Stats back Le Roux’s flair


This one is specially for Americano but frankly the only stats I care about is how long Super Rugby Cheerleaders can dance



Springbok and Cheetahs fullback Willie le Roux features in the Top 5 in almost every Vodacom Super Rugby statistical category.

But Le Roux must look to patch up his defensive deficiencies if he wants to be a certainty for Springbok selection this year.

Le Roux had a stratospheric 2013 which culminated in his selection for the Springboks and winning the SARU Player’s Player of the Year Award.

Most critics agreed that Le Roux added an ‘X-factor’ to the Springbok backline and gave them an attacking dimension that they otherwise lacked.

The 24-year-old has been given free rein in the Boks and Cheetahs set-up to go with his attacking instincts and demonstrate his attacking flair, which he has done with aplomb.

As of Week 10 of Super Rugby, Le Roux leads the Super Rugby stats* with most carries, most metres gained and the third highest offload count in the competition, he is also in the Top 10 list in the clear breaks category, clearly demonstrating his willingness to attack and his ability to create opportunities for those around him.

However, Le Roux also has one unenviable stat to his name: he has missed the fourth most tackles of any player thus far in the competition.

Last year, Le Roux was a rock on defence, both for the Springboks and the Cheetahs, finishing well outside the unwanted accolade of the list of the 20 worst tacklers in Super Rugby.

Admittedly, Le Roux hasn’t been helped by the Cheetahs’ tendency to kick possession away, let their opposition control possession and rely on their defence to get them out of trouble, with most Cheetahs players having to make more tackles than the average Super Rugby team, but on the other hand his positive statistics are also boosted by the fact that the Cheetahs rely heavily on him to create attacking opportunities.

However, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer asks a lot of his Springbok team defensively and he will expect Le Roux to improve his defensive effort for the rest of the season if he hopes to retain his place as the first-choice Springbok fullback in this year’s Rugby Championship.

Willie le Roux’s relevant stats:

Kicks from hand:

105: Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)
87: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
79: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)
72: Will Genia (Reds)
69: Marnitz Boshoff (Lions)

Metres run:

789: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
597: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)
584: Julian Savea (Hurricanes)
562: Charles Piutau (Blues)
519: Jason Woodward (Rebels)

Clean breaks:

11: Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes)
11: Israel Folau (Waratahs)
11: Julian Savea (Hurricanes)
9: Ryan Crotty (Crusaders)
8: Willie le Roux


105: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
97: Charles Piutau (Blues)
91: Ben Smith (Highlanders)
89: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)
86: Israel Dagg (Crusaders)


18: Israel Folau (Waratahs)
16: Quade Cooper (Reds)
15: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
15: Faf de Klerk (Lions)
15: Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs)

Missed tackles:

17: Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
16: Stefan Watermeyer (Lions)
15: Nic White (Brumbies)
14: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
14: Johan Goosen (Cheetahs)

* Stats obtained from the Vodacom Rugby Stats App.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Avant-garde posting Bunny. Each day you’re growing more & more discerning in your article selections.
    I can speak for myself & surely Bryce from Australia when I say…Awesome.

    Statistical study has always underscored the Messerschmitt’s brilliance.

    Cheetahs defensive structure this year has to be organized by a Somalian because it resembles that post-apocalyiptic land’s mess to a T.

    Willie as the last line of defense is a modern day King Leonaidas of Sparta…trying in vain to keep out the filthy hordes. Who gives that guy crap for succumbing – against all odds?
    I will answer that for you….Nobody. In fact he’s a hero who has had books & movies made about his struggle.

    So too Messerschmitt-Willie. Articles like these provide further proof to something we all have recognized for quite some time…Willie is a hero & SA WC hopes rest firmly on his broad shoulders.

  2. He is too small for a 15
    For 80 min.
    Yes he can run.
    And inspiringly so .
    A full back must make tackles
    and I’m afraid that his body wont allow for it
    against twenty odd kilos plus continuously .
    Either injuries or leak tries.
    Go further with tje stats…
    How many of his missed tackles resulted in
    Points for oppo.
    What’s the point scoring less than you leak?
    Entertainment ?

  3. Only 2 games I saw him thus far: he missed one on one half-hearted tackles that led directly to tries; and his only option in 90% of situations was to kick crappy up and udders! He seems to be “saving” himself in poor team. Much like 20 Stormers….

  4. Duiwel – what’s the opposite of suurgat?
    I would ask that you respond based on that & with Leigh Halfpenny in mind. Large swathes ( not all but a shocking amount ) of reality is based solely on focus/pov.

    Bekke- Interesting that you say that about saving. I’ve gotten that notion as well in some of the games. I think we may both be geniuses
    Hope Willie stays safe during these hidings.

  5. I want everyone to know that I’m ok with Messerschmitt @ wing.
    I think HM is loving seeing him @ FB this year because he is fixing to deploy him there to do this….

    I think that last game vs CCells showed how shutdown Willie was when paired with Henny Penny Daniller ( who is perenially solid & just gets it done no flash style).
    I thought that component of Cheetahs game was a NewZealandy rabbit NakaDrotske pulled from his hat for Jake’s Zee-Bull gameplan last week.

  6. Opposite of suurgat is blygat.
    Willie is a great talent.
    Every now and then we turn them out
    Brian habana ,Russell ect.
    Habana is a legend.
    Russell went away and did well for a while.
    SH games needs the guys in the line
    Between 86 kg plus.
    Otherwise they are injury prone.
    Even at a good height and weight we have them
    for max two years before the injuries set in.

    I like willie.
    He runs like the wind.
    But i doubt his defensive capabilities
    and will always worry that after taking or giving
    a big hit
    he will be injured.
    That could disrupt the team.
    I’d play him in as a second half impact player like michalak
    Yo preserve him and have the team benefit from his
    running ability.

    I would not build a plan around him
    for above mentioned reasons in a WC campaign.
    Use him sparingly-conserve him,
    and let his running spirit rub off on others.

  7. I like Willie at flyhalve. His defensive weakness will be covered by the forwards (they have protected Mof Steyn for ages!) and his dangerous breaks will pull the defense closer to the rucks (where today they all go for our crash boom bang centres!). With a supportive nippy scrumhalve (where do we find that???) we may just keep a few teams guessing for 80 minutes. His kicking out of hand is also better than most 10’s playing for us in supershit.

  8. Willie is on record that he far prefers
    fullback to any other position.
    And since were rid of the underperforming
    Kirchner he should make 15 his own.

    I see no other candidate with the exception
    of Frans Steyn, who may slot in at centre
    or even 10.

  9. 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) Weight 90 kg (14 st 2 lb) Paul Roos Gymnasium….the notion of a smaller player been injured by a bigger is offset by technique….which a most of our bigger players lack. Guys like Gio have technique.

    Do like the idea of Willie at Flyhalf and steyns torpedoes at fullback and they can interchange which is the key to unlocking defensive patterns which is unpredictability.