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Veainu tops OPTA attacking stats

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Telusa Veainu beat more defenders in the Aviva Premiership this season than any other player, according to the league's official statisticians.

Veainu, who started 13 Aviva Premiership games during the 2015/16 campaign and made five appearances off the bench, beat 68 players over the regular season, according to OPTA.

It was a joint high with Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby). Veainu’s Tigers teammate Vereniki Goneva was 16th on the OPTA list, beating 43 defenders.

Veainu, who scored eight tries, made the third most distance during the regular season with 1,465 metres. Only Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) and Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) made more metres with 1,796m and 1,544m respectively. Peter Betham was 11th with 1010m while Mathew Tait was 23rd with 814m.

Tonga international Veainu, who was Tigers’ Player of the Year, also featured highly in the number of carries, finishing eighth with 182 carries. Betham was 18th with 168 carries.

Veainu, Goneva and Betham were all in the top ten when it came to clean breaks. Veainu made 25 breaks, Goneva 23 and Betham 22.

In the forwards, Tom Croft won 83 lineouts for Tigers, the fourth best across the Aviva Premiership. Graham Kitchener was 10th with 64 lineouts won and Ed Slater 22nd with 42.

Croft was also fourth when it came to lineout steals, pinching opposition ball on seven occasions. Slater was just behind with six steals while Kitchener won opposition ball three times.

Lachlan McCaffrey won 14 turnovers putting him 13th across the league while fellow back-rower Tom Croft was close by with 13.