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Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Three

01 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Three

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, but it is also a game that is played in the head.

Therefore, throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we will be pitching the experience and instinct 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.

Round 2 once again went to the Machine, who perfectly predicted Wales to prevail by three points against England in one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament so far.

It was not all bad news for Mike however, who came marginally closer in predicting New Zealand’s winning margin over Namibia and was correct in predicting Romania to score a try against Ireland.

However, with the Machine providing such formidable opposition he will need to raise his game for Round Three…

Game 1: South Africa v Scotland (Saturday, 16:45)

The Machine says:

South Africa have won 9 and lost 1 of their last ten matches against Scotland.

During those matches, South Africa have averaged 3.2 tries per game compared to Scotland’s 0.8.

South Africa have also averaged 30.2 points per game compared to Scotland’s 10.8, with an average winning margin of 19.4.

4/1 – South Africa to score exactly 3 tries
6/1 – South Africa to win by 16-20 pointsrsa-sco
Mike says:

This could be the pool decider in terms of who goes through on top of the group.

Scotland are in a far better place than normal going into this game with two wins and ten tries under their belt already, but this is their first real test.

Confidence will be high amongst the Scots and I do fancy them to score a couple of tries but they have also conceded in both of their games so far.

South Africa are nowhere near as settled as they have been recently having had to rebuild following that loss against Japan, but if they can get their basic game going then it could be a high-scoring game.

I still think that South Africa have enough to edge them, but it will be close.

I’ll go for South Africa to win 27-22. 

7/1 – South Africa to win by 1-5 points
7/2 – Scotland to score exactly 2 tries

Game 2: England v Australia (Saturday, 20:00)

The Machine says:

England have won 6 and lost 4 of their last ten home matches against Australia.

During those matches England have averaged 21.6 points per game compared to Australia’s 19.7, with an average winning margin of 1.9.

England and Australia have played each other five times in the Rugby World Cup, with Australia winning the first two meetings and England the last three.

Despite their superior head-to-head record in the tournament, England average both fewer tries (0.6) and fewer points (13.8) than Australia (1.2 and 16) – with Australia enjoying a superior average margin of 2.2.

5/2 – Australia +2.5 and under 41.5 points
9/2 – Owen Farrell to score all of England’s pointsing-oz
Mike says:

I originally thought that England would beat Wales and just miss out against Australia, so having been wrong the first time I am going to go against my initial thoughts on this one.

History says that it will be very close, and with Australia posing so many threats across the field they are always going to score tries.

However, England know exactly what is hanging on this game. They cannot afford not to be at the races so I expect to see them flying out of the blocks.

We could well see another high-scoring game, but I think that England are going to edge it by three points – it could even come down to a late kick like Jonny Wilkinson in 2003 or Rob Andrew in 1995.

My prediction is for 28-25 to England.

9/2 – England to win by 1-5 points
10/1 – Match special: England kick to win match

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

The Machine says:

Ireland have won 9 and lost 1 of their last ten matches against Italy.

During those matches, Ireland have averaged 2.2 tries per game compared to Italy’s 0.8.

Ireland have also averaged 28.4 points per game compared to Italy’s 11, with an average winning margin of 17.4.

11/2 – Ireland to win by 16-20 points
11/2 – Ireland to score exactly 2 triesire-ita
Mike says:

Italy did not play particularly well against France or Canada but their captain Sergio Parisse should be back in the pack which will make a big difference.

The Italians have not really found their straps at this World Cup but I can see them raising their game against Six Nations opposition so I don’t expect Ireland to put a big score on them like they have done in their previous two games.

Ireland know how to get things done and are very good at controlling a game but I’m not sure if they will score a lot of tries.

Instead, I imagine that they will look to build a lead with pressure and penalties and then maybe sneak a couple of tries later on – although I do see Italy getting one of their own.

That predicted margin of 17 is a good call from the Machine, it has to be said – but I am going to say that it will be slightly over that, so I will say Ireland by 21.

11/2 – Ireland to win by 21-25 points
2/1 – Italy to score exactly 1 try

READ: Mike Tindall: England’s task is simple, but Lancaster still has plenty to ponder

READ: Read all about it! The 7 greatest upsets in the history of the Rugby World Cup

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