So, what happened? How close were the predictions? Who outperformed and who underperformed?
Well, below shows how our predictions compared with how the games actually panned out.
As you can see, we got 6 correct results from 7 (86%), with an average score difference of just over 13. This is marginally worse than our predictive results for the year to date which currently stands at just below 90% with an average score difference of 11.
But what does this mean?
Our model feeds in games from the previous 4 years and works out an expected score for each team based on playing either home or away, and current ranking. Broadly speaking, this means each score represents how well each team is expected to play against the opposition relative to their performances over the previous 4 years. Any significant difference to the predictive score could therefore indicate over or under performance relative to their previous matches.
Wales v Australia (and Georgia v Canada) clearly was our closest prediction, and indeed the game panned out broadly as we set out in our preview of the match. But for Kurtley Beale’s incredible steal and breakaway try in the final quarter, the game would’ve been on a knife-edge in the final 10 minutes.
Scotland v Samoa also went broadly according to our pre-match review. As we noted before here, although the data predicted a healthy Scottish win, against the Samoans, Scotland are often not that one-sided and indeed, for the final 20 minutes the scoreline difference was rarely greater than 1 converted try.
New Zealand first half dominance was enough to see off a spirited French fight back in the second half to record a solid win which wasn’t too far off our predicted scoreline.
Off the mark?
England v Argentina was unfortunately a rather dull affair, with England falling someway short of their expected performance based on their recent matches. Argentina too, were rather below par and although the scoreline was always comfortably in England’s favour, had the Argentines kicked their points, the fans at Twickenham would likely have experienced more fraught nerves than frustration.
[Eddie Jones provided by far the most entertainment in the match with his Martin Johnson impression halfway through.]
Ireland v South Africa was the scoreline that we got the most wrong, and although we backed a strong Irish win, we didn’t expect the rout that occurred in Dublin on Saturday. South Africa’s coach himself noted that sometimes they “just don’t turn up at the moment”, and unfortunately for him, it would appear that this happened again on Saturday. Unfortunately for us, trying to predict which match the South Africans decide to turn up to is rather difficult.
Italy v Fiji was the only match that we predicted the incorrect result, with the data unfortunately picking Fiji over the home Italians. In our defence (and hindsight is a wonderful thing) we did mention that the Fijians had only once won away from in Italy in our preview of the whole weekend. Make of that what you will.
The supercomputer is already busy whirring away processing the results and will soon spit out the predicted scores for the upcoming games below.
We’ll be back soon with the previews of next week along with a detailed breakdown of the head to heads.
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