Wales v England Rugby: Comparing 1983 and 2015



I have spent some time over the weekend following up on the data provided by Accenture on the RSB Six Nations’ Rugby Site.

The data for the 2015 Wales v England game played in Cardiff can be found here.

These data took me back to one of my early real-time hand notations of international rugby, the 1983 game between Wales and England.


I have summarised my hand notation from the game in this Google Sheet.

I emphasise these are real-time data with no lapsed-time reliability test performed.

The game ended as a 13v13 draw (6v6) at half time. This is the ESPN record of the game and the teams. (Note a try was 4 points in this game.)

My data suggest the following from a game played on a wet day in Cardiff.

WE game data

I was very keen to use these data with coaches. I had been trying to get an accurate measure of ball in play time since 1980. By 1983 I was starting to be very precise with ball in play. I had two stopwatches running during the game, one for actual time and the other to measure stoppages in play.

I was keen to coach rugby as a passing game so quite early on in my hand notations I was keen to look at possessions and passing sequences.

These are my data from the 1983 game:


I have retained my original hand notation from the game. I see from it that I was trying to record scrummage time too. In the first half of the game I noted that there was 7min 7s of scrum engagement and approximately 4min in the second half.

I was monitoring stoppages for injury and, in part, the low total game time is explained by the small number of stoppages to the game.

The scoring sequence was 0-4 (try 13.09), 3-4 (penalty 18.50), 6-4 (drop goal 35.30), 6-7 (penalty). In the second half, 6-10 (drop goal), 9-10 (penalty), 13-10 (try, 29), 13-13 (penalty, 32).

Photo Credit

Cardiff Arms Park (Walt Jabsco, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.