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Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Four

07 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Four

Are the human instincts of a Rugby World Cup winner better than the calculated logic of big data? There's only one way to find out...

Rugby is a numbers game, yet it is also a game that is played in the head.

Therefore, throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup we will be pitching the experience of former England centre and World Cup winner Mike Tindall against the mathematical calculations of data analytics in a bid to see who can best predict which way the tournament will go.

The Machine stormed into a 3-0 lead with another impressive performance last week – perfectly forecasting South Africa to score three tries against Scotland and prevail by 16-20 points, with the actual winning margin of 18 just a single point away from The Machine’s prediction of 19.

With just one more round of fixtures to go before the quarter-finals Mike has it all to do, but as the pressure of the knock-out stages takes hold can his priceless experience and inside knowledge come to the fore?

Game 1: Samoa v Scotland (Saturday, 14:30)

The Machine says:

Scotland and Samoa have only ever played each other nine times, with Scotland enjoying a 7-1 head-to-head record with one draw.

During those matches Scotland have averaged 2.3 tries per game compared to Samoa’s 1.2.

Scotland have also averaged 24.2 points per game compared to Samoa’s 13.6, with an average winning margin of 10.6.

Scotland also enjoy a perfect head-to-head record in the Rugby World Cup, having beaten Samoa in both the 1991 and 1999 tournaments.

5/1 – Scotland to win by 6-10 points
9/2 – Scotland to score exactly 2 triesmvm-sco-sam
Mike says:

Looking at Samoa coming into this World Cup, I thought that they could be possible quarter-finalists – but by their own admission they have been very disappointing.

They were beaten fair and square all around the park against Japan and conceded all of their tries in the first half after a slow start.

It is a very rare thing to see a Samoa team fail to make those line breaks and you simply cannot afford to get three yellow cards and still expect to win a game – they must control their emotions.

Samoa are not organised enough around the set-piece, so if Scotland trust their defensive systems and their scrum and line-out function well then they could starve them of ball.

Scotland have already proven that they can score points against Japan and USA, and even against South Africa they were well in the game with 16 points before the yellow card changed the game.

The Scots seem to have found an attacking shape that they like so I think they will score more than their average with a wider winning margin.

I am going to go for Scotland to win 30-12 with Stuart Hogg scoring the first try.

6/1 – Scotland to win by 16-20 points
8/1 – Stuart Hogg to score first try

Game 2: Australia v Wales (Saturday, 16:45)

The Machine says:

Australia have won all 10 of their most recent internationals against Wales.

During those matches they have averaged 2.4 tries per compared to Wales’ 1.6 and 25.2 points per game compared to Wales’ 19.1, giving them an average winning margin of 6.1.

Australia also enjoy a superior head-to-head record in the Rugby World Cup, having won four and lost one of their five matches against Wales.

During those World Cup meetings Australia have averaged 3.4 tries per game compared to Wales’ 1.4 and 27.2 points per game compared to Wales’ 14.4, with an average winning margin of 12.8.

5/1 – Australia to win by 6-10 points
4/1 – Australia to score exactly 2 triesmvm-aus-wal
Mike says:

Wales are so banged up in terms of injuries I can see a much wider margin than usual.

The problem for Wales is that their pack got dominated by England for more than an hour and England’s pack then got dominated by Australia – so there could be a real gulf there.

Wales’ game is built around a strong set-piece so if they don’t get that then it could be a long day at the office with them struggling to make much of a mark on the scoreboard.

With the majority of Wales’ injuries being in the backs I think it is out wide where the Wallabies could be most dangerous.

Australia were so clinical and efficient against England I can see them scoring four tries and getting the bonus point at the weekend.

This could be the game where Israel Folau explodes.

I am going to go for a scoreline of 37-12 to Australia.

10/1 – Australia to win by 21-25 points
5/1 – Australia to score exactly 4 tries
7/1 – Israel Folau to score 2 or more tries

Game 3: France v Ireland (Sunday, 16:45)

The Machine says:

France have won five and lost three of their last 10 internationals against Ireland, with two draws.

During those matches they have averaged 21.1 points were game compared to Ireland’s 18.7, with an average winning margin of 2.4.

Both sides have also averaged 1.8 tries per game during that time.

France also enjoy a perfect head-to-head record in the Rugby World Cup, having won all three of their matches against Ireland.

During those World Cup meetings France have averaged 2.7 tries per game compared to Ireland’s 1, and 34.7 points compared to Ireland’s 12, with an average winning margin of 22.7.

5/1 – France to win by 1-5 points
3/1 – France to score exactly 2 triesmvm-fra-ire
Mike says:

I agree with The Machine on this one that France that are probably going to come out on top.

I’ve said it before but if Ireland fall behind I don’t think they have it in their arsenal to play catch-up rugby.

It is going to be a tight game but I think it is going to be one of those where France get theirs heads together and just come out and play, and if they get ahead then I can see them frustrating Ireland.

I like what France did against England in the warm-up games and I was impressed with them in their first game against Italy.

They have been typically up and down and were dire against Romania, but when they are switched on they look very good so it is a tall order for Ireland.

If Ireland are going to win then they have to get ahead early, but something in me is saying that France are going to win – I just fancy them this year.

Most of Ireland’s points will probably come through the boot of Jonathan Sexton whereas I fancy France to score a couple of tries.

It is going to be an arm wrestle so I can see Louis Picamoles being in the thick of it.

I am going to say France by six points.

6/1 – France to win by 6-10 points
9/4 – France half-time/France full-time
9/2 – Louis Picamoles to score at any time

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