- Sep 8, 2011
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Well:I agree the stats show an incomplete picture, but my point was that if Morgan was playing well, he should show up in some of them, unless he does all the unseen work, which isnÂ´t what I want from a no.8 anyway. All the other no.8s people think are good no.8s showed up in the stats, apart from Faletau (perhaps he didnÂ´t start enough games?), so it seems a bit odd that they agree with what people think in all the other cases, but not in MorganÂ´s - there could be a good reason for it, like Morgan had a difficult season in a struggling team (although Hogg made the tackle stats with Newcastle) or it could just be that he isnÂ´t as good as people think he is.
My comments on MorganÂ´s work rate are only partly based on the stats, they are mainly from watching him play - next time he does, count how many times he carries the ball in open play, which I would say is the main job of a no.8.
1. Vunipola does have a couple of stone on Morgan. It's fairly obvious that he is a physically stronger carrier than Morgan. He's also physically stronger and harder to put down than Parisse, but few would say he's better than Parisse.
2. Gloucester play ball-carrying 6s. (Kalamafoni and Moriarty are both as comfortable at 8 as 6.) Saracens don't. Therefore, Saracens will naturally give the ball to Vunipola more than Gloucester give it to Morgan.
As for tackles, Saracens are fairly known to play a territory-based game. They make an above average number of tackles for a Premiership team because they generally play with low possession, so I expect Vunipola will have more tackles per game than Morgan. What I'd be interested to know is what percentage of the tackles made by their team's forwards does each 8 make whilst they are on the field.
I'm fairly sure that when I last looked, Morgan was the second top tackler in Gloucester after Kvesic.