Head to Head: Perenara v De Klerk

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 12:41
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SUPER RUGBY FINAL: Scrumhalves TJ Perenara and Francois de Klerk have both been influential in their respective teams' journeys to the Super Rugby Final. 

Both have produced world-class performances during the Super Rugby season and both were sometimes the difference between their teams losing and winning.

They put their teams on the front foot with excellent distribution on attack and their decision-making in high pressure situations has been exceptional, particularly in this season's play-offs.

Perenara is the more experienced of the two in terms of caps, in Super Rugby and on the international stage. He also has a proven track-record in big games.

However, De Klerk has shown in his team's play-off wins against the Crusaders and the Highlanders that he is a man for the big occasions as well.

The 24-year-old from Nelspruit has been one of the best players in Super Rugby with ball in hand. However, he also knows that his kicking game will need to be spot on in the Cake Tin (Westpac Stadium) to help keep a dangerous Hurricanes side at bay during the 80 minutes.

"It's definitely going to be a hard game," said De Klerk. "We have to make sure that we kick well - we know that they [Hurricanes] have a good counterattack so we don't want to give them too much ball. 

"We have to make sure that we make the right decisions in the right areas of the field.

"We set our personal standards very high to kick better, especially in last week's game [against the Highlanders]. "I think the kicking was on point, but there are a few things where we can do better."

Perenara leads the way in terms of minutes played betwen the two in this year's competition and therefore he also leads the way in most statistics.

However, one area where De Klerk does beat Perenara this season is in try assists. De Klerk has had a hand in 11 tries this season and scoring four. Perenara has scored seven tries this season and assisted in seven others as well.

Head-to-head - key stats:

Perenara versus De Klerk
Minutes played: 1209 v 976
Tries: Seven v Four
Points: 35 v 20
Carries: 107 v 76
Clean breaks: 20 v 9
Defenders beaten: 17 v 9
Metres run: 621 v 394
Offloads: Eight v 12
Try assists: Seven v 11
Tackles made: 66 v 33
Missed tackles: 23 v 12
Kicks from hand: 80 v 62
Handling errors: 32 v 35
Knock-ons: 32 v 35
Penalties conceded: Zero v three

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