Welcome to the inaugural 10 Nations International Rugby Championship! This is a new initiative by me to provide a round robin ranking of the top ten teams in the world, as opposed to the World Cup which is pool and knockout-based.
The tournament will wrap up at the completion of the year’s Test matches, at which point the team on the top of the table will be declared the winner and sent a certificate to that effect and two packets of Iced VoVos (or homebrand alternative) for the players and coaching staff to share.
Second place gets a certificate and one packet of Milk Arrowroots.
No doubt at this point you will all be a bit surprised to find we are already more than halfway through the 2013 tournament.
Consisting of games played under the Six Nations, June Tests, Rugby Championship and November end of year tours, the idea out of all of this is most teams will play most other teams from the top ten at some point throughout the year.
Unfortunately, scheduling did not allow every nation to play each other throughout the 2013 year/tournament, a situation which is unlikely to change.
Therefore I have devised a brilliant scheme. This involves the following points allocation:
Real world win – 5 points.
Real world draw – 3 points.
Real world Loss – 1 point.
Simulated win – 4 points.
Simulated draw – 2 points (very unlikely).
Simulated loss – 0 points.
Obviously this involves simulating the matches that won’t be played and allocating points accordingly.
The winner of these simulated matches will be decided by whoever has the most favourable adjusted points differential of the two, with the adjusted points differential being simply the teams’ points differential with adjustment factors added for each real world opponent played (with higher factors for higher ranked nations).
Full details can be found on the website below.
The system is designed to add benefit for teams to keep playing well for every minute of every match right up until the end, as well as reasonable benefit for teams playing real world matches against stronger nations
Currently the table stands as follows. Please note this includes the current results of the simulated matches, which will very possibly change as the November games unfold.
1. South Africa – 33 points
2. New Zealand – 32
3. England – 25
4. Wales – 20
5. Samoa – 18
6. Ireland – 14
7. Italy – 14
8. Australia – 11
9. France – 11
10. Argentina – 4
(The expanded table with full details can be found on the 10 Nations website, where I’ll be keeping details relatively up to date.)
Current points of note are the high position of Samoa and the low position of Australia and France.
Samoa can thank its relatively strong showing in the June tournament in South Africa, getting a good win over Italy and restricting the damage against South Africa, giving them better adjusted differential than say Australia, who have only had matches against three nations, two of whom are the top two.
We can expect a benefit to come Australia’s way through the next month, with a number of real world matches to yield them points and an expected boost to their adjusted differential from the adjustment factors gained just by playing these matches.
Samoa, on the other hand, has only one more real world match to play and so have very few additional points available to them.
However they are reasonably well ahead in their simulated matches (excepting the Australia match) and therefore are reasonably well placed to not slide too far down the ladder, perhaps dropping below Australia as well as Ireland, who also should see the benefits of playing the real world matches start to show.
Lastly, France is basically paying the price for having a terrible year so far and, although instinct says they should be higher than ninth in the world, you can’t argue with results
They have really stunk the place up thus far and will find it hard to climb back.
I’m planning on doing some small updates along the way perhaps each week, assuming I don’t get tarred and feathered for this first one.