Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Stats Off for the Creme de la Prem
I love statistics I do. When I saw that stats gurus Opta had revealed their Guinness Premiership team of the season I almost yelped with excitement.
Why do I love number crunching so much?
Well, stats might never paint the full picture, but they also never lie.
So which players have been at the top of their game based on all 22 rounds of the league?
Here is Opta's team of the year:
15 Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)
14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 Ben Jacobs (London Wasps)
12 Brad Barritt (Saracens)
11 Bruce Reihana (Northampton Saints)
10 Jimmy Gopperth (Newcastle Falcons)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1 Soane Tonga'uiha (Northampton Saints)
2 Schalk Brits (Saracens)
3 Carl Hayman (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Erik Lund (Leeds Carnegie)
5 Marco Wentzel (Leeds Carnegie)
And Leeds Carnegie's dominance in the set piece is shown with skipper Marco Wentzel crowned top lineout stealer. His second row partner, Erik Lund, also features for his line breaking and tackling stats.
I could go on all day and bore you with the numbers, but if you're interested in all that you can click the link above and read all about it.
One thing I will say - it really is true that stats never lie. Four of the five nominees for Guinness Premiership player of the season make it into the team. Brits, Dowson, Armitage and Tonga'uhia are all there. Only Sarries' Ernst Joubert misses out.
I wonder if Martin Johnson is regretting his crazy decision not to take Phil Dowson to Australia this summer yet?
Looking at the numbers, I know I would be if I was in his (humongous) shoes...