Damian McKenzie was named by SANZAAR as player of the season in their Team of the Season which features four South Africans, all in the pack.
“McKenzie’s statistics are pretty impressive and earned him the fly-half spot in the Team of the Year; including beating 74 defenders and amassing 177 points during the season.” – SANZAAR
Opta Index: How does it work
The Opta Index allows genuine opportunities to compare and contrast both player and team strengths and weaknesses across Super Rugby, providing real insights pre-game as follows:
After every match Opta completes a video analysis of every touch of the ball. Each action in the match is awarded a points value depending on the relative importance of the action. So for example, a try scores more points than a tackle, but a player loses points for a missed tackle.
The points are then weighted against the score at the time when the action took place (higher points if the score is closer), the time in the match (higher points at the start of the match) and the position on the pitch where it took place (higher points for actions closer to the goal line).
The player is then given a score for the match by adding up all his actions while he was on the field. The total match score is then weighted to take account of the strength of the opposition so that performances across many matches can be judged fairly.
Scored nine tries in his final eight games of the season, and made 11.4 carries per game – the most of any outside back (min 10 games).
Made more clean breaks (43) than any other player, while only Taqele Naiyaravoro (1,478) gained more metres than the Chiefs’ flyer (1,447).
Beat 53 defenders, made 22 offloads, and was one of just three outside centres to make five or more clean breaks in a single game.
Finished the campaign with 22 clean breaks and 56 defenders beaten – a team-high in each category.
Scored a club-record 15 tries in a single season and gained the third most metres of any player in the competition.
Beat a joint-high 74 defenders for the season, kicked 62/80 goals, and scored more points (177) than any other New Zealand-based player.
Was directly involved in 10 tries for the campaign (4 tries, 6 assists), and won 11 turnovers – four more than any other scrum half.
Beat a joint-high 74 defenders while no forward made more clean breaks (18) than the Blues back row, he also scored the second most tries of any forward (8).
Jean-Luc du Preez
Made 31 offloads for the campaign, four more than any other player in the competition.
Won 13 turnovers (five more than he conceded) and was one of just three players to average 10+ carries and 10+ tackles per game.
Lodewyk De Jager
Won 63 lineouts for the season, the equal third most of any player in the competition, including five lineout steals.
Only two forwards (Marx, A Ioane) scored more tries than Retallick (6) this season, who also made 17 offloads and 106 carries.
No prop forward scored more tries (4) or beat more defenders (24) than the Reds’ Taniela Tupou.
Marx scored 12 tries – the most of any forward in a single Super Rugby season while he won the second most turnovers of any player (27).
Made the most carries (117) and beat the second most defenders (17) of any prop.