Rugby World Cup History Pt 2

Phonic Monkey was way off the mark when harking back on history as a guide to picking a World Cup winner. Mind you, so was everybody else. The history lesson there is that there are no lessons to be learnt from history. Alas Phonic refuses to listen and here he goes peering into statistics again as if they mean anything. Well there's only one stat you need to worry about Phonic and that's the one at the top of the scoreboard (or inconveniently at the bottom of it at Woollhara - Eastern Suburbs home ground - where no one can see it.)

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Now that the final whistle has blown on France 2007, I would like to include an addendum to my earlier contribution concerning how each country has progressed at each of the World Cups. As you recall, Australia topped the charts by winning 2 Bills, getting cheated by one Jonny, one Robby and who can remember what happened in 1987.

Before I continue, isn't it great that it was an Australian referee (well, the video ref) which disallowed England's try - the Fleet Street press will be screaming conspiracy for years to come. Whilst on the subject of Pommie bashing, wasn't it tops seeing the Poms choke not only in Paris, but in Moscow (the soccer/football team now likely to miss the European Championships) and Lewis Hamilton's pathetic effort in Brazil. All three occasions saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory!

Anyway, getting back to Phonic's points analysis, Australia still leads the way on 17 points, 2 clear of New Zealand and England, with France and South Africa 2 back on 13 points. Trouble is, the Springboks have played in 2 fewer World Cups, so in terms of average points per tournament, South Africa shoot to the fore on 4.3 points. Wallabies next on 3.4, then New Zealand and England on 3 points followed by France (2.6) and Scotland (1.4). Full table below.

One final point to consider. There has been talk of a northern hemisphere revival following recent results in France, especially with the early departures of Australia and New Zealand. However, it is interesting to note that the southern countries lost far fewer matches than their northern counterparts. To illustrate, I have identified the 3 SANZAR countries plus Argentina and the best performed Island team - Fiji. The corresponding northern teams are the original Five Nations. Numbers refer to the number of matches that the corresponding country lost:

SOUTH
South Africa - 0
Australia -1
New Zealand - 1
Argentina - 1
Fiji - 2
TOTAL - 5

NORTH
England - 2
France -3
Scotland - 2
Ireland - 2
Wales- 2
TOTAL - 11

food for thought.....

The table (you may want to import into a spreadsheet and use commas as the delimiter to read this - blogger technology doesn't extend to tables)

Country,1987,pts,1991,pts,1995,pts,1999,pts,2003,pts,2007,pts,Total,Average
Australia,Semis,2,Won,5,Quarters,1,Won,5,Runner Up,3,Quarters,1,17,3.4
New Zealand,Won,5,Semis,2,Runner Up,3,Semis,2,Semis,2,Quarters,1,15,3
South Africa,,,,,Won,5,Semis,2,Quarters,1,Won,5,13,4.3
England,Quarters,1,Runner Up,3,Semis,2,Quarters,1,Won,5,Runner Up,3,15,3
France,Runner Up,3,Quarters,1,Semis,2,Runner Up,3,Semis,2,Semis,2,13,2.6
Scotland,Quarters,1,Semis,2,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,7,1.4
Ireland,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,,,Quarters,1,,,4,0.8
Wales,Semis,2,,,,,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,,,4,0.8
Western Samoa,,,Quarters,1,Quarters,1,,,,,,,2,0.5
Fiji,Quarters,1,,,,,,,,,Quarters,1,2,0.5
Argentina,,,,,,,Quarters,1,,,Semis,2,3,0.6Canada,,,Quarters,1,,,,,,,,,1,0.2

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