Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some dodgy analysis based on questionable research has the Aussies nosing it

The exciting graphic above (all my own work – I know, it’s hard to believe) shows the relationship between a provincial side winning the Super10/12/14/Rugby and the county of that province going on to win the Tri- Nations. It works 70% of the time. Well it failed miserably last year, as the Boks, despite the Super final being played between two SA sides, went on to get creamed in the Tri Nations. The Boks won it in 2009, but by 2010 the AB’s and Aussies had them all figured out. Well maybe they were crap too, but the net result for the Boks was one solitary win against Australia.

So that big build up is to have a look at the theory that as the Reds won the Super Rugby final, this means the Wallabies have a 70% chance of claiming the Tri Nations in 2012. Mmm, not so sure, shows what you can do with stats. But let’s not write them off just yet, and they get their warm ups underway with a match against Samoa this weekend.

This is their team:

Australia: 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.

Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Dan Vickerman, 18 Scott Higginbotham, 19 Beau Robinson, 20 Will Genia, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 TBC.

Not too many Reds about which is not surprising as they need to get a rest sometime. Having said that, this is a quite a light weight team IMO, I would have thought they’d be tying to get some of their top combinations going already. Phipps at 9 is a surprise, as is the sight of Vickerman on the bench – is this Help the Aged week? But I’m only a humble blogger, not the mighty Robbie Deans, so let’s see

Samoa have a good team, no doubt about it, they are normally ultra physical, a bit weak on set pieces, and deadly in broken play. I think the Aussies may need some of the cavalry on the bench to see this one home...

Samoa: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 13 George Pisi, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 George Stowers, 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 6 Taisina Tuifu'a, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Kane Thompson, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Mahonri Schwalger (c), 1 Sakaria Taulafo.

Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Census Johnston, 18 Filipo Lavea Levi, 19 Manaia Salavea, 20 Brenton Helleur, 21 Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu, 22 James So'oialo.

Sunday , July 17

Australia vs Samoa 14:00

The Currie Cup and the ITM Cup have got going. I don’t know about the ITM Cup, but the Currie Cup only tends to get exciting with about three weeks left in the season. So if I watch anything at this stage, it will be by accident.

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