The dust has settled following the France game but way off in the distance the faint rumble of another stampede of opinion can be felt as we approach the Ireland match. Before, during and immediately after the game the crowd will be in full flow as bodies jostle for position and each voice tries to shout its views louder than everyone else around them. Regardless of the result on Saturday some will cry for Andy Robinson’s head, saying Scotland have yet again shown little promise whilst others will scour the game’s carcass, looking for evidence that the team are heading in the right direction.
I’d like to take this moment of quiet contemplation before we get bogged down in team announcements and speculation to get geeky with you, and talk about numbers.
Forget about the fact that we’ve lost to England (2.5 million registered players to our 38,500), Wales (World Cup Semi-Finalists) and France (World Cup Runners-up).
In fact forget we’ve scored any tries. Tries don’t really matter. The average number of tries scored per game in the 6 Nations has dropped from 4.7 in 2005 to 3.2 in 2010 and 1.7 in 2011.
Let’s look beyond the results and the points scored and look at what progress, if any, Scotland have made under Andy Robinson in terms of how the team is performing.
To do this I’ve taken Scotland’s last three results under Robinson and compared them with the team’s last three results under Frank Hadden. In terms of win percentage Hadden’s clearly ahead on 33% to Robinson’s 0%, but we’re not looking at that, remember.
In the interests of fairness I’ve calculated all of my statistical averages using the official RBS 6 Nations match statistics available from their website. This doesn’t mean they’re correct, just consistent in the way they’re measured and so comparable.
|Average in 3 games
|Opposition tackles made
|Minutes in possession
|Opp mins in possession
|Ball won in opp’s 22
Interesting reading. In fact I’m not going to go any further at this point. I think the stats speak for themselves.
What do you think? Is this progress?