Category: Contributor’s corner

Small sided games – experts vs. novices (by Prof. Luis Vaz)

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.58.56 PM

This week, we have pleasure in publishing the presentation of Professor Luis Vaz on small-sided games (SSGs) in Rugby Union. For the full presentation (courtesy of Prof. Vaz) click this link: Luis Vaz et al Rugbyscientist Presentation


Professor Vaz is a Professor of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), a researcher in Center in Sport Sciences, Health and Human Development (CIDESD) and a Rugby Performance Analyst for Portugal Rugby Federation (F.P.R.). You can email him on:



#Superugby predictions week 6: is quality of opposition relevant?

Our predictions were slightly below-par last weekend, getting 4 of weekend’s 7 games correct. Unfortunately two of our outside bets, the Waratahs and Stormers, ended up on the losing side.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.20.38 AM


This weekend looks like an interesting bunch of games: the Crusaders and Bulls are favoured to win, by quite a margin and based on any of our criteria, but the rest of the games look much closer. Picking the Sharks to beat the Chiefs is a result of the Sharks hammering the Cheetahs in their last outing, and a bit of South African bias in the Superbru forecasts. Incidentally, we experimented a bit with weighting a team’s performance in the last game by the quality of the opposition faced, as measured by their current log standing. None of the predicted winners of the weekend’s games changed, so we’ve left things as is for now.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.20.49 AM



As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the model?


SuperRugby Round 3 based on prediction model

Last weekend’s predictions fared a lot better than Round 1. From 1/7 we’ve gone to 4/7. That means by extrapolation this weekend we should get 100%…

Here’s how last weekend’s games happened:

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 5.05.19 PM This week the Superbru fan analysis turns up a few interesting results. As expected, there’s a healthy dose of fan bias, but it’s not unanimous: Rebels and Lions fans are actually expecting their teams to lose this weekend.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 5.05.40 PM

Here are the Rugby Scientists’ prediction, triangulated from predictions made from past seasons points tallies, previous game analyses, and adjusted Superbru forecasts. The forecasts make it look like we’re in for a weekend of close games, although for three of the games the margin, form, and Superbru predictions coincide: Hurricanes to beat the Force, Sharks to beat the Bulls, and Stormers to beat the Lions, all away.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 5.06.13 PM

Dr Ian Durbach

(Data supplied by Superbru)