The 2022 Six Nations (Men’s) ended with France beating England to win their 1st Grand Slam and 6 Nations title since 2010. Ireland ran them close scoring 24 tries in all (joint 2nd highest on record) and Italy won their 1st game in 36 matches in dramatic fashion in Cardiff. England, Wales and Scotland all disappointed their fans and have questions to answer.
The 2021 Six Nations (Men’s) ended with Wales winning the title after Scotland beat France in Paris to snuff out France’s attempt to win the title for the first time since 2010. Wales let a Grand Slam slip after conceding a try in injury time and as an England fan who was there at Wembley in 1999 I know exactly how the Welsh feel!
We now know the answer to who will win the 2018 6 Nations Championship. Ireland won the title with a match to spare after England failure against France resulted in my second forecasting error of the championship. There is still much to play for though in the last week with the main question being whether England do to Ireland what Ireland did to England last year and stop them from winning a Grand Slam. Whilst I am cheering on England, it is St. Patricks Day and I do have some Irish blood in me so part of me does wish Ireland well.
Be careful of what you wish for! Two weeks ago, I said I was hoping for an error in my predictions based on World Rugby’s rankings and I finally got one and it was Scotland overturning my team England …
After two weeks of the 2018 6 Nations, all 6 of my match predictions have been correct. Whilst this might be vindication of the World Rugby ranking model, the last thing we want in sport is a perfect prediction model otherwise what’s the point? Where would be the excitement of watching sport live? So I am hoping for an incorrect prediction soon …
The 2018 6 Nations is underway and all of my predictions for week 1 turned out to be correct (just!) with the help of an amazing drop goal drop goal by Johnny Sexton. This means that out of 37 matches I have used rankings to make predictions, 30 have been correct.
The 2018 6 Nations begins tomorrow and fans will be looking forward to a feast of rugby for the next two months. As always, pundits galore are making their predictions and the one thing we can count on is that some will have egg on their faces by the time it is over. In 2017, I used World Rugby’s Rankings to predict who would win each match in the 6 Nations and the Autumn Internationals and these predictions worked out well with 12 out of 15 6 Nations games and 15 out of the 19 Autumn International matches involving 6 Nations teams correctly called.
Throughout the 6 Nations this year (and in previous years) there has been a constant debate about whether promotion and relegation should be introduced. A lot of people have stated that Georgia have earned the right to play in the 6 Nations and that Italy have failed to make any progress over the 18 seasons they have been in the 6 Nations. Actually had promotion & relegation been in place this season, Italy would have been relegated and Romania would have been promoted after winning the Rugby Europe Championship with a narrow 8-7 win over Georgia in the last round. This win ended Georgia’s 6 year winning streak.
Ireland’s win over England brought the 2017 6 Nations to a close. England were crowned champions but were not able to top it with back to back grand slams. Over the last few weeks, I have been using the World Rugby Rankings to predict the outcome of the matches and now it is time to see how they performed.
So the 6 Nations is underway again and the traditional rivalries are reheated. Who will win is once again on all the sports pages and there are no shortages of pundits willing to give their opinions. If you want a different way to predict what will happen, why not use the World Rugby Rankings?
Ranking tables play a big part in a number of sports but they are not widely understood among sports fans. At bottom though, rankings are intended to be used as a predictive tool for what will happen in a match. A good ranking system will be more accurate in predicting outcomes than a bad ranking system. However, a perfect ranking system is something we don’t want otherwise sport becomes boring as we will always know the outcome in advance. So as a forecasting tool, a ranking system is a curious beast. We want it to be good but not great.