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Super Rugby 2018

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by waiopehu oldboy, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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  2. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    The byes and foreign tours all being completed prior to the June series skews the number of home games in the opening 2/3 of the competition to look pretty bad for most teams.

    I'm not sure I agree that early home games help drive interest in the season. My experience over a number of years of being a member is that less fans are ready to engage in rugby in February and March and it doesn't really help having lots of home games early.

    That said, if you have a terrible start to the season it makes it very difficult to garner interest later in the season when you're home games are happening. A bit of a catch-22.

    I think it is good that no teams have to travel after the June series. For any teams with finals aspirations it could put a huge dent in your chances if you potentially had to go to South Africa/Argentina (or to NZ/Aus) twice or three times in the space of a month to win the competition.
  3. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    ^^^^^^ I'm hearing you BH but I'd still like to have seen two rounds of derbys, ensuring everyone gets a home game, to kick-start the season esp in Aus when that's the only time you're not up against NRL & AFL.
    mst and Brumby Runner like this.
  4. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    I haven't had time to do a proper analysis but at first glance it seems to me that the Lions have the best draw, six home games in the first eight weeks & Jo'burg being just about the hardest away gig there is has gotta be good for them (unless they have an absolute 'mare on the road, of course).
  5. TOCC Guest

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    There might be reasons for it like the Comm Games, but the Reds not playing a game in QLD for 5 weeks early in the season is ridiculous and makes it hard for the QLD Rugby public to engage.

    And I don't agree that home games late in the season are of much more benefit then earlier in the season. By the completion of the June series, people have forgotten that the super rugby season is still going, for many the season is already over by then, players released and coaches sacked

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  6. Sully Rod McCall (65)

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    The Comms games is what it is and there is no getting around it. there is not much that could have been done except taking the game to north Queensland and I don't know if they'd draw a big enough crowd in Townsville.
  7. TOCC Guest

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    Yes it is what it is, but the Comm Games is only 2 weeks, planning around that isn't completely impossible and shouldn't mean a 5 week hiatus from playing a home game.

    Reds South African tour could have coincided with the 2 weeks required for the Commonwealth Games, or the bye round could have coincided with the window required for the Commonwealth Games.

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  8. RoffsChoice Ken Catchpole (46)

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    I'm not a fan of how they're measuring strength of schedule. Rebels listed as third easiest, yet their schedule from Round 4 to Round 13 is basically one long nightmare for them: Brumbies (H), Tahs (A), Sharks (H), Hurricanes (H), BYE, Jags (A), Bulls (A), Stormers (H), Crusaders (H), Brumbies (A). And that isn't even including their two away games to NZ.
    From Round 3 to Round 11, it's similar for the Reds: Brumbies (H), Bulls (H), Jags (A), Stormers (A), BYE, Brumbies (A), Tahs (A), Chiefs (H), Lions (H). Again, not even including their two away games to NZ.
  9. jimmydubs Jim Clark (26)

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    In fairness if the teams weren't shit and beat half those teams in the last couple years it would seem a better schedule.
  10. liquor box Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    And I don't agree that home games late in the season are of much more benefit then earlier in the season.

    Agree, by the end of the season the fans might have given up.

    The hype is at the start of the year and this is better for crowds, if all goes well to start the season then end of season crowds will take care of themselves.
  11. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I think it is nothing more scientific than adding together the competition points scored last year by the teams you play.

    The Brumbies have the easiest schedule because they play two games against the four teams in their conference who were all crap last year.

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  12. Brumby Runner Michael Lynagh (62)

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    I think you are speaking with your tongue well and truly planted in the cheek BH, but I can see it now. The Brumbies win the Aus conference next year and it's all down to the easy schedule that have. Just like their under-representation at the national level is passed off this year.
  13. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Equating that to Wallaby selection is a bit of a stretch BR.

    It's just like the Blues have the toughest draw because they were the last placed NZ team and have to play the other four twice next year.

