Category: Contributor’s corner

Which team has the most optimistic fans in the competition? Superbru predictions Week 9

We were solidly outplayed by the average pundit last weekend: following the lead of Superbru neutrals would have got five out of six games right; we got just three.

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To distract you from our poor performance we thought we’d look at an interesting question: which team has the most optimistic fans in the competition? The chart below shows the average overestimate made by each team’s fan base on Superbru. From the 8 rounds played so far, Reds fans have been the most optimistic, in the sense of making the biggest overestimates of how their team is going to fare, followed by three South African franchises. Interestingly fans of most New Zealand teams actually underestimate their team’s performances!

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Here are the predictions for the weekend ahead:

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Ian Durbach

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

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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.

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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.

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