RE: Boks to be owned "down under"
September 01, 2013, 04:17:34
Hooper needs to up his work rate if he wants to be the GOAT. Been comprehensively out-worked by McCaw
Michael Hooper update
Last week I showed you some statistics comparing the work rate of Michael Hooper with Richie McCaw. Some readers suggested it was wrong to question the performance of one of the Wallabies’ best players, particularly when other commentators were praising him so highly. Others complained that I hadn’t included involvements in defensive rucks in that comparison so it was misleading and unfair to Hooper.
After the second match I’ve updated the numbers to include defensive rucks for both matches.
Looking back to previous articles I’ve written I undertook exactly the same analysis comparing David Pocock’s work rate on the same basis against McCaw after the 2011 RWC semi-final between the Wallabies and All Blacks. I thought it may be interesting to update the current analysis by including that data.
The data for Hooper and McCaw in 2013 in the graph below is on a ‘Per 80 Minute’ basis across both Bledisloe matches. Both Pocock and McCaw played the full 80 minutes in the 2011 match so the numbers are a good comparison.
New Zealand’s Richie McCaw, top, gets the upper hand on his open side counterpart Australia’s Michael Hooper during the first Bledisloe Cup Test in 2013 (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Whilst Hooper is a good player this shows how much the Wallabies miss a player like Pocock who can really challenge McCaw.
In 153 minutes of rugby over the two matches so far this season McCaw had 115 involvements (17 carries, 32 attempted tackles, 39 attacking rucks and 27 defensive rucks) whereas Hooper played 156 minutes and had 64 involvements (10 carries, 12 attempted tackles, 25 attacking rucks and 17 defensive rucks). McCaw’s involvements over the two matches were 80% higher than that of Hooper.
In the second match Hooper had fewer involvements than in the first match and had less than half the involvements of McCaw – 28 compared to 59!
McCaw looks fresh after his recent sabbatical and remains the benchmark number seven in world rugby. Regardless of the terrific work Hooper does at times for the Wallabies he doesn’t have the ‘incredible’ work rate many claim he has and if he can lift his work rate it will be a real bonus for the Wallabies.