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Super Rugby: The super stats Round 1 wrap, Round 2 preview

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Roar Rookie
20th February, 2019
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Super Rugby was back on our screens with aplomb this weekend, serving up some tight nail-biters and some real white-washings. Thoroughly enjoyable all-round.

Round 1 debrief

Firstly let’s have a look at how our algorithm’s predicted results stacked up against reality.

Our perfect start was ruined early doors with the 14-man Highlanders overcoming the Chiefs in the dying minutes through an Aaron Smith try. Smith looked right at the camera after he scored. He knew what he’d done.

The algorithm came good on Saturday’s results, however, picking up five from five and making our average respectable.

Super Rugby – predicted vs actual (Round 1)

Season accuracy: 5 from 7 (71.4%) Season margin error: 15.00
Weekend accuracy: 5 from 7 (71.4%) Weekend margin error: 15.00
Teams Actual score Predicted score Correct Margin error
Brumbies 27 33 No 20
Rebels 34 20
Chiefs 27 25 No 10
Highlanders 30 18
Sunwolves 10 21 Yes 27
Sharks 45 28
Blues 22 22 Yes 7
Crusaders 24 31
Jaguares 16 35 Yes 2
Lions 25 42
Bulls 40 25 Yes 35
Stormers 3 23
Waratahs 19 27 Yes 4
Hurricanes 20 32

Paripari Parkinson (one of our pre-season preview’s players to watch) showed he was worth the hype by grabbing the opening Super Rugby try in the 15th minute. He’s certainly got the goods for the team in the deep South.

Another of our players to watch, Etene Nanai-Seturo of the Chiefs, got on even better. He dotted down for a brace before being subbed off in the 58th minute.

The Rebels had the old boys back together with Quade Cooper and Will Genia reuniting as the half-backs. They didn’t disappoint. Cooper didn’t miss a beat after being cut from the Reds, and they turned over the Brumbies 34 to 27.

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The Crusaders and Blues was our game to watch before the weekend and it lived up to everything we were hoping for. The Blues have been the laughing stock of New Zealand Rugby in previous seasons last making the finals in 2011.

However, the Blues look capable of breaking this seven-season drought this year after narrowly losing to defending champions the Crusaders 22-24. The Crusaders only hung on with Harry Plummer of the Blues missing two late shots at goal. Tense stuff.

The Stormers would have wanted the world to swallow them whole after the Bulls claimed the easiest of bonus point wins, racking up a 37 point win. This is only their second largest win over the Stormers however, placing behind their 75 – 14 thrashing back in 2005.

South African Sevens star Rosko Specman played sensationally scoring two tries as he made his Super Rugby debut for the Bulls.

Bulls vs Stormers – biggest wins

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Stormers 32 18 13 1 706 740 0.5625 22.0625
Bulls 32 13 18 1 740 706 0.40625 23.125
Date Home Away Location
14/05/05 Bulls 75 14 Stormers Pretoria
16/02/19 Bulls 40 3 Stormers Loftus Versfeld
14/04/07 Bulls 49 12 Stormers Pretoria
13/05/06 Stormers 10 43 Bulls Cape Town
15/05/10 Stormers 38 10 Bulls DHL Newlands

N.B. Table above only shows 20 matches that meet criteria

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Round 2 matches and predictions

Here are the algorithms predictions for the second round of Super Rugby.

Aside from the Highlanders hammering the Reds, all the matches are predicted to be within ten points. It looks like it could be another well-matched weekend of rugby.

The algorithm’s predictions (Super Rugby Round 2)

Season accuracy: 5 from 7 (71.4%)
Season margin error: 15.00
Home Away Prediction
Predicted score Chance of winning Predicted score Chance of winning
Highlanders Reds Highlanders to win by 19
38 82.9% 19 16.6%
Sunwolves Waratahs Waratahs to win by 6
21 36.3% 27 61.4%
Crusaders Hurricanes Crusaders to win by 9
29 75.2% 20 23.4%
Brumbies Chiefs Chiefs to win by 6
29 36.7% 35 60.2%
Sharks Blues Sharks to win by 8
26 73.9% 18 23.4%
Stormers Lions Lions to win by 6
27 46.6% 33 52.6%
Jaguares Bulls Jaguares to win by 7
35 63.2% 28 36.8%

Highlanders vs Reds
The Highlanders welcome the Queensland Reds to Dunedin this weekend. The Reds had a bye last weekend, so this is the first chance to see the Australian outfit in action.

