Northampton Saints travel to the North East to lock horns with Newcastle Falcons on Monday evening, and we’ve crunched the numbers ahead of the Round 19 Gallagher Premiership clash.
While Newcastle make the fewest metres per game in the Gallagher Premiership, they still have one of the league’s top attackers in Ben Stevenson.
The young winger goes into Monday night’s game fresh off a try-scoring performance in a home victory over Irish, and having clocked up 568 metres for the season – enough to put Stevenson among the Gallagher Premiership’s top 25 for 2020/21.
Up front meanwhile, only Hanro Liebenberg (92) has won more lineouts this season than Falcons’ Greg Peterson (84) and Sean Robinson (65), with Saints’ own David Ribbans not far behind (65).
Robinson is also a threat at the breakdown, where he has won nine turnovers, a total only Sam Matavesi can better from a Northampton perspective (11).
Two of the cleanest sides in the Premiership will lock horns on Monday evening, with only Worcester boasting a better disciplinary record when it comes to penalties conceded.
The Warriors have given up 175 this term at an average of 10.9 per match. Saints are next in line (177 at 11.8) just fractionally better off than the Falcons (179 at 11.9).
The two sides also show up well when it comes to cards as two of only three sides not to see a red so far this term. Only Bristol (5 yellow, 0 red) are better off than Newcastle (6 yellow, 0 red) and Northampton (9 yellow, 0 red).
TIME IN POSSESSION
The stats suggest two completely different styles of play for Monday evening, with Falcons favouring a possession-dominated game and Saints happy to spend time without the ball.
Exeter and Bristol are the only teams who enjoy more possession on average than Dean Richards’ side, while the men in Black, Green and Gold are right at the other end of the scale, above only Bath.
Phases per try also back this up, with Falcons scoring the fewest from first phase ball but fairing very well when the play goes beyond four stanzas (32 of 40 scored).
On the flipside, the bulk of their tries conceded (21 of 47) have come from set-plays, an area where the visitors are particularly potent (18 of 48 scored).