    The Brumbies have the easiest draw because last year the Aussie conference was the weakest (and the Sunwolves who have joined it finished second last) and their draw is statistically easier than the other teams because they can't play themselves.

    I don't believe this involves any weighting for home vs away games or certainly positioning of byes or travel turnarounds etc.

    Of course if the Brumbies win the Aussie conference next year it will be because they are the best team.

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  14. RoffsChoice Ken Catchpole (46)

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    To weigh up the effects of little things like when the tours are, how difficult the games are immediately before and after the tours, the momentum of a good start to the season or a bad one, how much momentum is lost over the June tests, etc., is basically impossible. I like that they recognise the draw is imbalanced, but, in the 2011-2015 version of Super Rugby, this was more down to who you don't play than who you do.

    Only one Australian team (the 2011 Reds) won the conference with fewer points from in-conference games than external, and only one Australian team (the 2011 Waratahs) didn't win the conference despite taking the most points from their in-conference games.
    The same holds for South Africa, where only the 2014 Sharks won their conference with more external than in-conference points, and no South African team has failed to win their conference when they got the most in-conference points.
    The exception is New Zealand, where only the 2013 Chiefs had more in-conference points than external, and the 2011 Blues, 2012 Crusaders, and 2014 Chiefs all had more in-conference points than the NZ conference winner.

    Basically, unless you are from New Zealand, you get to the finals by winning your conference games. If you fail to do this, you might still win it if the conference leader loses their external games, and you win yours. This happened in 2011, when the Waratahs only took 2 points from their external away games, while the Reds took 13. WIth hindsight, this actually may have been due to strength of schedule, as the Waratahs home fixtures were about 30% easier than the Reds, but their away fixtures were 30% more difficult. And, of course, away fixtures are where you'll be hit hardest. This isn't to take away from how well the Reds performed in 2011, mind you.

    The point is, in-conference fixtures are inherently balanced, and winning your conference is, with very few exceptions, the way to win Super Rugby. So the real strength of schedule is a measure of out-of-conference opposition. So, I'd suggest that strength of schedule be measured in the following way:
    - For each team, take their home fixtures against out-of-conference opposition
    - Give each of these teams a score equal to their competition points in the previous season
    - Sum these scores
    - Repeat the above process for the away fixtures against out-of-conference opposition
    - Divide the away scores by the home scores. This is that team's strength of schedule. A higher value is a tougher schedule.

    Edit: I didn't take the out-of-conference teams that each team misses during the season into consideration. I've now done this by taking the product of the Home-Away strength of schedule with the strength of these missed teams (found by dividing the average strength of each conference (i.e. the total points of the conference divided by the number of teams) by the strength of the teams that are missed). I also forgot the distorting impact of these functions, so I've re-done the scale: a value of zero is a neutral strength of schedule. A positive value is more difficult, a negative value is easier.

    By this method, the strength of schedule (from hardest to easiest) for each team is as follows:
    Sunwolves: 0.622
    Blues: 0.462
    Crusaders: 0.419
    Bulls: 0.298
    Waratahs: 0.200
    Brumbies: 0.155
    Lions: 0.117
    Jaguares: -0.026
    Stormers: -0.092
    Chiefs: -0.116
    Highlanders: -0.119
    Sharks: -0.171
    Reds: -0.264
    Hurricanes: -0.517
    Rebels: -0.689
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  15. kiap Tony Shaw (54)

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    Looks like the Sunwolves are stuffed then.
  16. FiveStarStu Bill McLean (32)

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    It's not a real measure of toughness, just a sum of the total points of their opponents. All Australian teams have relatively easy draws because all Australian teams sucked.
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  17. RoffsChoice Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Refer back to:
  18. Dismal Pillock Peter Johnson (47)

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    Blues can. They have some epic tussles with themselves. What are we doing? Where are we going? Are you even on this team?
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  19. cyclopath Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    They are the yin and yang.
  20. waiopehu oldboy Phil Kearns (64)

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    ^^^^^^^ I'd have thought they were more the alpha & (mostly/ recently) omega of the NZ Conference :)

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