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6Ns - Championships, Slams, Wooden Spoons, Whitewashes and some musings

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6Ns - Championships, Slams, Wooden Spoons, Whitewashes and some musings Empty 6Ns - Championships, Slams, Wooden Spoons, Whitewashes and some musings

Post by Portnoy's Complaint Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:58 pm

Since the first 6Ns in 2000, four sides have won the championship and each of those have won the GS at least once - France (3), England (1), Wales (3) and Ireland (1).

That's eight GS years in 12 which is about on par with post-70s 5Ns trends.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Nations_Championship#Six_Nations_2000.E2.80.93present

Each year, three sides play two home games whilst the remainder host three.
In 'odd' years like 2013, England, Italy and Scotland have the three home games whilst France, Ireland and Wales have the two.
Obviously in alternate years they are reversed.

Let's call years in which a nation has three home games an 'on' year and ones which have two an 'off' year.

This year it's
Country, on/off, (GS win years), visiting teams
England, 'on', (03), Scotland France Italy
France, 'off', (02 04 10), Wales Scotland
Ireland, 'off', (09), England France
Italy, 'on', (-), France Wales Ireland
Scotland, 'on', (-), Italy Wales France
Wales, 'off',(05 08 12) Ireland England

So six of the eight slams went with 'on' years.
But Wales '05' and Ireland '09' won GSs playing three games away.

Compare the 6Ns Champions:
'on' year (3 home games)
'off' year (3 away games)
2000 England
2001 England
2002 France
2003 England
2004 France
2005 Wales
2006 France
2007 France
2008 Wales
2009 Ireland
2010 France
2011 England
2012 Wales

Same trend. Champions follow the 'on' year rule.

Now Wooden Spoons:

2000 Italy
2001 Italy *
2002 Italy *
2003 Wales *
2004 Scotland *
2005 Italy *
2006 Italy *
2007 Scotland
2008 Scotland
2009 Italy *
2010 Italy
2011 Italy
2012 Scotland *
* whitewash (5 losses)

Whitewashes were also handed down on eight occasions so by reverse logic, you'd expect them to be in 'off' years when the teams play only two home games.
Italy 02 06
Scotland 04 12
Wales 03

But these whitewashes went against teams in 'on' (three home fixtures) years
Italy 01 05 09

No two years are identical and many factors can come into play - injury, retirement and blooding of players, weather, psychology, crowd factors, finance etc.

But let's compare 'on' years for each team alongside each other:

Nation, even/odd year for 'on' year, home fixtures, away fixtures
England, odd, France Scotland Italy, Ireland Wales
France, even, England Ireland Italy, Scotland Wales
Ireland, even, Italy Scotland Wales, England France
Italy, odd, France Ireland Wales, Ireland Scotland
Scotland, odd, Ireland Italy Wales, England France
Wales, even, France Italy Scotland, England Ireland

against

Overall 6N positions (2000 -> 2112)
1 France (3 5 1 3 1 2 1 1 3 3 1 2 4) Avg 2.31
2 England (1 1 2 1 3 4 4 3 2 2 3 1 2) Avg 2.38
3 Ireland (3 2 3 2 2 3 2 2 4 1 2 3 3) Avg 2.46
4 Wales (4 4 5 6 4 1 5 5 1 4 4 4 1) Avg 3.69
5 Scotland (5 3 4 4 6 5 3 6 5 5 5 5 6) Avg 4.00
6 Italy ( 6 6 6 5 5 6 6 4 6 6 6 6 5) Avg 5.62
source:http://www.rbs6nations.com/en/match-centre_table.php?includeref=739&season=1999-2000

Even years (3 home games 2 home games
1 France (3 1 1 1 3 1 4) Avg 2.00
2 England (1 2 3 4 2 3 2) Avg 2.42
3 Ireland (3 3 2 2 4 2 3) Avg 2.71
4 Wales (4 5 4 5 1 4 1) Avg 3.43
5 Scotland (5 4 6 3 5 5 6) Avg 4.86
6 Italy ( 6 6 5 6 6 6 5) Avg 5.717


Odd years (3 home games 2 home games
1 England (1 1 4 3 2 1) Avg 2.00
2 Ireland (2 2 3 2 1 3) Avg 2.17
3 France (5 3 2 1 3 2) Avg 2.67
4 Wales (4 6 1 5 4 4) Avg 3.69

5= Scotland (3 4 5 6 5 5) Avg 5.50
5= Italy (6 5 6 4 6 6) Avg 5.50


From which it seems that France have fared noticeably worse in 'off' years than 'on'.

