SF1 - Match Thread - ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND - 26/10/19 - K/O 09:00 BST

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Post by miaow on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 9:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

Again, making these early for the sake of ease and consistency.

ENGLAND

Team:Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Wilson, Heinz, Slade, Joseph.

NEW ZEALAND

Team: Beauden Barrett; Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge; Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (capt).

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.



Venue: Yokohama
Referee: Nigel Owens
AR1: Romain Poite
AR2: Pascal Gauzere
TMO: Marius Joncker


Last edited by miaow on Thu 24 Oct 2019, 1:52 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:22 pm

robbo277 wrote:
Big wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
But to be honest I don't understand FB play, during my time we just had to jog back for a scrum when our FB dropped the ball.

Ah man.  I remember the time I (a second row/occasional prop) had to cover FB because we had a shortage of actual backs turn up for the match (the joys of amateur 2nd team rugby).  I really didn't have a clue!  I basically thought my job was to hang around at the back, avoid doing anything except cover tackles when someone got through and catching kicks.  In the case of the later, it would have been better for me to leave it and let a back try and outsprint the chase and clear up than to attempt the catch and knock on...

Don't underestimate a return volley a la the John Smith's advert from about 15 years ago. Can't knock on off your foot.

That is if you manage to get to the ball. Every time I've been asked to get involved in the backs my positioning has been miles away. Normally I end up getting bored and just hitting rucks. Evidently it takes a lot of practice to perfect standing around doing nothing.

Who was the French guy who literally tried doing that?

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:26 pm

Penaud tried to do it with a poor pass about 10m from the Wales line. (Didn't Zebo do something similar for a try a while back).

Numerous FBs have volleyed defensively in the past, usually trying to put the ball into the stands, but sometimes hitting only air.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:26 pm

It was Beuaxis against Bath that I was thinking of.

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Post by Afro on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:30 pm

Zebo did a heel flick against Wales in Cardiff a few years ago. The pass was behind him, so he flicked it up and he caught it
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:36 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Penaud tried to do it with a poor pass about 10m from the Wales line. (Didn't Zebo do something similar for a try a while back).

Numerous FBs have volleyed defensively in the past, usually trying to put the ball into the stands, but sometimes hitting only air.

I think Zebo managed to flick a ball behind him with his heel which allowed him to catch it second time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=femyc56vhUc

I think there was a Wales full back who volleyed the ball off his own up and under which lead to a try? Maybe for the Lions? Can't find it anywhere though, or remember what tour, or whether it was Halfpenny or Williams, which makes it harder to find.

This was pretty good though. Again, not off an opposition kick, but a neat bit of skill.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb4Hud4dSvU

Soul Requiem wrote:It was Beuaxis against Bath that I was thinking of.

I remember that one now. Might have to put a disclaimer on my advice. If it goes wrong, it goes badly wrong!

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Post by Afro on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:44 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:It was Beuaxis against Bath that I was thinking of.

I remember that. Pass back from a ruck in his own 22 and rather than catch it and clear, he decided to try and kick it on the volley first time. Completely missed and Bath scored a try I think
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Post by Hoonercat on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 12:56 pm

Not that it will happen, but I'd drop Billy to the bench and start Wilson who did a fine job against the AB's in November. Billy hasn't made much of an impression, he's supposed to be our main carrier but even given space he's not putting big dents in the opposition defence. I'd also start Marler over Mako, he's a better scrummager and the last thing we need is for the scrum to struggle given that the lineout is going to be tough. Bring on Billy and Mako in the 2nd half and we should hopefully have 2 big carriers against tiring NZ bodies. Add Cokanasiga as a bench option and that's some firepower to bring on especially if Ford comes on and opens the game up.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:05 pm

Hoonercat wrote:...Not that it will happen, but I'd drop Billy to the bench and start Wilson...
I worry that, like Hartley before, Billy makes a bad bench-sitter, and would try too hard to impose himself on the game, giving away penalties and, possibly, earning a costly card.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:13 pm

Rugby4cast have just put this up on twitter. Again, they use probabilities and algorithms to try and predict outcomes.

https://twitter.com/Rugby4Cast/status/1186610482590953472

SF1 - Match Thread - ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND - 26/10/19 - K/O 09:00 BST - Page 5 EHev8gHX4AA4SrR?format=jpg&name=small

Key points I've picked up:

NZ are 78% to make the final, England 22%.
South Africa are 51% to make the final, Wales 49%.

