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Hometown Refs

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by Rebels3, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Rebels3 Peter Johnson (47)

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    Lots of talk today about hometown refs.

    I have been caught up in the outrage before and perceived bias but then again I have always thought it’s probably my bias that is clouding the judgement. So I decided to do some research today on the stats, dating back to the start of the 2017 season.

    So the research involved all SR matches that had a hometown ref in charge of the match against foreign opposition, that stats tell an interesting story

    Penalty counts won

    Australia - 15 wins 8 losses 3 draws
    New Zealand - 16 wins 21 losses 2 draws
    South Africa - 36 wins 7 losses 3 draws
    Argentina - 3 wins 0 losses 0 draws

    Penalty +\-

    Australia - (+16)
    New Zealand - (-15)
    South Africa - (+159)
    Argentina - (+19)

    Top 10 Penalty Count differential (won)

    SA +19
    SA +13
    NZ +12
    NZ +10
    AR +10
    SA +9
    SA +9
    SA +9
    SA +9

    Top 5 Penalty Count differential (lost)

    Aus -10
    NZ -7
    NZ -6
    SA -6
    Aus -5

    On a separate note SA has only lost 2 of the last 29 penalty counts in the republic when reffed by someone from SA.

    Apologies if I made a slight error anywhere. This took hours to collate and source. A Sunday well spent haha
    Hawko, Derpus, Dctarget and 15 others like this.
  2. Up the Guts Mark Ella (57)

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    Fantastic work
  3. Roberts Rugby Nev Cottrell (35)

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    Great stuff.
  4. Silverado Colin Windon (37)

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    Thanks, great work. Confirms a lot of "perceived " injustices. Neutral refs a must
  5. Rebels3 Peter Johnson (47)

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    On saying this we need to remember the stats next time we complain about injustice in NZ. Figures show it’s not happening.
    dru likes this.
  6. Dismal Pillock Paul McLean (56)

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  7. RugbyReg Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Sorry, can you talk me through this?

    So you are saying, for example, there were 26 games in Australia where we played an OS team with an Aussie ref, and of those games we won the GAME (or the penalty count?) 15 times, lost 8 and drew 3?

    So is that saying Australian teams, for example, had 16 more penalties their way over those 26 games?

    Not sure what these are? Are they individual games?
  8. Rebels3 Peter Johnson (47)

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    Yeh sure

    1) Just the penalty count
    2) yes 16 more penalties than the opponent across the entire sample
    3) yes individual games. SA teams had a game where their team won the penalty count by 19 and likewise an Aus team lost a penalty count by 10 at home. The most throughout the sample

    The most worrying one for me is the fact SA sides have been better behaved 27 of their last 29 games. For such a physical country that likes to play on the edge, it makes for interesting reading.
  9. Bobby Sands Banned

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    Excellent work, forward to Raelene please. This morning broke my head.

    About three or four years ago a similar thing happened to the Reds in South Africa. I can’t remember the ref but he actually got sidelined for a few weeks - which offered some (very small) solace.

    That was the worst I’d seen until this morning, and it probably still is, but we must have played an hour without a penalty today. Even a cursory understanding of how opaque the laws of rugby are would make it evident that just isn’t possible unless intentional.
  10. RugbyReg Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Ok, so are we saying that, on a per game basis, the home town advantage to each country is:

    Australia = 0.62 (less than on extra penalty a match)
    New Zealand = -0.38 (less than one extra penalty a match to the opposition)
    South Africa = 3.46
    Argentina = 6.33

    ??? Is that the right interpretation? If so then the Argentina figure is incredible. Each home game with one of their refs that can an extra 6+ penalties per match?
  11. Rebels3 Peter Johnson (47)

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    Penalty counts over the 3 Arg games are 11-7 (2018), 12-7 (2019), 13-3 (2020). Todays one was the 5th biggest margin in that time.

