Rounding out On Top Of The Moon’s week of PRO14 stats it’s all about scoring. There were 348 different try scorers during the 2017/18 season. 406 players managed at least one try or assist (final pass / kick before a score). 307 men…didn’t.
That last group included the Ospreys’ trio of Bradley Davies, Olly Cracknell and James King who spent a combined 3,495 minutes on the pitch without lowering themselves to getting involved with something so disreputable to a forward as being directly involved in a try!
Everyone loves it when one of the big lads bursts through on some improbable run to the line. Unfortunately this list is rather dominated by hookers whose primary contribution is to arrive late and then hang off the back of mauls as their teammates do all the work to get them across the whitewash…
The elegant attacking stylings of Federico Ruzza are there again after his showing in the clean breaks / defenders beaten stat. The rather more brutal Jean Kleyn picked up 4 tries (no assists – why pass when there are still people to run through?) in a much more traditionally aggressive style.
James Davies only picked up a couple of tries but his 5 assists were the most by any forward in the league. The Scarlets’ openside has ridiculous skills and plays the link man role beautifully in attack to complement his excellent breakdown work in defence.
In his first season as a pro George Horne had a freakishly high level of try involvements. 7 tries and 5 assists in the league were complemented by another try and 3 assists in the Champions Cup topped with a brace of scores for Scotland. His record is particularly astounding in games he started – 20 try involvements in 12 matches.
A bit of a mix here with a few specialist centres; some 10/12s; and at least one jack-of-all-trades. There was a spell a while back where seemingly every centre was getting bigger and bigger to the point where it was hard to tell them apart from opensides. It’s nice to see room for some guys who are more about the creative skills in midfield and their frequent contributions to setting up and scoring tries.
The Cheetahs team had many faults but going forward (and particularly off loose kicks or turnovers) their back 3 was absolutely lethal at times. The pace they could bring onto the ball didn’t help too much in the close quarters’ stuff but if they got a sniff of space…they were gone.
A PRO14 select that’s all about tries. The only issue might be everyone insisting on being the one to score them…
Minimum qualification – 240 minutes played
Stats source – http://espn.co.uk match reports