The chance of the winner coming from SF 1 is 76%. SF 2 is 25%. (Evidently there is a 1% rounding error).

If NZ make the final, they have a 77% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If England make the final, they have a 73% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If SA make the final, they have a 35% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If Wales make the final, they have a 14% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)

The disparity in these percentages are that SA and Wales are more likely (4 times out of 5) to face the All Blacks. England are guaranteed not to face the All Blacks, but interestingly would be fairly strong favourites for the final regardless of who they drew.

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Post by propdavid_london on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:20 pm

Billy has been pretty much man marked in most of his games so far. Not a bad thing, as its making space for others.
Although, having said that - Billy, Mako, Lawes coming off the bench would make a sizeable impact. Cant see it happening though - Billy will start.

Not sure what Wilson has done (or not done in training though). You'd imagine if he does get a shot he will be fairly keen to grasp it.
Agree that a Cockanasinga coming off the bench would also make an impact - but that would require a Joseph/Slade/Nowell to not be picked.

Against Australia the tactics were spot on. Mobility to start and the experience to come on from the bench and close out the game.
Marler/Kruis/Cole come on and all of a sudden we start mauling and making a lot of ground. But this tactic depended on us being in front on the scoreboard. It wasn't a bench to chase the game. That's the gamble.

If we expect to have the lead with 20mins to go - then I suspect it will be a very similar lineup.
If its the reverse then expect the reverse. (Starting Marler/Cole etc. with Mako/Sinks on the bench).

For what its worth - I think the squad will be something like this -
Marler/George/Sinks
Kruis/Itoje
Underhill/Curry/Billy V
Youngs
May
Farrell
Tuilagi/Slade
Watson
Daly

Mako V/LCD/Cole/Lawes/Ludlam (would like Wilson) /Heinz/Ford/Nowell

Only a few minor tweaks - Lawes with more impact off bench.
the starting pack is one that I hope would get change out of the scrum and lineout.

Nowell on the bench covers multiple positions and offers impact.
Ford-Farrell combo to happen in the last 20mins too.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:30 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Billy has been pretty much man marked in most of his games so far.  Not a bad thing, as its making space for others.  
Although, having said that - Billy, Mako, Lawes coming off the bench would make a sizeable impact.  Cant see it happening though - Billy will start.  

Not sure what Wilson has done (or not done in training though).  You'd imagine if he does get a shot he will be fairly keen to grasp it.
Agree that a Cockanasinga coming off the bench would also make an impact - but that would require a Joseph/Slade/Nowell to not be picked.  

Against Australia the tactics were spot on.  Mobility to start and the experience to come on from the bench and close out the game.
Marler/Kruis/Cole come on and all of a sudden we start mauling and making a lot of ground.  But this tactic depended on us being in front on the scoreboard.  It wasn't a bench to chase the game.  That's the gamble.  

If we expect to have the lead with 20mins to go - then I suspect it will be a very similar lineup.  
If its the reverse then expect the reverse.  (Starting Marler/Cole etc. with Mako/Sinks on the bench).

For what its worth - I think the squad will be something like this -
Marler/George/Sinks
Kruis/Itoje
Underhill/Curry/Billy V
Youngs
May
Farrell
Tuilagi/Slade
Watson
Daly

Mako V/LCD/Cole/Lawes/Ludlam (would like Wilson) /Heinz/Ford/Nowell

Only a few minor tweaks - Lawes with more impact off bench.
the starting pack is one that I hope would get change out of the scrum and lineout.  

Nowell on the bench covers multiple positions and offers impact.  
Ford-Farrell combo to happen in the last 20mins too.

I don't think we'll see Mako and Sinckler on the bench. For all Eddie's talk of starters and finishers, those two guys are first choice.

I also don't like the notion that you chase a game by putting your ball players on at one time. If you line your best scrummaging up against the oppositions bench props (as England do) you could create a significant advantage in the set piece which can lead to penalties and therefore territory and points. It's about creating a relative advantage and that can be in any facet of the game.

England made their first sub against Australia on the 60 minute mark. The score was 27-16. They closed the game out by winning the last 20 minutes 13-0 with those bench players. Okay, it would be a different dynamic had England been chasing, but you can still do the same things. Dominate your set piece and stop the opposition getting a foothold in the game.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:38 pm

robbo277 wrote:

I think there was a Wales full back who volleyed the ball off his own up and under which lead to a try? Maybe for the Lions? Can't find it anywhere though, or remember what tour, or whether it was Halfpenny or Williams, which makes it harder to find.


