So you’ve selected your fantasy rugby squad without looking at our stats, and you can’t edit your team? Bummer.

Now I know a lot of people say that stats mean nothing, and I agree that it’s the scoreboard that speaks at the end of the day, but I’m also the kind of guy who likes to be informed about how players are spending their time on the field, and who isn’t pulling their own weight.

There are a lot of different stats sites out there, and in the days of modern technology, there’s information available on pretty much any kind of stat you’re looking for, but the one fundamental flaw that most of these sites have, is that they don’t take into account the amount of time that each player spends on the field, nor the time of “Active Play” (when the ball is “live”, all stoppages aside).

What I’m getting at, is that, how can a guy who spent the last 20 minutes on the field make the same kind of statistical impact as one who played the full 80 minutes?

For example, let’s look at the No. 10s:

Elton Jantjies, of the Lions, made the most running metres with ball in hand, with a total of 173.7m, and spent a full 80 minutes on the field.
His counterpart, Johan Goosen, of the Cheetahs, made a total running metres with ball in hand of 151.3m, but only spent 57 minutes on the field.
So Jantjies had a higher overall total, but if you take into account the total time each player had of “Active Play” (where the ball is live, all stopages aside), the results are very different.

Jantjies had 33.1 minutes of “Active Play”, whilst Goosen had 23.6 minutes with the ball being live.

So in the end, what we are trying to achieve here, is who actually used their time on the field, with the ball in “Active Play”, more effectively? If you do the maths, it means that, had the ball been “Active” for a full 80 minutes, and all things the same, Goosen would have come out tops on 512.88 running metres with ball in hand. Savvy?

Now, I realise some “die hard” statisticians may say that this too is not the mathematically correct way of looking at things, firstly because the ball isn’t live for 80 minutes, and secondly, all things may not have carried on in the same manner for 80 minutes.

I do however feel that it is the best way of reaching our desired outcome of who uses their time in “Active Play” to the fullest?

Note:

  • Only players who were on the field for longer that 10 minutes are considered. Those who weren’t have N/A next to their names.
  • The top 2 and bottom 2 stats for each section are highlighted in green and red respectively

No. 1:

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 No. 2:

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 No. 3:

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 No. 4:

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No. 5:

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 No. 6:

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No. 7:

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 No. 8:

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 No. 9:

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 No. 10:

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 No. 11:

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 No. 12:

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 No.13:

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 No. 14:

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 No. 15:

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