#RWC2019 after 44 games

The quarter finals stage of the Rugby World Cup was concluded with South Africa’s victory over Japan (link). Forty-four games have been played. The official website for the tournament provides a Stats page for each game (link).

Data are provided for:

  • Territory
  • Possession
  • Attack
  • Kicking
  • Set pieces
  • Discipline
  • Defence

Of these, I have chosen to look closely at discipline (referee, referee’s country of origin, penalties and free kicks conceded and cards), passes (attack), kicks, lineouts and scrums (set pieces). I am particularly interested in how mobile a game is so I have monitored two ratios (lineouts:scrums and passes:kicks). I have curated these data as a Google Sheet (link).

I have separate tabs within the Google Sheet to provide granular data including cards given by referees.

I have a particular interest in whether my two ratios can become a single figure to describe a game (link). The numbers I have calculated range from 0.52 (New Zealand v Namibia) to 6.31 (Wales v Uruguay). The median game ratio is 2.55. I have explored these data with R. My visualisations using size (with a geom_hline as a median), colour and annotate (for outliers) are:

After forty-four games, the median game content I have is:

  • 16 penalties and free kicks conceded
  • 58 kicks
  • 264 passes
  • 14 scrums
  • 25 lineouts

These medians become probability priors for subsequent games. It will be interesting to see what kind of games the semi-finals are.

Photo Credit

On attack (RWC2019)


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