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Highlanders 10 4 6 0 258 243 0.4 25.8
Reds 10 6 4 0 243 258 0.6 24.3
Date Home Away Location
26/05/08 Reds 15 18 Highlanders Suncorp Stadium
14/07/17 Highlanders 40 17 Reds Forsyth Barr Stadium
09/04/16 Reds 28 27 Highlanders Brisbane
27/02/15 Highlanders 20 13 Reds Dunedin
30/05/14 Reds 38 31 Highlanders Brisbane
29/03/13 Highlanders 33 34 Reds Dunedin
06/07/12 Reds 19 13 Highlanders Brisbane
10/05/10 Reds 38 36 Highlanders Suncorp Stadium
11/04/09 Highlanders 24 19 Reds Carisbrook
15/02/08 Reds 22 16 Highlanders Brisbane

The algorithm has the Highlanders to win comfortably at home by 19 points. Given the Reds are currently the lowest ranked side in Super Rugby (by our internal calculations), we see few problems for the Highlanders in this match.

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Sunwolves vs Waratahs
The Waratahs blew their chance to pick up points against the travelling Hurricanes last weekend. The Hurricanes historically have had a bad run in the opening rounds of Super Rugby, but snatched the victory with a try by Du’Plessis Kirifi in the 75th minute.

Bernard Foley (who broke the point-scoring record for the Waratahs), will be wondering what went wrong after a costly late penalty miss in the last minute of the game. Is his ‘ice-man’ persona breaking?

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Sunwolves 3 0 3 0 66 184 0 22
Waratahs 3 3 0 0 184 66 1 61.3
Date Home Away Location
07/07/18 Waratahs 77 25 Sunwolves Allianz Stadium
02/07/16 Sunwolves 12 57 Waratahs Tokyo
07/04/15 Sunwolves 29 50 Waratahs Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium

The algorithm has the Waratahs to make amends for last weekend, however, with an away win in Tokyo over the Sunwolves by 6 points.

If the Sunwolves performance last weekend against the Sharks was anything to go by, they will be lucky to keep the margin to just this much.

Crusaders vs Hurricanes
The Crusaders face the Hurricanes this weekend after both won their opening round matches. These are the top two ranked sides in our internal rankings, and so this is an early ‘top of the table’ clash.

In the last ten matches, 8 have been won by the home side, and the algorithm expects nothing different this time round, calling a nine-point win for the Crusaders.

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P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Crusaders 10 4 6 0 218 224 0.4 21.8
Hurricanes 10 6 4 0 224 218 0.6 22.4
Date Home Away Location
28/07/18 Crusaders 30 12 Hurricanes AMI Stadium
25/05/18 Crusaders 24 13 Hurricanes AMI Stadium
10/03/18 Hurricanes 29 19 Crusaders Westpac Stadium
15/07/17 Hurricanes 31 22 Crusaders Westpac Stadium
13/05/17 Crusaders 20 12 Hurricanes AMI Stadium
16/07/16 Crusaders 10 35 Hurricanes Christchurch
29/05/15 Crusaders 35 18 Hurricanes Nelson
02/05/2015 Hurricanes 29 23 Crusaders Wellington
28/06/14 Hurricanes 16 9 Crusaders Wellington
28/03/14 Crusaders 26 29 Hurricanes Christchurch

Brumbies vs Chiefs
The Brumbies take on the Chiefs this weekend in Canberra, with both sides looking to recover from last weekend’s losses to the Rebels and Highlanders respectively.

