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Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Two

23 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Mike Tindall in Man v Machine: Round Two

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.

Throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we will therefore 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 1 was certainly close, with Mike just a single score away from predicting the correct winning margin between England and Fiji.

However, the Machine proved itself to be formidable opposition by predicting virtually the exact score between France and Italy – as Les Bleus scored 32 points and won by a margin of 22.

So, with the gauntlet laid down – who will prevail in Round 2?

Game 1: New Zealand v Namibia (Thursday 24 September, 20:00)

The Machine says:

As the top-ranked versus the lowest-ranked team, this is the biggest mismatch of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The single biggest wins from each World Cup to date have seen the winning team score an average of 15 tries and 101.4 points with an average winning margin of 94.

New Zealand’s single biggest wins from each World Cup to date have seen them score an average of 13.86 tries and 92 points with an average winning margin of 83.58.

7/1 – New Zealand to score exactly 14 tries
8/1 – New Zealand to win by 81-85 points
nzl-nam-mvmMike says:

Namibia and Uruguay are the only two teams made up of predominantly amateurs.

It is very difficult to expect players who are not professionals to come together and play the best team in the world, whose ruthlessness does not take into account who they are playing.

Whoever New Zealand are playing they go in for the kill so I don’t think that Namibia will be able to stay with them.

The Kiwis are not the type of team to try and force it, they will play their own way and are so clinical that they simply do not miss opportunities.

I would expect New Zealand to put at least 80 points on Namibia – perhaps even 85.

Namibia might get a penalty or two but I don’t expect them to score a try, so I would predict a winning margin of just under 80.

I think there will be tries all over the place.

The wingers Julian Savea and Nehe Milner-Skudder are two of only three players to keep their place from the Argentina game so expect them to be in the thick of the action.

7/1 – New Zealand to win by 76-80 points
6/5 – Nehe Milner-Skudder to score a hat-trick

Game 2: England v Wales (Saturday 26 September, 20:00)

The Machine says:

Wales and England have each won 5 of their last 10 matches against each other.

During those matches, Wales have scored an average of 21.1 points compared to England’s 18.2.

Both teams have scored an average of 1.4 tries per game during their last 10 matches against each other.

8/1 – Wales to win by 1-5 points
6/4 – Under 40.5 points in the matcheng-wal-mvmMike says:

I think that England are going to win.

Usually Wales look to play a power game but with the injury problems that they seem to have around their front row England should have an opportunity to get after them at set-piece time.

Wales will have had to rest certain players this week so have not had an ideal preparation, while the guys coming in such as Alun Wyn Jones, Toby Faletau and Jamie Roberts have not played in two weeks so it is asking a lot for them to snap back into Test match rugby.

These games are often tight but I just think that England are in a better place. They have found a way to play against Wales and are possibly a little bit more creative.

I think England will score more than two tries, although in a game like this taking your points is always crucial so they will kick their penalties and might struggle to achieve a bonus point.

If you look at their record at Twickenham they have won three of the last four against Wales – twice by a margin of more than ten points.

I can see England winning by 12 points, so I will go for a prediction of 30-18.

9/2 – England to win by 11-15 points
4/1 – England to score exactly 3 tries

Game 3: Ireland v Romania (Sunday 27 September, 16:45)

The Machine says:

With Romania ranked 17th in the world heading into the tournament, this is another of the World Cup’s biggest mismatches.

The single biggest wins from each World Cup to date have seen the winning team score an average of 15 tries and 101.4 points with an average winning margin of 94.

Ireland’s single biggest wins from each World Cup to date have seen them score an average of 7.57 tries and 51.71 points with an average winning margin of 37.14.

17/2 – Ireland to win by 36-40 points
6/1 – Ireland to score exactly 7 tries
ire-rom-mvmMike says:

Joe Schmidt might make a couple of changes but at a World Cup you are not there to give people a run – it is all about giving players the continuity and confidence to go forward into those big games.

I think he will perhaps start with the same team and then maybe make a few changes during the course of the game – he has got to stick with his core to make sure that those guys are battle-hardened for that big game against France.

They will be trying to find a balance of rugby that works on all aspects of their game as that is the only way you can get better the deeper you go into the competition.

I still think that they will have a crack at Romania up front just to make sure that their forwards are in good fettle, but as against Canada I think you will see them move the ball wide more than they have done in the past in order to try and exploit Romania’s lack of experience in defending that type of attack.

If Ireland play well then I can see them putting between 50 and 60 points on the board, whereas Romania will struggle to get double figures.

I think Ireland will probably win by a scoreline of around 54-7.

7/1 – Ireland to win by 46-50 points
7/4 – Romania to score exactly 1 try

Rugby World Cup betting

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