I think it was probably Lee Byrne who did that or something similar, in the first tour game of the 09 Lions tour.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:40 pm

robbo277 wrote:Rugby4cast have just put this up on twitter. Again, they use probabilities and algorithms to try and predict outcomes.

https://twitter.com/Rugby4Cast/status/1186610482590953472

SF1 - Match Thread - ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND - 26/10/19 - K/O 09:00 BST - Page 5 EHev8gHX4AA4SrR?format=jpg&name=small

Key points I've picked up:

NZ are 78% to make the final, England 22%.
South Africa are 51% to make the final, Wales 49%.

The chance of the winner coming from SF 1 is 76%. SF 2 is 25%. (Evidently there is a 1% rounding error).

If NZ make the final, they have a 77% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If England make the final, they have a 73% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If SA make the final, they have a 35% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)
If Wales make the final, they have a 14% chance of winning it (assuming we don't know the opponents)

The disparity in these percentages are that SA and Wales are more likely (4 times out of 5) to face the All Blacks. England are guaranteed not to face the All Blacks, but interestingly would be fairly strong favourites for the final regardless of who they drew.

Not aimed at you robbo277 but what a load of old rubbish.

Nothing can predict what a human being will do on the day, England might field a matchday squad filled with warriors who simply will not be defeated and the kiwi's may crumble, this NZ team are not in the same class as 2015.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:57 pm

You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

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Post by TightHEAD on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:59 pm

Its a load of old Twaddle.
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:01 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
robbo277 wrote:

I think there was a Wales full back who volleyed the ball off his own up and under which lead to a try? Maybe for the Lions? Can't find it anywhere though, or remember what tour, or whether it was Halfpenny or Williams, which makes it harder to find.


I think it was probably Lee Byrne who did that or something similar, in the first tour game of the 09 Lions tour.

That's the one! One tour further back then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWDKS8iQhlQ

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Post by Afro on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:07 pm

Is it my imagination or do the two defenders trying to get back to Byrne at the line just get in each other way
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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:17 pm

LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Possibly even generous if you go purely on recent history between the teams!

Tighthead, flip a coin twice. If you get heads twice in a row, England will win. If you get any other result, NZ will win. The probabilities aren't saying that one will happen and the other can't. It's saying one is more likely than the other.

They picked all 4 QFs right and have a good record over the tournament, although they got the two Japan pool games wrong. I'd have to check back, but I think they got all the other close pool games correct: Ireland vs Scotland, New Zealand vs South Africa, Wales vs Australia, France vs Argentina, England vs Argentina.

The analysis is inherently limited because it tries to extrapolate past results into future matches. But they're actually fairly accurate. And as LT said, if you think you can beat the predictive analysis, you can probably get some decent returns from the bookies, who are offering around 9/4 on England to reach the final. If you put England's chance above 31% you should take that bet. NZ are 1/3 with the same bookmaker to reach the final, and if you put their chance above 75% then you should take that bet.

Allowing for the bookmaker adding a margin onto each bet, they've put England around 29% and NZ at 71% to reach the final, which isn't a millions miles away. But then you have to consider that this is an English bookmaker, and they don't need to offer 5x returns for people to bet on England, so the odds are sometimes skewed based on betting patterns.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:26 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Billy has been pretty much man marked in most of his games so far.  Not a bad thing, as its making space for others.  

IMO, and based upon watching the games and the stats, I believe Billy is being unfairly pilloried. He is not delivering to the rarified standards we have grown to expect, but he has been far and away our most important heavy yards carrier. He has more carries than any other player and is tying in defenders.

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Post by Scottrf on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:34 pm

LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:36 pm

maestegmafia wrote:"There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming. It might have been a Japanese fan," he said.

Funny either way. It's a dig at NZ in the best way possible - it makes them seem grubby, desperate, an unsporting, all without really 'insulting' them or giving them anything to bite back on.

I'd imagine it probably does still go on, but hard to say if true. Probably is though. Funny reference to YouTube - I always wondered that with the training videos. I'd imagine nothing goes out that isn't passed by the coaches first, at least briefly, to avoid certain tactics etc. coming out. Those videos are like one big, long Rocky montage - look at us, look how hard we work. Nice little public relations booster in every sense.

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Injuries play such a big role in careers and how we view players.

This is very true.

