Mscsports 2020 Super Rugby Simulator

 

2020 has been a year of incredible difficulty, with huge adjustments forced on all of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sport was no different. Many of our favourite events and tournaments were forced off the field as we kept our distance to prevent the spread of the disease.

While the correct decision was made on the cancellation of Super Rugby, it was a major blow to fans, players, sponsors and broadcasters of one of South Africa’s premier sporting events.

At Mscsports we saw this as an opportunity. While we couldn’t bring back the experience of live rugby, we have found a way to imagine how it would have played out if the season continued by creating the Mscsports 2020 Super Rugby Simulator.

The Simulator is a predictor model that calculates the outcomes of the remaining matches that were not able to be played in the 2020 season, including the playoffs and final. This gives us a chance to looking into an alternate, COVID-19-free world to see how our teams would have fared in Super Rugby 2020. Could the Sharks have finally broken their Super Rugby duck? Will the new-look Bulls make it into the playoffs? And who will pick up the dreaded wooden spoon in the SA conference?

With the help of the model, we will reveal all the results for each of the SA teams as well as the eventual overall winner of Super Rugby 2020. Make sure to check in on our social media platforms from 31 August to 4 September to get all the results and reactions to what could have been.

 

How does the simulator actually work?

Using a combination of statistics from the 2020 season to date and 5 most recently completed seasons, a Final Score Factor is calculated for each team per match and applied to the average score per team per match (25 points) from the 5 most recently completed seasons.

The Final Score Factor is calculated after taking each of the following into account, per team, per matchup:

  • Historic attacking and defensive performance against the opposition
  • The significance of home ground advantage against teams from each conference
  • The relative combined strength of all teams within the respective conferences

Example:

Using the Jaguares vs Stormers match in Buenos Aires which was scheduled for Round 8, the final result is predicted as follows:

Jaguares 20 (2 tries, 2 conversions, 2 penalties)
Final Score Factor = 73%
Attacking Indicator of 99% against the Stormers
Defensive Indicator of 78% against the Stormers (A lower score indicates a stronger defence)
Home ground advantage against South African Conference teams results in a 27% improvement in performance
South African Conference strength indicator is 94.6%

Stormers 18 (2 tries, 1 conversion, 2 penalties)
Final Score Factor = 69%
Attacking Indicator of 92% against the Jaguares
Defensive Indicator of 74% against the Jaguares (A lower score indicates a stronger defence)
Playing away against South African Conference teams results in a 2% decrease in performance
South African Conference strength indicator is 94.6%