The Numbers Game - all the 2016 - 2017 facts and figures

19.5.2017

The Numbers Game - all the 2016 - 2017 facts and figures
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stats_review_2016-17_1.docx
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docx
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We have come to the end of a long and disjointed season, and in the clubhouse after the RGC game there was a palpable sense of relief that the whole thing was over and done with.

In many ways it was a season that will be remembered more for the trouble with the pitch rather than for the troubles on the pitch. A dodgy scrum (although it did improve towards the end), and a propensity to leak tries through errors and poor first up tackling, made things very difficult for us. Anyway, for those who have not lost the will to live, I have attached a review of the season’s statistics.

I have started with the results and league tables, and they do not make for happy reading after the successes of recent years. In the preliminary and Tier 1 rounds of the Premiership we won 13 games and lost 9, and in the Foster’s Challenge Trophy our campaign fizzled out like a can of stale lager. The National Cup was the only bright spot in the gloom, although we did our best to lose it against Cross Keys in the semi-final. The final was a different tale, though, and the team battled well to narrowly lose a thrilling game.

On page four you will find a summary of our results since the start of the semi-professional era in 2003-04. Last season, overall, we won 19 and lost 14, which was our worse season since 2009-2010, and in fact marginally our worst performance in the new era. I will leave you to mull over the data, but one figure that stands out for me is the tries for – tries against ratio. We scored a lot of very good tries (116), but we let in more tries last season than ever before (97).

In terms of appearances last season, the stand out people are Mitch Auger (30), Dale Stuckey (29), Chris Dicomidis and Joe Popple (27), and Rhys Shellard (26). The last named has been one of my heroes of the season, always giving 200%, always a nuisance at the breakdown, and always going forward. In terms of points, one man shines above all the rest, and that is young Ceri Sweeney (189, including 9 tries). The even younger Callum Hall also did well, with 86 points, and probably deserved better treatment than he got from the selectors. In terms of tries, one man stands out, and that is the mercurial Dale Stuckey (15 tries). He is a joy to watch as he roams about the field, cropping up anywhere and everywhere, always crossing the gain line, sometimes running into a brick wall, but often crossing the try line.

Anyway, a difficult season, but we did get to a cup final, and finished fifth overall in the league. Not bad, but not as good as we have come to expect. Things might have been a bit different had we not lost Dan Godfrey, Jake Thomas, and Dafydd Lockyer through injuries at a crucial stage in the season, and we also badly missed Ceri Sweeney in a few key games towards the end.

One interesting point for me is that the teams that finished in the top five places after the preliminary round also finished in the top five places in Tier 1. Al1 the fuss and nonsense of the new so-called ‘structure’ to the Premiership made little difference in the end, except that it deprived those teams in Tier 2 of an opportunity to play against better opposition and show their worth. It also deprived some of them of the huge home gates they get when Ponty turn up to play them!

Alun Granfield

*Stats Review of the season attached

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