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Opta stats for Aviva Premiership Rugby: Round 16

Harlequins did not have quite enough in reserve to beat reigning champions Northampton Saints last weekend but Charlie Walker and Marland Yarde left Franklin’s Gardens with much credit in the bank.

According to Opta statistics for Aviva Premiership Rugby, Walker and England international Yarde both topped the charts for defenders beaten, having blazed past eight and seven respectively.

But it was a case of déjà vu for Conor O'Shea's men – they lost at Big Game 7 to Saints earlier this season despite posting a stat line of 32 defenders beaten to the East Midlands side's four.

In a further sign of progress for Quins, who have not won in Aviva Premiership Rugby since January 10, hooker Dave Ward totalled a round-best six turnovers.

Jordan Crane was once again the star for Leicester Tigers, posting 22 carries after last weekend's 19 to help down Sale Sharks.

The No.8 also produced ten tackles, three offloads and even a steal in a 28-8 win, the Tigers' biggest margin of victory at Welford Road in Aviva Premiership Rugby since March 2014.

However Sale did benefit from an in-form Magnus Lund, the back-row clear at the top of the round's charts with 20 tackles made.

Yarde broke the 100-metre mark for Quins on Saturday but Alex Lewington made the most of the round with 132, in the process of scoring a hat-trick of tries against London Welsh.

He helped London Irish return not only to winning ways but scoring form, their eight tries in the game as many as they'd had over their previous seven Aviva Premiership Rugby matches combined.

Many Wasps players appear in this week's round of statistics but none so more often than Nathan Hughes, who carried 13 times, racked up 60 yards and made three offloads and turnovers apiece.

Collectively Wasps gained more than 400 metres and picked up their seventh try bonus-point of the season, as their honeymoon in Coventry continued with a win over Gloucester Rugby.

Elsewhere Sam Burgess made an impact in a losing cause for Bath Rugby, his five offloads the most of the round, as Exeter Chiefs notched their third league win in a row having denied their opponents a losing bonus point in all of them.

But the Chiefs couldn't keep Semesa Rokoduguni quiet as the winger beat six defenders and four breaks in a typically powerful display.

Saracens were run close by Newcastle Falcons but victory means they have now beaten the men from the North East ten times in a row in Aviva Premiership Rugby – and benefitted this weekend through Al Hargreaves' round-leading three stolen line-outs.
 
Selected Opta statistics for Round 16:

Tackles:
Magnus Lund (Sale Sharks) 20
Andy Saull, Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), Calum Clark (Northampton Saints) 16
Conor Gilsenan (London Irish), Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) 15

Carries:
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) 22
Opeti Fonua (London Welsh) 17
Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Ben Ransom (Saracens) 15

Metres:
Alex Lewington (London Irish) 132
Marland Yarde (Harlequins) 102
Dean Mumm (Exeter Chiefs) 94

Defenders beaten:
Charlie Walker (Harlequins) 8
Marland Yarde (Harlequins) 7
Rob Miller (Wasps), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby), Alex Lewington (London Irish) 6

Turnovers won:
Dave Ward (Harlequins) 6
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) 3

Breaks:
Marland Yarde (Harlequins) 5
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) 4
 
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