Fifth-placed Northampton Saints hit the road this weekend as they travel to Sixways to play Worcester Warriors, and we’ve crunched the numbers ahead of the Round 15 Gallagher Premiership encounter with the race for the top four heating up...
In Nick David, Worcester have one of the Premiership’s most potent attacking stars.
The winger has made a staggering 732 metres with ball in hand (2nd), making 22 clean breaks (2nd) and passing 38 defenders (5th) in the process. David’s stats are made all the more impressive given the usual dominance of players from top four sides in these areas.
On the other side of the ball, unsurprisingly the Warriors’ back row is one to keep an eye on. Matt Kvesic ranks in the top five for turnovers won this season (9), also leading his side for tackles (118). Alongside him, the hard-working Ted Hill has made an equally impressive 107 tackles, adding 131 carries for good measure.
Saints will have to work hard to shut down Worcester’s key men if they want to leave Sixways with a win on Saturday.
CONVERSION IS KEY
The stats would suggest that while Worcester are currently bottom of the Gallagher Premiership, there’s plenty of attacking threat if the Warriors can click.
Alan Solomons’ side have consistently ‘out-attacked’ their opposition this season (on paper, at least) racking up 385 metres with ball in hand each game versus 362 metres against. They have also made considerably more clean breaks (9.8) than they have allowed (6.7).
That said, with their tries for and against reading 23 to 42, it will be the taking rather than the making of chances that could prove vital against Saints.
After what could probably be described as honours even in the scrum last weekend against Bristol, Saints come up against another of the league’s most consistent set-pieces on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors have secured 95.4% of ball on their own put-in – a number only bettered by the Bears – and with the two sides also conceding the fewest scrum pens in the league (Worcester 14, Saints 21), another stalemate could well be in the offing.
A look at the visitors’ stats though would suggest an ability to disrupt opposition ball, with sides playing against Northampton only winning 87% of their own scrums and giving up eight penalties – the most in the Premiership.