I believe it's becoming a young man's game more and more. Warburton retiring at 29 will become the norm soon.

Pace and freshness is already being valued by the All Blacks, with kids getting good experience in their late teens, a few years around 20 of pro rugby, and then a few years of test rugby in their early 20s. Some positions value later 20s for their peak, but it does seem that pace and skills based positions are becoming younger across the park, with huge success.

I wouldn't be surprised to see that trend continue. Most players aren't going as hard in their late 20s as their did in their early 20s. Their bodies can't take it. It's probably going to become like the NFL where the hits are going to stay big but the pace is going to become even more important - it values huge strength but also speed, and maybe players only get a few years at the top now until they go out and play a less physically demanding version ofo the game in Japan or wherever else pays good money.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:50 pm

miaow wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:"There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming. It might have been a Japanese fan," he said.

Funny either way. It's a dig at NZ in the best way possible - it makes them seem grubby, desperate, an unsporting, all without really 'insulting' them or giving them anything to bite back on.

I'd imagine it probably does still go on, but hard to say if true. Probably is though. Funny reference to YouTube - I always wondered that with the training videos. I'd imagine nothing goes out that isn't passed by the coaches first, at least briefly, to avoid certain tactics etc. coming out. Those videos are like one big, long Rocky montage - look at us, look how hard we work. Nice little public relations booster in every sense.

The 2001 comment was the one that got me. The last time he indulged in this kind of behaviour himself.

What happened in 2001? Eddie was coaching Australia. Australia hosted the Lions and beat them 2-1. Key to the piece was that crucial Justin Harrison lineout steal.

In 2003, back in Australia, England routinely swept their hotel rooms for electronic bugging equipment.

It is now standard practice for England to safeguard sensitive areas in hotels and at training areas to prevent spying, a lesson learned by Clive Woodward when he was in Sydney two years ago to watch the British Lions play Australia.

The Wallaby camp were suspected then of cracking the Lions' line-out calls. If they did, it was a ploy that reaped enormous dividends for with the series level and the Lions pressing in the closing stages of the decisive third Test, Australian lock Justin Harrison unexpectedly stole a critical line-out ball from under the nose of Martin Johnson. The Wallabies cleared their lines, the pressure was relieved and the series was won.

"We do have a machine that checks for bugs," Woodward said. "It was all based on that Lions series when the Aussies purported to know the calls. It wasn't the brightest thing for them to do their line-out drills with every man and his dog walking past their training ground at the time. This is a serious business and the stakes are massive. We could lose a World Cup if we don't pay attention to these things.

"We have this little device which is no bigger than a matchbox and our IT man, Tony Biscombe, goes round hotel rooms and team rooms to make sure that there are no devices. Sometimes people don't understand the huge stakes that we're playing for.

"We've done it for a couple of years now and it's our standard way of operating. We take security very seriously. It's all just common sense. We do our job no differently to any large corporation. If they were having any conferences they would make sure that rooms were bug-free and secure.

"The bottom line is, though, that you can only do so much. If the other team are hell-bent on spying by using helicopters and goodness knows what - and that has already happened on this trip - then there's not a lot you can do about it.

"When all is said and done, you've got to be smarter than the average bear when it comes to the game itself. If it's not going your way you've got to be able to change tack there and then and not whinge about it afterwards. I don't think the Australians will resort to all this. You've got to trust the opposition and the country you're in."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/australia/2425367/England-on-the-lookout-for-spooks.html

Worth pointing out that Harrison has denied that they'd cracked it and credited his lifters for getting him up there to compete for the ball. But with Eddie saying he did it in 2001, there wasn't a bigger event for Australia that year.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 2:58 pm

The problem with algorithms like Rugby4Cast is they struggle with recent form of players and teams. WinViz (used for the cricket) is similar and often comes out with ludicrous twaddle.

I note Rugby4Cast predicted a Scotland win over Japan. Most who had actually watched the relevant games coming up to that fixture would have (rightly) made Japan favourites. On a similar line, they have really overvalued NZ and Wales for these upcoming semi-finals (South Africa are strong, practically nailed-on favourites, while New Zealand are not quite as strong as made out).

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Post by Soul Requiem on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:08 pm

I'd make Wales favourites over South Africa to be honest.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:08 pm

Duty281 wrote:The problem with algorithms like Rugby4Cast is they struggle with recent form of players and teams. WinViz (used for the cricket) is similar and often comes out with ludicrous twaddle.