But given the relative paucity of success from Scotland and Italy in the 6Ns era, maybe it shouldn't be the number of away games against those countries which may provide a better predictor of Championship/GS chances:

England, odd, France Italy Scotland, Ireland Wales - 'even' years
Ireland, even, Italy Scotland Wales, England France - 'odd' years
Wales, even, France Italy Scotland, England Ireland - 'odd' years

France, even, England Ireland Italy, Scotland Wales - neutral

Italy, odd, France Ireland Wales, Ireland Scotland - neutral
Scotland, odd, Ireland Italy Wales, England France - neutral

So testing that hypothesis

The following 6Ns championships have been won by teams which play the Italians/Scots twice each year in the same country:

Years the champions played both Italians/Scots at home
Years the champions played both Italians/Scots away
*GS years
2000 England
2001 England
2002* (France)
2003* England
2004* (France)
2005* Wales
2006 (France)
2007 (France)
2008* Wales
2009* Ireland
2010* (France)
2011 England
2012* Wales

From a small sample (8), five championships were achieved 'on the road' to both Italy and Scotland and of those the familiar Wales '05 and Ireland '09 were slams.

For me, I think that there is (just) enough to support some of my pet views:
1. Grand Slams come around too frequently and therefore become a little too undervalued.
2. For the sake of European rugby, a multi-divisional 4Ns competition (with a ko playoff at the end of each season at the ground of the top side of the lower league) for promotion/non-relegation. Div 1 initially to consist Top 4 from current 6Ns, Div 2 from bottom 2 of 6Ns plus two next ranked European sides. All 4Ns matches to be played home and away (that'll make GSs really tough).





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Post by Guest Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:06 pm

You can't get a devalued Grand Slam a team earns it and no one not no one can take that away from them.

Wales took their last two slams having to visit Twickenham! that is some going considering how good the home record the English had over the Welsh.

Interesting read thou.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:19 pm

Erm
21st Century Schizoid Man
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:05 am

viewtothegym wrote:You can't get a devalued Grand Slam a team earns it and no one not no one can take that away from them.

Wales took their last two slams having to visit Twickenham! that is some going considering how good the home record the English had over the Welsh.

Interesting read thou.

I'm not 'devaluing' GSs view. You can't. I said that in my piece effectively

No two years are identical and many factors can come into play - injury, retirement and blooding of players, weather, psychology, crowd factors, finance etc.
. What I said was, and attempted to explore is that the structure of the 6Ns produces an imbalance of difficulty in each alternate year.

Wales in odd yeadrs (like 2013) play England and Ireland at home and France, Italy and Scotland away which is arguably an easier prospect than the other way around. Similarly as I see it England and Ireland's GS prospects on paper look better the 'wrong way round' as both Scotland and Italy are away games.

But actually I was saying that divisional, home and away 4Ns would produce rarer, but even more coveted GSs.

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Post by AlastairW Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:20 am

I can see your point GT, and i applaud your ideas for shaking the structure up some.

Does it devalue a GS though? I don't think any Wales fan would say that any of their GS's since 2000 has in any way been under valued, by extension, the same for any national team. Just because there were a higher frequency of GS than at any point before, would that devalue a GS if say Italy acheived their first? I don't think it would.

The 6N's is such an old competition that i just can't see it being re-worked. I find your structure solid for a more European competition, though, and i'd love to see Russia/Romania/Spain/Portugal/Germany play a greater amount of games against the 'Big 6'. How can we expect the sport to grow throughout the EU if the old boys club effectivly leave growing unions out?



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Post by damage_13 Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:06 pm

Erm.. right.

I'm less interested in GS, while good for the winning teams they are only of value if the opposing teams are in strength.
The SANZAR nations look at some of the matches that resulted in GS and think quite rightly some years a team in the top 4 get bye's from one of the others being out of sorts.

Alistair W - "i'd love to see Russia/Romania/Spain/Portugal/Germany play a greater amount of games against the 'Big 6'. How can we expect the sport to grow throughout the EU if the old boys club effectivly leave growing unions out?"

Precisely.!

I wish there was better coverage with the tier 2 6N teams.

I think given that some Tier 1 teams no longer have an A team and that even if a Tier 2 plays an A team there is very little coverage (and money in it).

This leads me to think that either we play the matches as double headers with the Tier 1 match being played first and either cheaper tickets or a % of gate receipts depending on remaining spectators.. (if so when do the Womens 6N play)

Or we expand the 6N to include a promoted team from the Tier 2 competition with the current 6 being fixed. The tier 2 6N could be done before the 7N so that we know which side would join this years 7N?

Methinks the calender wouldn't allow it, but it could be an help for the top teams to develop their sides better during the 7N


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Post by mr_stonelea Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:13 pm

For a start, I would do away with the June Eng-Baabaa's fixture and replace it with a game against one of Russia/Romania/Spain/Portugal/Germany....even if it is a Saxon's side, I'd much rather go to that fixture than a festival type game

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