#RWC2019; what kind of games?

Forty six games have been completed at RWC2019 (link). Going into the semi finals, I wondered how each of the four teams might adapt their passing and kicking strategies and the importance they attached to lineouts and scrums.

My record of the two semi finals taken from the official website:

The Wales v South Africa game had the lowest number of passes and highest number of kicks in the tournament to date. The England v New Zealand game had 213 more passes than the Wales v South Africa game and 16 fewer kicks.

My median data for the tournament are:

  • 16 penalties and free kicks conceded
  • 58 kicks
  • 264 passes
  • 14 scrums
  • 25 lineouts
  • 4.55 passes to kicks
  • 1.79 lineouts to scrums
  • 2.55 as a single game metric

I have been using ggplot to help me visualise these data. The location of the two semi finals relative to the tournament median ratio (4.55) (in coral as a vertical line):

The outlier in my data set is the New Zealand v Namibia game. This game had 37 kicks, 401 passes and just one scrum. Only three games had a smaller, singular ratio than the Wales v South Africa game.

I did use a linear regression (geom-smooth) to look at the single game ratio.

I think this visualisation gives us an opportunity to consider the kind of games that are outliers and what they tell us about the games played. The horizontal coral line is the median single measure for the tournament. The range is 0.52 to 6.31.

Photo Credits

Rugby World Cup Commentary (RWC2019)

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