I note Rugby4Cast predicted a Scotland win over Japan. Most who had actually watched the relevant games coming up to that fixture would have (rightly) made Japan favourites. On a similar line, they have really overvalued NZ and Wales for these upcoming semi-finals (South Africa are strong, practically nailed-on favourites, while New Zealand are not quite as strong as made out).

I think, like the World Rankings, they can be prone to sudden changes of form. E.g. Japan had very little in the way of pre-tournament form because they hadn't many games against Tier 1 teams. They lost quite convincingly to England away in 2018 and the were even worse against South Africa at home just before the World Cup. Without a reliable bank of results behind them, they could be harder to predict. But for what it's worth, a number of pundits did pick Scotland to win, including Flatman and Shanklin on their Rugby World Cup podcast, so it's not just the software that was off.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:18 pm

The Stuff Power rankings which apply slightly more recent form has New Zealand at 62% to win the semi (Wales 57%).

All of this is just using past performance to predict future matches and is only ever a probability. Only one eyed fans would suggest that New Zealand are not clear favourites, or that the other semi is right now too close to call with any certainty.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:23 pm

LondonTiger wrote:The Stuff Power rankings which apply slightly more recent form has New Zealand at 62% to win the semi (Wales 57%).

All of this is just using past performance to predict future matches and is only ever a probability. Only one eyed fans would suggest that New Zealand are not clear favourites, or that the other semi is right now too close to call with any certainty.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

62% for the Kiwis sounds far more reasonable and would be around what I would say.

Anyone who thinks SA/Wales is near 50/50, or indeed think Wales are favourites, need to take a trip down to the nearest virtual bookmaker as they, and I would agree with them, make South Africa strong favourites at around 1/3 with Wales at 5/2.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:25 pm

Bit harsh LT. I just think our pack is better and will allow more control over NZ than we've had in the recent past.

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:32 pm

Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

Until they're not. There's always, always room for human expertise - algorithims just work on inputs. For something like this, they're ideal. But they cannot always sucessfully factor in the more 'human' elements, even when they try.

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Post by Afro on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:33 pm

LondonTiger wrote:.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

You should say one of the two from Sunday and then run. They have to keep up with you and hold the gun up for a day longer then.
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Post by Scottrf on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:43 pm

miaow wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

Until they're not. There's always, always room for human expertise - algorithims just work on inputs. For something like this, they're ideal. But they cannot always sucessfully factor in the more 'human' elements, even when they try.

And factoring in the more human elements only makes the prediction weaker generally. 'Thinking Fast and Slow' covers this pretty well, and discussed here https://fs.blog/2017/03/algorithms-complex-decision-making/

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:46 pm

Afro wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

You should say one of the two from Sunday and then run. They have to keep up with you and hold the gun up for a day longer then.

State of my knees I could only waddle.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 3:52 pm

If England lose badly on Saturday, then it might invite the conclusion that the reason this World Cup looked so closely contested before it started is that, in truth, there are just a lot of mediocre teams, all with critical flaws..

Almost every team which has been eliminated has been the architect of its own demise so far.

I don't think we will lose badly: in fact, I think we might even win, but I'd look on that result with joy, while my first reaction to beating Australia was relief.

If it does go down as a tournament of mediocrity, then I'd pick Wales to win. Not because I think they are a poor team. Rather, it's often the case, when they've won a Grand Slam, that we look back and feel everyone else underperformed. Totally unfair, of course. However, it might be a helpful template for Wales, and any side beating Australia, South Africa and New Zealand/England to a title would have done it in the hardest way possible.

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:02 pm

A fair point RF. Wales usually aren't successful unless they add a sprinkling of magic to the grinding results - the 2012 game v Ireland was a fantastic performance and should have been put to bed long before 1/2P's late penalty; England in 2013. But lately, as in 2019, we haven't really had to play too much rugby and win.

Not sure what to make of that. I, personally, don't see any circumstances where this Welsh side - as bereft of talent as it is through injury and recent retirement and ineligibility - could beat NZ. I do think they can beat everyone else, though. I'm still hoping Wales will throw everything at the Boks and we'll actually see their strikes moves come in to use at the weekend. Really empty the tank in that sense, and just accept we'll probably lose the final.