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Brumbies 12 4 8 0 279 323 0.3 23.25
Chiefs 12 8 4 0 323 279 0.6 26.91
Date Home Away Location
07/07/18 Chiefs 24 19 Brumbies FMG Stadium Waikato
15/07/17 Chiefs 28 10 Brumbies FMG Stadium Waikato
02/04/16 Brumbies 23 48 Chiefs Canberra
20/02/15 Chiefs 19 17 Brumbies New Plymouth
19/07/14 Brumbies 32 30 Chiefs Canberra
25/04/14 Brumbies 41 23 Chiefs Canberra
03/08/13 Chiefs 27 22 Brumbies Hamilton
16/03/12 Chiefs 29 22 Brumbies Hamilton
19/02/11 Brumbies 28 20 Chiefs Canberra
26/03/10 Brumbies 30 23 Chiefs GIO Stadium
15/05/09 Chiefs 10 7 Brumbies FMG Stadium Waikato
04/04/08 Brumbies 28 42 Chiefs Canberra

The Algorithm has the Chiefs to win by six away from home, taking their consecutive wins over the Brumbies to five in a row. The last Brumbies win over the Chiefs came back in 2014, nearly five years ago now.

Sharks vs Blues
Despite the Sharks strong record against the Blues, winning nine from the last ten, they will surely be wary of the Blues increased power this year. A strong opening weekend against defending champions, the Crusaders, will have caused people to sit up and take notice.

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Blues 9 1 8 0 199 267 0.11 22.11
Sharks 9 8 1 0 267 199 0.89 29.67
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Date Home Away Location
31/03/18 Blues 40 63 Sharks Eden Park
16/04/16 Blues 23 18 Sharks Auckland
23/05/14 Blues 23 29 Sharks North Shore City
29/06/13 Sharks 22 20 Blues Durban
13/04/12 Blues 23 29 Sharks Auckland
26/02/11 Sharks 26 12 Blues Durban
24/04/10 Sharks 23 10 Blues Kings Park Stadium
07/03/09 Blues 31 35 Sharks Eden Park
08/03/08 Sharks 22 17 Blues Durban

The algorithm has the Sharks to win by eight, but it is worth noting that it will take a few weeks to update for it to update itself for improved form and performances. If the Blues really have improved, this match could be ripe for an upset.

Stormers vs Lions
The Lions are playing away from home against the Stormers and will be looking to capitalise on the severe loss the Stormers were dealt by the Bulls. They may also be looking for a little revenge after the heavy defeat they took from the Stormers in last years Currie Cup.

The Algorithm has the Lions to win away from home, but it is only by 6 points, so perhaps there is a some hope for the Stormers.

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Stormers 13 4 8 1 364 401 0.31 28.00
Lions 13 8 4 1 401 364 0.62 30.85
Date Home Away Location
15/09/18 Lions 38 65 Stormers Emirates Airlines Park
26/05/18 Stormers 23 26 Lions DHL Newlands
07/04/18 Lions 52 31 Stormers Emirates Airlines Park
21/10/17 Stormers 19 5 Lions DHL Newlands
08/10/17 Lions 29 20 Stormers Emirates Airlines Park
18/08/17 Stormers 39 3 Lions DHL Newlands
15/04/17 Stormers 16 29 Lions DHL Newlands
09/09/16 Lions 58 32 Stormers Emirates Airlines Park
16/04/16 Lions 29 22 Stormers Johannesburg
24/10/15 Lions 32 24 Stormers Johannesburg
02/10/15 Lions 62 32 Stormers Johannesburg
06/06/15 Stormers 19 19 Lions Cape Town
28/02/15 Lions 19 22 Stormers Johannesburg

Includes Currie Cup matches.

Jaguares vs Bulls
The Jaguares played an open and fast paced game against the Lions last weekend, but found it difficult to break down the South African defence.

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The Jaguares looked good despite their offseason changes (a new coach, captain and ten additions to the squad) and look likely to be in contention for the playoffs.

The Jaguares have another home game this weekend, this time against the powerful Bulls side who put the Stormers to the sword last weekend.

P W L D F A Win % Avg Pts
Jaguares 4 2 2 0 130 104 0.5 32.5
Bulls 4 2 2 0 104 130 0.5 26
Date Home Away Location
7/7/18 Bulls 43 34 Jaguares Loftus Versfeld
19/5/18 Jaguares 54 24 Bulls Estadio Jose Amalfitani
15/4/17 Bulls 26 13 Jaguares Loftus Versfeld
2/7/16 Jaguares 29 11 Bulls Buenos Aires

Every match has been won by the home side previously, and the algorithm has this no differently, predicting a Jaguares win by 7 points.