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Rokoduguni can give Bath Rugby a break

Bath Rugby will be hoping to tear holes in the Leicester Tigers defence in this weekend’s Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final, and according to Opta, Semesa Rokoduguni could be the man to make it happen.

The Bath winger made 34 breaks across the regular season – six more than any other player in the league – as he crossed ten times to help his side notch a joint-high nine try bonus points.

That haul was matched by free-scoring Wasps, for whom Christian Wade made 28 breaks, three ahead of Saracens’ Chris Ashton, Alex Lewington of London Irish and Newcastle Falcons flyer Sinoti Sinoti.

Sinoti enjoyed a memorable Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign at Kingston Park, the New Zealander beating an eye-opening 85 defenders and making 1641 metres in his 20 appearances, returns that see him top both of those charts with ease.

While the Falcons winger was working wonders with ball in hand, teammate Mark Wilson was putting his body on the line in making 255 tackles, four more than Leicester Tiger Julian Salvi and 29 ahead of Exeter Chiefs powerhouse Dave Ewers.

Ewers was part of a Chiefs side that fell agonisingly short of a first Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final spot, but that shouldn’t detract from an impressive campaign in which Thomas Waldrom led the way.

The No.8, in his first season at Sandy Park after arriving from Leicester, took little time settling in, matching Neil Back’s try scoring record for a forward (16) while also topping the carries chart with a mammoth 308 – Jordan Crane following behind with 255.

Waldrom also made the second-most carries – behind Sinoti – and finished four short of Nick Easter’s 41 offloads, alongside Nathan Hughes, the Wasps back rower forcing 24 turnovers from 20 appearances as the No.8s enjoyed a dominant year in Aviva Premiership Rugby.  

And in the battle of the skies, Tigers lock Graham Kitchener won 80 lineouts – as well as stealing 12 – to finish narrowly ahead of James Down and Kearnan Myall and be labelled the most prolific second row at the set-piece.
 
Selected Opta stats for the Aviva Premiership Rugby season
 
Tackles:
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) 255
Julian Salvi (Leicester Tigers) 251
Dave Ewers (Exeter Chiefs) 226
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) 213
Calum Clark (Northampton Saints) 209
 
Carries:
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 308
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) 255
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) 238
Nick Easter (Harlequins) 215
Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints) 208
 
Metres made:
Sinoti Sinoti (Newcastle Falcons) 1641
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 1467
Alex Goode (Saracens) 1311
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) 1246
Marland Yarde (Harlequins) 1168
 
Lineouts won:
Graham Kitchener (Leicester Tigers) 80
James Down (London Welsh) 78
Kearnan Myall (Wasps) 78
James Gaskell (Wasps) 77
Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) 68
 
Offloads:
Nick Easter (Harlequins) 41
Nathan Hughes (Wasps) 37
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 37
Jack Clifford (Harlequins) 36
Sam Burgess (Bath Rugby) 29
 
Kicks:
Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks) 334
Andy Goode (Wasps) 317
Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers) 294
Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints) 290
George Ford (Bath Rugby) 268

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