But I can't see NZ, myself. Hopefully this is a great game but even if it's a poor game, NZ showed last year they can still win. D Mac was integral to the win last year, but Mo'unga has stood up well so far, hasn't wavered in a black shirt, and Barrett probably looks better coming in to the line from 15 than he ever did at 10. I think picking Wales - ostensibly the weakest of the 4 teams remaining - to win is perhaps looking past the overwhelming evidence in NZ's favour, however boring or uninspiring or frustrating it may be.

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Post by Afro on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:02 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Afro wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

You should say one of the two from Sunday and then run. They have to keep up with you and hold the gun up for a day longer then.

State of my knees I could only waddle.

Still got a day longer to do it. They might just get fed up doing it
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:04 pm

Afro wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Afro wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:.

In a dystopian world where someone holds a gun to my head and asks me to name one of the finalists, being shot if I am wrong, then New Zealand is who I would go for.

You should say one of the two from Sunday and then run. They have to keep up with you and hold the gun up for a day longer then.

State of my knees I could only waddle.

Still got a day longer to do it. They might just get fed up doing it

Maybe.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:10 pm

miaow wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

Until they're not. There's always, always room for human expertise - algorithims just work on inputs. For something like this, they're ideal. But they cannot always sucessfully factor in the more 'human' elements, even when they try.

Same argument is often used against, say, VAR. The fact that the referee gets 90% of decisions right and VAR may get 95% of decisions right is somehow seen as a failing. Some bemoan the fact it's not 100% accurate and others say the 5% uptick isn't worth the hassle. But it comes out that the technology is more effective than humans.

Of course algorithms work on inputs, but so do we. We theoretically have the same data points to work from, except we may have forgot some, ignored some as outliers because they don't conform to our views or attached more prominence to results that we felt were more significant or just games that we watched. You can say the judgement as to what is significant and what is less significant should lead to humans being better predictors, but the empirical evidence shows that's not the case. Probably due to bias.

For instance, 2007 was brought up when talking about Wales and Fiji - even though it bears absolutely no relevance on the game in 2019. But as soon as someone factors that into their decision making, especially as a key part, their analysis is likely to be flawed.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:11 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bit harsh LT. I just think our pack is better and will allow more control over NZ than we've had in the recent past.

Really, the pack vs Ireland looked capable of being ‘controlled’? Good luck with that.

The key will be the start. NZ had its best start in months as Smith confirmed they put a lot into getting that right. England didn’t start so well and didn’t get on top of territory 38% or possession 36% at all all match.

They kicked more, the didn’t really get on top of the set pieces, lost the only lineout steal, were forced to tackle more, mainly because Oz chose to run anything and everything, poorly most of the time. They needed much more variation.

The one thing they did far better is to score more of scant possession, though the score line was inflated by two intercept tries, one from an absurdly advertised pass from Beale, like putting an up and under on his own player, the other at a critical period at the start.

NZ are prone to giving up intercepts in similar fashion, particularly with defences like England’s who will be up very fast. In that, I think NZ are counting on, and will have devised several ways of managing England’s rush defence, as they so easily did Ireland’s.

That was Oz’s undoing. Cheikas ‘that’s the way we play, running everything, made the English defensive options simple...tackle anything and everything. Which they did. NZ clearly have more variation on the ball and that will be the key to any success, making England guess what’s going to happen next.

Farrell can expect to be crowded all day by Savea, Read, Cane, and then Barrett if he enters as early as half time as he did vs Ireland. Worked against Sexton and Murray and in Youngs the ABs know he’s a weak link, so will push the pressure out onto Farrell. For that reason I’d have Ford out there at 10, to help absorb the pressure and add a playmaking option. England banked on the predictability of Oz and saw right through them, NZ will be anything but predictable and as for Ireland, will have a plan for England, Farrell probably the face on the tea room dart board.

I didn’t see evidence the England pack looked capable of controlling the AB pack, at all.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:36 pm

Cant speak to the ireland game taylor as I haven't seen it still. I did speak possibly on this thread on the much greater variety of the nz attack but I still stand by the comment that the england pack should have the better of this nz one. That's where it will be won and lost. I'm possibly wrong and the nz back row will get the upper hand and rettalick wreqks havoc. And if so fair enough.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:51 pm

Taylorman wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Bit harsh LT. I just think our pack is better and will allow more control over NZ than we've had in the recent past.

Really, the pack vs Ireland looked capable of being ‘controlled’? Good luck with that.

...

I didn’t see evidence the England pack looked capable of controlling the AB pack, at all.

