Some people gonna call you up
Tell you something that you already know
Faith is an island in the setting sun
But proof, yes
Proof is the bottom line for everyone
Paul Simon – Proof
One of the most enjoyable things about Sunday mornings, at least during the rugby season, is making the time to sit down with a mug of tea and a chocolate Hobnob or three (other brands of biscuits are also available) and scan the internet for any Cov post-match reports.
There’s always a plethora of information out there from the usual social media sites and messageboard forums to the likes of Rolling-maul.com and both teams’ official websites.
However, my first port of call on a Sunday morning is usually The Rugby Paper.
I subscribe to the digital edition as I’m a bit of a tightwad…and also because it means I can read it on my phone if Sue has anything else, heaven forbid, planned for a Sunday morning.
It provides a wealth of interesting info on not only the Cov game the day before, but also the other Championship games that have taken place that weekend (excluding Sunday games obviously).
So as well as the match report, if time permits I’ll read those of the other games, look at attendances, tables, leading try/point scorers, penalties conceded for and against and so on – it’s part of the weekend routine for me. The Rugby Paper allows you to put the Cov game into a broader context.
I might look outside of the Championship too, but whilst I love my rugby, it’s Cov I follow and that means Tier 2 rugby remains my focus until the time Cov are no longer in it. If I do look outside of the Championship, then I’m more likely to look down and see how National One sides are faring, especially those where we have players out on loan, rather than up to see how the big boys are doing.
…maybe in a couple of seasons’ time what’s happening in the Premiership might become of greater interest. Here’s hoping.
One of the things I particularly enjoy about The Rugby Paper reports is the inclusion of the ‘Player Ratings’ for every game. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea and are pretty subjective things on the whole, but I’m always interested to see how others see the things, particularly those who have a far greater understanding of the game than I do.
The Player Ratings are really just an extension of the Greene King Man of the Match awards that are announced by the home side every game.
In the area of the main stand where we sit, there’s always a quick discussion towards the end of the game as to who we think the Man of The Match will be and regularly it is different to that of the sponsors’ choice. It’s one of the reasons why I set up the Man of the Match poll on the blog and given the number of folk who vote, it’s clearly something that interests others.
I was chatting about this to Sam and he said he could produce a spreadsheet that would just update the Player Ratings from The Rugby Paper game by game so that it would be possible to see player form, in very general terms, over the course of the season.
And bless him, that’s exactly what he’s done, as well as adding plenty of other interesting data too, some of which I’ll include in posts in the coming weeks.
Now I stress this is just an overview of how The Rugby Paper see the Cov games, but in fairness they are usually in agreement with the general consensus of supporters post-match. It’s just taking what The Rugby Paper has produced every week and producing cumulative scores as the Championship unfolds.
I found what Sam had produced was really interesting so I’m including it here and will update it regularly for no other reason than it becomes another record of the season as it passes…
Please note that it includes all the Championship Cup games as well as those in the Championship BUT because the Carnegie game was on a Sunday, no report was available and therefore no Player Ratings for that game. There are a total of six games therefore included, not seven. Unless The Rugby Paper includes a report the weekend following the Falcons game, the same will apply there.
Obviously the more games played, the more meaningful the rating, but removing both David Halaifonua and Joe Buckle from the top of the table because they’ve played just the one game, few would argue that Burrows, Jennings, Wallace, Peters and Stevens have been amongst the most consistent performers so far this season.
It’s going to be a case I imagine, of the more the season goes on, the more interesting the table becomes.
A score of six seems to be the default and the winning side almost invariably has the higher ratings…
So here is the current table as it stands after the Ealing game last weekend.
|Name||Avg. Rating||Appearances||Starts||Sub Appearances|
The table shows the average ratings from the games players have started:
The table below shows the ratings of players who have come off the bench…so over the course of the season it should be possible to see which players are making the most impact as finishers. No surprise that of the players who’ve made 4 appearances off the bench so far this season, it’s Pete White who has had the biggest impact according to The Rugby Paper. Nice to see it confirmed…thought he was outstanding when he game on against Ealing – as was Kessell who started at 9, to be fair
|Name||Avg. Rating||Substitute Appearances|
Because it’s all on a spreadsheet, you can drill down even further and look at individual games to see each player’s scores – so early on in the season, those playing 5 or 6 games might have had their average skewed because of one particularly good performance, or otherwise…that will be less of a factor the more games played.
Take Adam Peters against Jersey, for instance. Notice that Peters still scored an 8 even in our defeat to Ealing in the Cup, so a loss doesn’t obviously preclude a player for achieving a high score.
|Ampthill||Bedford Blues||Ealing||Jersey||Bedford Blues||Yorkshire Carnegie||Ealing||Avg. Rating|
Another thing Sam has come up with which I think is really pertinent, is a Points Tracker.
In the table below, he’s tracked Cov’s points score against teams (in the Championship only) this season with the corresponding game last season so that you can quickly determine the improvement (or otherwise) year-on-year.
So this season we have taken 3 points more from the corresponding games last season – a win against Doncaster would see a further significant increase given we lost the home game against them in January.
|Date||Home/Away||Vs||18/19 Points||19/20 Points|
|Home/Away||Matches||18/19 Points||19/20 Points|
Or put another way:
I’m really grateful to Sam for inputting all the information and producing it in a format I can use for the blog – my Excel skills are limited to say the least so without his help this wouldn’t have happened.
Thanks Sam…you’re a star.
And if my daughters perchance happen to be reading this, they are too… 🙂
Lies, damn lies and Statistics…
The above is Proof of very little.
Put it is an excuse to welcome Paul Simon to the blog.
Some people gonna call you up
Tell you something that you already know