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Aviva Premiership 2015-2016: The Top Ten Of Everything – Part 2

In the first part of this article we looked at the Premiership’s top ten tacklers, offloaders and more in last season’s Aviva Premiership competition. Now we take a look at the turnover kings, the penalty machines, the best breakers and beyond.

Top Ten Total Penalties Conceded

Nic Schonert (Worcester)    33
Henry Thomas (Bath)        30
Jamie Gibson (Northampton)     29
James Horwill (Harlequins)    29
Alex Waller (Northampton)    29
Donncha O’Callaghan (Worcester)    29
Maro Itoje (Saracens)        29
Ross Harrison (Sale)        28
Halani ‘Aulika (London Irish)    27
Ben Moon (Exeter)        25

There are some very interesting names in this list, including England second row tyro Maro Itoje (something of a tongue twister that), who gave away 29 penalties for Saracens last season. Although many England fans are eulogising about his abilities, he certainly has a number of areas to work on as he moves forwards as a player.

Worcester prop Nic Schonert leads the way in terms of penalties, but similarly Henry Thomas, Jamie Gibson, Alex Waller, Ross Harrison and more will want to improve on their stats if they are to persuade England head coach Eddie Jones that they are worthy of spots in his future Red Rose sides.

Top Ten Turnover Kings

Matt Kvesic (Gloucester)    29
Luke Wallace (Harlequins)    24
Maro Itoje (Saracens)        22
Francois Louw (Bath)        21
Dave Ward (Harlequins)        21
Val Rapava Ruskin (Worcester)    18
George Smith (Wasps)        18
Will Welch (Newcastle)        18
Taione Vea (Newcastle)        17
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath)    15

Did you expect anyone other than Kvesic to lead the way? If England are looking for a jackal at openside than Gloucester player has to be their man. With a fantastic total of 29 – or more than one a game – he guarantees his club turnover possession and therefore opportunities to attack and score. Another English openside in Luke Wallace finishes in second place, but the aforementioned Itoje is in third, highlighting his importance to both his club and country at the breakdown.

Top Ten Breaks Made

Christian Wade (Wasps)         33
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath)     30
Cooper Vuna (Worcester)        30
Telusa Veainu (Leicester)    28
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)    26
Bryce Heem (Worcester)        26
Frank Halai (Wasps)        26
Peter Betham (Leicester)    24
Vereniki Goneva (Leicester)     23
Alex Goode (Saracens)         22

Little magician Christian Wade is in first place here and given his six try heroics against Worcester last season it’s not hard to see why. With stats like he has, it won’t be long before Semesa Rokodugini is adding to the solitary cap he received against the All Blacks back in 2014.

Vereniki Goneva should prove quite some signing for Newcastle Falcons as they looked to develop more of an attacking fludity to the defensive edge they can already provide.

Top Ten Lineout Steals

Bryn Evans (Sale)    16
Don Armand (Exeter)    15
Courtney Lawes (Northampton) 8
George Kruis (Saracens) 8
Maro Itoje (Saracens) 7
Tom Croft (Leicester) 7
Ed Slater (Leicester) 6
Geoff Parling (Exeter) 6
Kearnan Myall (Wasps) 5
Calum Green (Newcastle) 5

Former All Blacks lock Bryn Evans was the best lineout ball thief last season, taking 16 of the oppositions’ throw-ins. Saxons lock Armand was in second with 15, while England locks Lawes, Kruis and Itoje make up the rest of the top five. Indeed, a prominent feature of the all-Saracens second row partnership during the Six Nations was the ability of the pair to steal lineout ball.

That’s all the stats for the time being. Let’s hope now that the 12 Premiership clubs serve up as good a feast of exciting and engaging rugby as they did last year. It’s going to be a hell of a season!

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.