I think where England will take heart and look to exert control will come in the defensive sets. You pointed out that England had 36% possession and 38% territory - well that means Australia had 64% possession and 62% territory and scored 1 try to show for it. It wasn't just Australia holding onto the ball in their own 22 refusing to kick, they were in the right area of the pitch, but couldn't do anything against England. We did it in the second test in 2016 and I think Eddie Jones likened it to rope-a-dope in boxing. That time England created the try that took them out of sight from another defensive turnover (robust tackle forcing an error from Australia), whereas this time the errors manifested themselves as intercepts.

Mako made 20/20 tackles. Underhill 20/22. George 18/18. Curry 17/18. Billy 16/16. Itoje and Lawes 15/15 each. Sinckler the lowest involvement at 10/11. The speed these guys come off the line, to be making 131/135 tackles as a starting pack is an absolute monster return. The NZ pack may stress England more with their better handling ability, but if England can get these big hits in behind the gain line then they can disrupt any pack. (NB: the 5 subs made 10/11 tackles, so there's not a lot of respite when the subs are made).

I don't think we'd ordinarily aim for 36% possession in a test match, and not one against New Zealand, who are the most dangerous team bal in hand. As you had your plans for Ireland, we had our plan for Australia, and I'd be surprised if we used the same tactics. But I would expect a degree of that kicking game, it's what's been successful for us the last 12 months and if the weather is forecast as bad as was shared on here, maybe we will look to play another lower possession game.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 4:55 pm

Ok, the Ireland match will provide context because it’s quite different from most recent AB matches in terms of accuracy, intensity where it’s a notch or two higher than previously. Watched it again earlier and had missed some of Aaron Smiths passing first time around but geez he threw out some bullets.

I thought England profited from Ozs predictability, where all they really needed to do was sit back and tackle, and capitalise on mistakes, and they did both.

Against NZ that average start, where Oz played their best of the match for no return, and the mid 30’s possession and territory must be a concern. If Farrell kicks to the ABs as much as he did Oz I don’t see it being wasted. NZ won’t just let England sit back and tackle all day either.

Vs Ireland we had four playmakers...Smith, who scored twice from close range, Beaudy, who was everywhere, Mo’unga, who kept things tick over, and surprisingly Goodhue, who put a few deft chips through, and set up Reece for Aaron Smiths second.

England didn’t get anything complex from Oz, they will be kept guessing this time.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:06 pm

Taylorman wrote:Ok, the Ireland match will provide context because it’s quite different from most recent  AB matches in terms of accuracy, intensity where it’s a notch or two higher than previously. Watched it again earlier and had missed some of Aaron Smiths passing first time around but geez he threw out some bullets.

I thought England profited from Ozs predictability, where all they really needed to do was sit back and tackle, and capitalise on mistakes, and they did both.

Against NZ that average start, where Oz played their best of the match for no return, and the mid 30’s possession and territory must be a concern. If Farrell kicks to the ABs as much as he did Oz I don’t see it being wasted. NZ won’t just let England sit back and tackle all day either.

Vs Ireland we had four playmakers...Smith, who scored twice from close range, Beaudy, who was everywhere, Mo’unga, who kept things tick over, and surprisingly Goodhue, who put a few deft chips through, and set up Reece for Aaron Smiths second.

England didn’t get anything complex from Oz, they will be kept guessing this time.

No doubt it will be a step-up. But England's forward's defensive effort was near enough exemplary - even if you say the attack was limited. They'll be put under more stress, but if they can rise to it then they could lay a platform for an England win. If they can't we will undoubtedly lose, unless we get a twice-in-a-career kinda performance from Tuilagi.

So it's not that England will control NZ. But if they can get near their best (and up a level from Australia) they could.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:07 pm

Taylorman wrote:England didn’t get anything complex from Oz, they will be kept guessing this time.

I would argue that what we got from Australia was more complex than the attack NZ faced from Ireland.

Thing is the only Tier 1 teams that NZ and England have both faced in 2019 are Ireland and Australia. Arguably with 3 wins from 3 (vs 2 from 3) England have the better record in these meetings. Now personally I feel that NZ are the better team - but not by enough to make the result a foregone conclusion.

While you claim the likes of Mo'unga. Goodhue, Reece, Bridge are experienced beyond their experience (that looks weird written down) they are still lacking in really competitive Test Match experience. Beauden is a fantastic attacking threat but a potential liability in defence (hmm that sounds familiar, who else has a FB like that?). England will need to play closer to their peak than NZ to win, but while it would surprise me were England to make the final it would not be a massive shock. My main concern is still the mental strength - can we continue to deliver when under pressure? Eddie says the gremlins of doubt are gone....but ......

