October 9, 2013

Currie Cup Predictions for Round 10

The Currie Cup continues to be a nightmare for prediction. In past seasons there appeared to be a large home ground advantage, but not this year. There have been some very high scores and games won away from home starting with Griquas beating the Sharks in Durban in the first week. Griquas have subsequently lost all their games, but have 5 points from loss bonuses, and 1 four try bonus. They then have had 52 points against them in each of the last two games. (Do they still have any supporters after that sequence of games?) One reason for the difficulty of prediction is possibly that the Lions, Cheetahs and Bulls are all fairly evenly matched, so that any one might beat any other on a given day, no matter whether home or away.

Team Ratings for Round 10

Here are the team ratings prior to Round 10, along with the ratings at the start of the season. I have created a brief description of the method I use for predicting rugby games. Go to my Department home page to see this.
Here are the team ratings prior to this week’s games, along with the ratings at the start of the season.

Current Rating Rating at Season Start Difference
Sharks 5.20 3.24 2.00
Western Province 3.74 4.47 -0.70
Lions 0.73 -1.22 1.90
Blue Bulls 0.38 0.59 -0.20
Cheetahs -0.22 -2.74 2.50
Griquas -11.98 -6.48 -5.50


Performance So Far

So far there have been 27 matches played, 13 of which were correctly predicted, a success rate of 48.1%.

Here are the predictions for last week’s games.

Game Date Score Prediction Correct
1 Western Province vs. Lions Oct 05 36 – 23 10.00 TRUE
2 Blue Bulls vs. Sharks Oct 04 16 – 18 3.70 FALSE
3 Griquas vs. Cheetahs Oct 05 21 – 52 1.60 FALSE


Predictions for Round 10

Here are the predictions for Round 10. The prediction is my estimated expected points difference with a positive margin being a win to the home team, and a negative margin a win to the away team.

Game Date Winner Prediction
1 Lions vs. Griquas Oct 12 Lions 20.20
2 Cheetahs vs. Blue Bulls Oct 12 Cheetahs 6.90
3 Sharks vs. Western Province Oct 12 Sharks 9.00



David Scott obtained a BA and PhD from the Australian National University and then commenced his university teaching career at La Trobe University in 1972. He has taught at La Trobe University, the University of Sheffield, Bond University and Colorado State University, joining the University of Auckland, based at Tamaki Campus, in mid-1995. He has been Head of Department at La Trobe University, Acting Dean and Associate Dean (Academic) at Bond University, and Associate Director of the Centre for Quality Management and Data Analysis at Bond University with responsibility for Short Courses. He was Head of the Department of Statistics in 2000, and is a past President of the New Zealand Statistical Assocation. See all posts by David Scott »


  • avatar
    Ken Butler

    Interesting. What’s your source for the game results? I’d like to try the Bradley-Terry model on these (and the NZ ones in your other post).

    4 years ago

    • avatar

      SA Rugby at has a lot of past data. I think the number of teams in the Premier division changed in 2012.

      I have a student who is investigating the Bradley-Terry approach for predicting rugby games.

      4 years ago