Bonus points are the dumbest idea ever. I looked at this issue and thought, “nope that aint dead, it could do with a bit more flogging.”
Now let’s have a look at some statistics.
Removing idiotic bonus points gives a Super 12 leaders table that looks like this:
The Crusaders and Hurricanes leapfrog the Warratahs because they beat them in the regular season. The Chiefs are ranked above the Brumbies on points-differential (because they haven’t play each other yet, ditto for the Sharks and the Cats). Ranking by victories and points differential makes sense, especially if you were going to add bonus points anyway.
I don’t think that you’ll be surprised to see the list of top point scoring teams in this years competition (except that the 11th placed Cats are only eight points shy of the defending champ):
So how many points have these teams given up? Let’s have a look (keep and eye out for the Crusaders):
Unsurprisingly the teams that are big on defence are at the bottom (Highlanders and Warratahs) and the “easy beats” are at the top (Cats and Sharks). But look at the leaky Crusaders at number three, why are they doing so well. This leads nicely to the two next lists…
|Points Differential||Bonus Points||(Four trys+Within 7)|
These last two lists are probably the most important. The Warratahs win games by a lot of points and do not lose by much and the Crusaders rack up heaps of points but lose big. The Blues, Hurricanes and Highlanders just win.
The points-diff table is crazy. Last year’s table was much closer with most teams clustered around ±35. This year, there are big outliers and the Bulls and Chiefs keeping the ledger almost balanced.
What does this mean? Well when making your Virtual Super 12 picks for this week I suggest (just going by the numbers above):
Blues v Hurricanes:
Hurricanes by less than 12, the Blues may get a four-try bonus-point.
Waratahs v Reds:
Waratahs by more than 12
Highlanders v Crusaders:
Crusaders by less than 12, maybe even by 1 [Big defence meets big offence normally means a win for the defence, but I’m picking the Crusaders with their points-diff]
Brumbies v Chiefs:
Chiefs by less than 12, infact I also pick this game to be won by 1 point just so the Chiefs will have a zero point -diff
Sharks v Bulls:
Bulls by more than 12, like shooting fish in barrel (Har-de-Har-har)
Stormers v Cats:
Like, who cares. No that’s nasty. Stormers by less than 12.
Please, do not make any bets on this information. And if you do, don’t come crying to me if you lose your house.