiership Rugby)

In a remarkable season where the number eight also finished as the Premiership’s top try scorer, Waldrom took home this category by a country mile.

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Metres Made

Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) – 1796m
Alex Goode (Saracens) – 1560m
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) – 1549m

Pennell’s time with England may have ended with the departure of Stuart Lancaster, but this stat proves how his consistently assured performances in the Premiership haven’t disappeared despite Worcester’s time in the Championship.

EXETER, ENGLAND - APRIL 02:  Chris Pennell of Worcester Warriors during the Aviva Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and Worcester Warriors at Sandy Park on April 2, 2016 in Exeter, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Those sorts of figures for carries and metres are Ben Smith-esque.

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Lineouts Won

Jamie Gibson (Northampton Saints) – 112
Sean Robinson (Newcastle Falcons) – 93
Bryn Evans (Sale Sharks) – 87

Swapping East Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers for Northampton Saints was one of the most surprising moves of the last off-season, and Gibson has quietly gone about his work in Northampton’s back row during a mixed season.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Jamie Gibson of Northampton looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between Northampton Saints and Bath at Franklin's Gardens on April 30, 2016 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Renowned at Welford Road and before that at London Irish for his link play and work over the breakdown, there’s no one close to him in this category. A sign of his versatility. Not involved with the Saxons.

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Defenders Beaten

Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) – 75
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) – 68
Will Addison (Sale Sharks) – 64

What a signing Veainu proved to be for Leicester. Catching the eye with his performances at the Rugby World Cup, scoring twice in the win over Namibia, Veainu was a late-season recruit by the Tigers and more than delivered, signing a new contract back in January after scoring six tries in his first eleven games.

BARNET, ENGLAND - MAY 21:  Telusa Veainu of Leicester passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership semi final match between Saracens and Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park on May 21, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

His footwork has been outstanding, as evidenced here. Rokoduguni meanwhile deserved to be on the plane to Australia.

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Turnovers Won

Matt Kvesic (Gloucester) – 29
Luke Wallace (Harlequins) – 24
Maro Itoje (Saracens) – 22

Off the bench against Wales there was little more Kvesic could do to impress. Another heading to South Africa, England’s closest answer to a fetcher over the last few years unsurprisingly grabs top spot here.

WORCESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:    Matt Kvesic of Gloucester Rugby breaks against Worcester Warriors during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Gloucester Rugby at Sixways Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Worcester, England.  (Photo by David Jones/Getty Images)

Maro Itoje, despite missing a number of games away with England, impressively lands in the top three.

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Clean Breaks

Christian Wade (Wasps) – 33
Semesa Rokduguni (Bath Rugby) – 30
Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors) – 29

The Saxons will certainly have plenty of firepower out wide when they take on South Africa ‘A’ with Wade and Rokoduguni lining up on each wing.

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Christian Wade of Wasps touches down a try during the Aviva Premiership match between Wasps and London Irish at the Ricoh Arena on May 07, 2016 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Wade has improved his kicking and defence over the last season but his trademark remains his ability to wreck the complicated plans of the best defence coaches. Those six tries against Worcester were very special.

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Ben Coles, Pundit Arena

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