Friday, 28 October 2011

Currie Cup 2011 Final - And the winner will be...

Following my article about the winners of the IRB World Cup 2011 by applying the principle outlined in the popular Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers. I thought I would apply the same process to the Currie Cup final taking place at the Ellis Park Stadium, in Johannesburg, South Africa between the Lions and the Sharks from Durban.

In the article about the world cup the principle suggested that the finals would have been played out between Australia and France. Although New Zealand did when the World Cup, the principle did get three out of the top four teams correct. It also predicted the winner of the Cricket World Cup held in India. You can read my post about that here.

Having mixed results, I have applied the same principle to the teams in the Currie Cup final. If it holds true the Lions should win. The Lions have 40% of their starting line-up players born between January and April against the 27% of the Sharks line-up.

Although there are many other factors influencing the result of the final, the Outlier's principle has certainly thrown a unique perspective to the way I look at the results of a match these days. From my side I hope the Lions win not only to prove the principle works but so I can once again be a proud Lions fan.
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Monday, 24 October 2011

IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 - Did Outliers get it wrong?

In a previous post, I applied a principle from the successful Outliers book to the Rugby World Cup 2011 held recently in New Zealand. New Zealand were ultimately crowned champions of the world after a very close match against unlucky third time finalists France.

In the post it was concluded that the team that would win the RWC 2011 would have been Australia against France with Australia being victorius. Third and fourth place would have been played between New Zealand and Ireland. In the end though it was not as clear cut and scientific. But the Outliers principle did 'predict' three out of the top four finalists.

Looking back at the RWC 2011 there were a number of instances whereby the results could have been radically different. Wales played exceptionally well to have beaten Ireland in the quarters. Ireland themselves having caused a mini upset with their victory over Australia in the group stages. Wales were meant to come fifth according to Outliers.

Australia managed to get through to the semi's after a tough match against the Springboks from South Africa. Although the argument could be said with the assistance of a sixtenth player in the form of the referee, it was just not to be for South Africa in 2011.

I think the raw emotion and determination to ensure they went to the final was the driving force behind New Zealand's convincing win over Australia in the semi-finals. The New Zealand team has been the best in the world for so many years and probably if you looked into it the players in the New Zealand side have probably all played over 10,000 hours of rugby another Outliers point.

Coming into the final match, at home New Zealand were always going to be the favourites. Applying the formula though France should have been the victors. In the French starting line-up 66% of the team were born in the first few months of the playing season. New Zealnd had 40% of the team born in the first few months.

New Zealand managed to overcome a theoretical principle and become Outliers for the IRB World Cup 2011. Well done New Zealand!
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