Stats show Wasps' real sting

Wed, 24 May 2017 13:24
Large jimmy gopperth wasps breaks 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Wasps rounded off an unbeaten campaign at the Ricoh Arena and booked their place in the Premiership Final with a dramatic late win against Leicester Tigers in their semifinal.

Their Twickenham clash with Exeter Chiefs will mark the fifth time they have reached the Final and, rather worryingly for Rob Baxter, they have won each of the previous four.

Wing Josh Bassett may have scored the decisive try but it was powerful No.8 Nathan Hughes who was perhaps the most influential - as he racked up 23 carries in the match, more than any other Wasps player this season.

The England international also carried for 84 metres - the third highest of all players across the semifinals, trailing only Leicester Tigers fullback Telusa Veainu and Exeter Chiefs powerhouse Thomas Waldrom.

Waldrom carried 21 times and halting him is part of the reason Saracens dominated the tackle count - occupying the top nine spots.

Schalk Burger and Vincent Koch both made 24 tackles, while Billy Vunipola, Duncan Taylor, George Kruis, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Jackson Wray all made more than the next non-Saracens players, Exeter Chiefs' duo Kai Horstmann and Geoff Parling with 13.

But with ball-in-hand, nobody could beat Premiership Player of the Year Jimmy Gopperth - as he beat nine defenders, three more than his Wasps teammate Thomas Young.

Gopperth's accuracy from the kicking tee will make him vital on Saturday, as Wasps hope to stop the in-form Chiefs - who are bidding to equal Leicester Tigers' record of 17 Premiership matches unbeaten.

The two sides have met three times already this season, winning one each and drawing the third.
Selected semifinal top performers
Metres made:
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) - 123
Mike Ellery (Saracens) - 87
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) - 84
Phil Dollman (Exeter Chiefs) - 73
Carries made:
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) - 23
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) - 21
Billy Vunipola (Saracens) - 19
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs) - 16
Defenders beaten:
Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps) - 9
Thomas Young (Wasps) - 6
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) - 5
Billy Vunipola (Saracens) - 5
Tackles made:
Schalk Burger (Saracens) - 24
Vincent Kock (Saracens) - 24
Billy Vunipola (Saracens) - 21
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) - 21


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Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 17 12 0 5 61
Wasps 17 11 1 5 54
Saracens 17 11 0 6 53
Newcastle Falcons 17 11 0 6 50
Leicester Tigers 17 10 0 7 47
Gloucester 17 9 1 7 46
Bath 17 9 0 8 45
Sale Sharks 17 8 0 9 43
Harlequins 17 7 0 10 36
Northampton Saints 17 6 0 11 31
Worcester Warriors 17 5 0 12 27
London Irish 17 2 0 15 15