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Post by miaow on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:21 pm

robbo277 wrote:
miaow wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

Until they're not. There's always, always room for human expertise - algorithims just work on inputs. For something like this, they're ideal. But they cannot always sucessfully factor in the more 'human' elements, even when they try.

Same argument is often used against, say, VAR. The fact that the referee gets 90% of decisions right and VAR may get 95% of decisions right is somehow seen as a failing. Some bemoan the fact it's not 100% accurate and others say the 5% uptick isn't worth the hassle. But it comes out that the technology is more effective than humans..

Really don't think that's the same issue robbo.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:31 pm

(To LT...)...Gosh I’m not saying anything’s a foregone conclusion, I’m just pointing out some key differences, and challenges, and hopefully, finding points of differences we can make.

Strange Beaudy is still seen as a defensive weakness, for me it’s an area he’s improved greatly in, and has saved and thwarted many tries over the last few seasons. In fact I think he’s one of our best defenders now, so interesting.

Yes those players are lacking test experience but when they’re consistently performing to high levels, in crucial test matches, how is that relevant? . Reece and Bridge were brought in for Eden park, and have both fired, every test. Goodhue was key to sealing a Ireland’s fate.

Compare Sexton and Murray, it doesn’t get more experienced, pressure test matches than that, but they were made to look second rate, despite being confident beforehand.

I think Experience is either overated, or misunderstood in that sense. It doesn’t equate directly to success as much as we’d like to think. For me the environment, the support around them, the high energy levels to produce is far more relevant.

But back to your point, nothings set in stone. I think the ABs win, but they have to get England from the start, and have to be accurate. I don’t think they’ll reach the Irish levels, because England will apply far more pressure, and Eddies a slimy character. His mark will be in there somewhere.

His cheeky pre-match disposition is actually almost concerning. I’d much prefer solemn, or guarded, or respectful, or overconfident. Or anything other than exactly as he’s being...cheeky Eddie... Rolling Eyes

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:33 pm

Perhaps algorithms used for dating websites are rather less than ideal, though these often have too much human expertise added in also.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:38 pm

I understand that Barrett (B) is operating at 50% tackle completion rate so far this tournament, hence why I would argue that his defence is not a strong point. (Plus I can still remember his headless chicken impression against Underhill last November)

Experience can cover less talent - to a degree. More importantly experience can help polish talent. Players (and coaches) also need experience of losing to help them progress. Experience for teh sake of experience is worthless - but inexperience and naivety can create issues.

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Post by Taylorman on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 5:45 pm

miaow wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park.

Anyone who thinks this kind of modelling is a "load of old rubbish" should perhaps become a professional gambler as they obviousley know more than the bookies.

Algorithms are much better predictors than human experts.

Until they're not. There's always, always room for human expertise - algorithims just work on inputs. For something like this, they're ideal. But they cannot always sucessfully factor in the more 'human' elements, even when they try.

Yes but when are they not? Look at the human efforts to pick results in this tournament, all generally biased towards their own sides as a starting point. Just because one human picks an upset doesn’t make them more accurate. More missed it.

I’m betting the system used for this tournament would beat any human alive in getting most of the correct results. Why, because several humans got together and identified with much more precision the key inputs that go into any result, and more importantly, discarded those that apply any form of bias.

They’ll have missed the Ireland match, but so did just about every human, bar Joseph and his merry men, and that’s because they’re inputs did not go deep enough into what made Japan particularly strong.

They were there, they just weren’t at the levels the tool was exposed to.

But unless an individual did more analysis than that came up with the tool, they won’t beat it. They might equal it, simply by picking the favourite every time, but they won’t beat it.

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Post by No name Bertie on Tue 22 Oct 2019, 6:12 pm

LondonTiger wrote:You do realise that the Predictive Analysis used here is not saying that NZ are guaranteed to win, just that they are more likely to beat England. It is taking subjective processes out of the equation and building a series of probabilities. Now some other models make NZ slightly less of a favourite, but this outcome is not crazy. England winning 1 in 5 is certainly in the right ball park ...
Sounds about right England have about a 20% chance of beating NZ.  I wonder how that translates into most likely score difference?  So we can say NZ is favorite but is it an expected 5 point margin or 10 point margin or 20 point margin ...

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