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Auckland Blues top in new Massey Super 12 Ratings

Auckland Blues top in new Massey Super 12 Ratings

The champion Auckland Blues side comes out on top in the inaugural Massey Super 12 rugby ratings released today.

As all the New Zealand Super 12 rugby squads assembled today to begin preparation for the 2004 competition, the 2003 ratings prepared by Massey University Professor Hugh Morton show the Blues a clear winner last year.

The results of all 69 Super12 rugby matches were analysed for the ratings using a simple computerised adjustive rating system, similar to the PriceWaterhouseCooper rankings for cricket.

Over the whole competition a lowly rating can be offset by a high home advantage, such as the Cats, Highlanders or Brumbies, and conversely such as the Bulls or Stormers, thus affecting the teams finishing position on the competition points table.

Over the last four Super12 seasons the three highest average ratings have been Brumbies 28.6, Blues 26.7 and Crusaders 25.2, while the three lowest averages have been Cats 7.4, Bulls 8.6 and Sharks 13.4.

The biggest improvers have been the Bulls (12th in 2000 to 5th), and the biggest slip in rating has been the Cats (5th in 2001 to 12th).

The three most consistently rated teams have been the Reds, Hurricanes and Cats, while the most unpredictably rated teams have been the Highlanders, Brumbies and Waratahs.

Home advantages, averaging +6.4 over four years, have been quite variable. The Cats have the highest at 16.3, followed by the Highlanders 12.6 and Crusaders 11.2.

Only the Crusaders have been above the annual average every year. The Stormers have the lowest average at –4.4, followed by the Bulls –0.1 and Hurricanes 1.4.

Only the Stormers have always been negative (ie a home disadvantage) every year, and every year they have been the lowest.

The most consistently held home advantages have been held by the Stormers (-9.0 to –1.2), Crusaders (5.9 to 20.5) and Reds (0.9 to 15.8); while the most variable form year to year have been the Sharks (-5.3 to 31.2), Brumbies (-8.5 to 22.9) and Waratahs (-3.2 to 28.3).

Any difference between two team ratings reflects the number of points by which one should beat the other on a neutral ground. The lowest rated team conventionally is rated at zero. The home advantage can also be interpreted as a points value, accruing only to the home team.

``These ratings provide a means for assessing whether a team played better or worse than may have been expected,’’ Professor Morton said today.

``Suppose a team with a rating of 20 and home advantage of 7, plays at home against a team with a rating of 15. The home rating of the first team would be 27, which means they should beat a team with a rating of 15, by 12 points (the difference between the ratings).’’

The rankings, ratings and home advantages at the close of the 2003 competition and going into the 2004 competition are as follows (with the previous year rankings added for comparison, together with the change in rank):

Inaugural Massey Super 12 rankings:

Rank Now Team Rating Home Adv 2002 Rank Change 1 Blues 30.0 8.8 5 +4 2 Crusaders 26.9 5.9 3 +1 3 Waratahs 21.4 -3.2 7 +4 4 Hurricanes 20.9 2.6 9 +5 5 Bulls 18.6 -7.6 10 +5 6 Sharks 16.9 -5.3 12 +6 7 Stormers 16.4 -9.0 4 -3 8 Reds 15.9 4.7 8 0 9 Brumbies 15.4 22.9 1 -8 10 Highlanders 13.8 18.2 2 -8 11 Chiefs 12.6 7.8 6 -5 12 Cats 0.0 14.7 11 -1


Media advisory: For further information contact Professor Hugh Morton at the Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, 021 251 3421 or Kip Brook at Word of Mouth Media NZ 0275 033855

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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