    Argentina is a small sample. Say they lose the next count 8-5 it does bring the average down quickly

    The +19 game I’m pretty sure was the Rebels at Lions where the Rebels were rolling them at half time then conceded a tone of pens in the second for a miraculous comeback for the Lions. Would of started the season 6-0
    Bobby Sands likes this.
  12. Forcefield Ken Catchpole (46)

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    I don't think it's fair to assume a lop-sided penalty count equals bias. Don't get me wrong, I thought Anselmi's performance against the Reds was poor. Two factors that need to be considered are travel fatigue and style of play. Most teams go to Argentina in the round the world trip. With travel comes fatigue which comes pressure and poorer discipline. The same concept applies to the high veldt. In sthle of play, Australian and NZ teams go hard at the breakdown. This is likely to give more penalties than teams/countries thst don't. In addition, *let me adjust my tin foil hat* NZ teams are happy to give up penalties to prevent tries.

    To me, neutral refs are a no brainer as the cost of perceived bias is far higher than the travel costs.

    EDIT: I love to see World Rugby publish de-identified information on objective referee ratings following review for all these games. i.e. for those three Argie home town ref games, how did the ref manager rate the performance. That would be telling.
  13. Rebels3 Peter Johnson (47)

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    I actually think most penalties in some of these lopsided games are valid. It’s the incredible attention on one side and not the other that frustrates me. Today was a prime example of it. You could make an argument for most of the pens, yet there seemed to be a reduced focus on the home side. Prime example was when they grubbered a kick through with a player well and truly offside that forces oconner to run the ball dead.

    There seems an intent focus on one side looking for indiscretions, due to this the opposition can get away with 50/50s. When the away team even strays close to 50/50 it’s pinged cause they are almost wanting it to happen
  14. Up the Guts Mark Ella (57)

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    It’s the officiating at the breakdown where the lopsided penalties come into their own. Argies today were taking out the halfback, lying all over the ball, and coming in from the side and getting away with it. In contrast, a number of times Reds players appeared to be on their feet and, without any warning from the ref for hands off the ball, were penalised.
  15. Ulrich Nev Cottrell (35)

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    You should collate in an excel sheet and mail it to a reputable media publication (perhaps several, one in each country) as well as SANZAAR and SARU and ask for comment.

    If you do not get a response from SANZAAR or SARU then you can follow up with the media on whether they have investigated. Perhapa even try World Rugby.

    EDIT: I would be happy to assist. Which source(s) did you use to tally the pen counts and ref in charge?

    If this is some ploy it needs to be exposed and eradicated and if there is such a variance in interpretations from SA refs to the other counterparts then that needs to be investigated as well.
  16. qwerty51 George Gregan (70)

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    But I get clowned at for suggesting such a preposterous thing.
  17. Ulrich Nev Cottrell (35)

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    There are some things that do differ between referees. SA refs I have noticed are much more likely to call a knock-on even if it appears to go backwards. Kiwi refs tend to give the benefit more often in that scenario. That is no slight on either camp, just casual observation.
  18. Strewthcobber Mark Ella (57)

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    You'd probably need to have a look at neutral refs in each of this countries to see if the home team is getting more penalties regardless of where the ref is from

    Should add in the other big difficulty with this sort of analysis - our sport plays advantage. So you could concede 5 penalties in a sequence, but if the opposition gets an advantage then none of them will be recorded.

    Probably evens out over a big enough sample (n=? But probably >3)

    Excellent stats though!
  19. Mr Wobbly Alan Cameron (40)

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    Yep. Lions v Rebels, Round 5. Rebels were leading 33-5 at half time before Egon Seconds, in a huge second half effort, stamped his authority on the game blowing 20 penalties to 1. Lions ended up winning 36-33.

    Edit: Rebels also copped two YCs in the 2nd half ;)
  20. Tangawizi Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    If you get a chance (maybe next weekend) can you have a look at the Lions in insolation since 2014? I suspect that will throw up some interesting statistics.

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