Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: You play to win the game

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  • LegBreak,

    Thompson did well against a hung-over Wellington; true.

    But his error rate in test matches is really alarming. He’s a walking penalty too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    written before the result is known

    So the Herald computer is full of archived celebratory reporting of the last few world cup finals?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4437 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    So the Herald computer is full of archived celebratory reporting of the last few world cup finals?

    All possible timelines since the dawn of the Internet exist somewhere within the Herald mainframe. Around the turn of the millennium Garth George's consciousness was accidentally uploaded into the system, and he has been holding the paper - indeed, the entire nature of causality - to ransom ever since.

    You didn't hear it from me though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1550 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I will always applaud any points scored by the opposition, but only after I groan. I will never boo an opponent (unless they have done something unsportsmanlike, in which case I shall chant "off")

    You don't really play to win at all, do you?

    Since Jul 2008 • 1326 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Points are irrelevant. Just whether or not you win is the important factor.

    I've often thought that if you're trailing any points you score should be subtracted from your opponents score. Hence every final result would be a points differential... yeah I'm weird

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    You don't really play to win at all, do you?

    No I don't, I yell to win. And the best thing I can do, after an opposition score, is save my throat (possibly soothe it with a sip of beer) for more shouting later

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I've often thought that if you're trailing any points you score should be subtracted from your opponents score. Hence every final result would be a points differential... yeah I'm weird

    The famous Italy v. West Germany 4-3 game from Mexico 1970 would be an "Italy +1" result, then? Not the same ring to it at all.

    Your favourite sport, cricket, does just that though.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7352 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    The famous Italy v. West Germany 4-3 game from Mexico 1970 would be an "Italy +1" result, then? Not the same ring to it at all.

    Yeah I suppose it wouldn't be as good in football where there are heaps of 1-0 victories (though apparently the most common is 2-1)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I shouldn't say that's supporting to win though -- most football supporters have no compunction about booing the opposition...

    The crowd you get at Murrayfield's different from the crowd you'd get at Hampden Park; Hampden Park when Scotland plays is legendary.

    Queen's Park, on the other hand...

    Since Jul 2008 • 1326 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Yeah, I was called by HoS reporters on Friday and asked to offer comment on alternative scenarios for the election result.

    Russell, what did you have to say about the alternate reality that saw a sweeping victory to United Future?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    Also, Scotland, WTF? When the opposition's kicker is lining up you do not sit quietly and respectfully while he tries to slot it. You do everything in your power (as the 16th man) to disrupt him. And usually that means some kinds of shouting or general disturbance. Poor showing Scottish crowd, remember, they play to win the game, you shout to win the game.Hadyn for shame!

    Hadyn for shame!

    Get thee to the Tui stand, there to booze with the drunken hoons who put everyone else off going to the rugby.

    I hold to the noble ideals, inculcated in the Brownies, that winning isn't everything, that ends don't justify means, and that a win through dirty tricks is not worth it. Also, you respect your opponent.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    you respect your opponent

    You can still respect your opponent by saying, in a loud and raucous, voice how much you would really rather that he did not make the kick. Afterwards, if he makes the kick, you applaud politely, if he misses you keep quiet (unless the miss causes your team to win, in which case cheering is in order).

    Get thee to the Tui stand

    Truly a fate worse than death

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Tracey Nelson's game stats are up.

    Killer fact -- first three to the breakdown rankings:
    Thomson (19), Messam (19) McCaw (18), Boric (18) and Read (17).

    Note that McCaw was only on the field for 20 minutes. Freak.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18800 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    Ten, unless adidas have stopped putting logo's on their boots.

    Dunno about the Blacks, but my adidas boots have one logo on each side of each boot... Plus one at the rear.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Awesome, DATA!

    What's clear to see in Tracey's numbers (after playing with the numbers in excel for a few minutes) is that we had a much more productive second half. For example we made 45 tackles in the first half and 59 in the second. From informal observation this often seems to be the case with the All Blacks (especially against second tier nations) as fitness prevails and quality subs become important.

    I also created a variable called "Total Tackle Incidents" (TTI). It's a very basic proxy and is just a sum of "tackles made" + "assisted tackles" + "first 3 to breakdown".

    1st 3 is a weird stat, because I assume it's both offensive and defensive, and is just a good proxy for "attempts to secure the ball".

    Also if you take it that only the first three players to the breakdown are effective in gaining possession then it can be considered to be a similar stat to "tackles" or "line breaks" as it become a unit of work on the field. (I have further quantised it as a rate per 15 men on the field, but I'm still figuring out how that works)

    So with that in mind...in the first half we had 121 TTI and in the second half we had 226 TTI (almost double!). This mainly comes from our reserves like McCaw and Filipo who came on with an amazing work-rate. Also players like Toeava, Tuitavake and Boric making more tackles.

    Interestingly our assisted tackles drops considerably in the second half, especially in the forwards.

    This may also be due to Scotland's greater possession in the second half where they were camped on our line.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    The stats also show that Mealamu was only player not to record a tackle.

    And our new work-horses are Read, Messam and Thompson (I know, duh)

    Oh and we can estimate what McCaw would've done if he was on the field all game (sort of, it's based on the performance of his "lesser mortal" teammates):

    5 tackles
    2 assists (rounded)
    And first 3 to the breakdown 41 times!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    Guilty as charged your honour.
    Waikato Stadium: The only place in the world where "more cowbell" is a legitimate command and not a reference to an SNL sketch...

    My partner won't let me buy a cowbell. :(
    Of course he's of the opinion that I'd end up taking it to the cricket, the netball and possibly to work.

    .. can't say that he is definitively wrong

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • mike.riversdale,

    I understand the way to put anyone off kicking straight is for everyone to lean to one side (everyone!). No matter how obvious it is and how the kicker tries to compensate it can be v difficult to get it through the posts.

    But that's everyone to lean ... if nothing else just trying to arrange it would be a hoot.

    Oh, and if you're playing pool/snooker then to guarantee your opponent misses that vital shot simply stand behind the pot they're going for and ever so slightly waggle your cue from hand to hand ...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Oh, and if you're playing pool/snooker then to guarantee your opponent misses that vital shot simply stand behind the pot they're going for and ever so slightly waggle your cue from hand to hand ...

    I play competitive and social pool in bars where that can see you ending up in a great deal of pain. Indeed, any serious pool game I've played, you'd be asked to move as a preliminary request :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Well said Kyle.

    Want to vent your sporting spleen?

    Link: sign this. Now

    A cancer on world cricket.

    Do your bit.

    Thanks

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    the International Jihad on Slow Over Rates

    I don't get it. Aren't they all slow? :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    I think Mackintosh's problems come down to the fact that in ANZ Cup the referee's have stopped using the word pause

    I'm not a prop, but I would have thought the scrum is about the forwards acting as a single unit in putting the hit on. Even if Mackintosh does have good technique, if the timing gets a bit wobbly, he can be made to look pretty ordinary. I have just been unsuccessfully trying to find the video to have another look. Hours of fun (please shout if someone has some useful links to footage). The amount of time that Mackintosh is said to spend with Mike Cron tends to indicate that he'll come right.

    Though I've not seen much of Mackintosh, I like that he's roughly the shape and size as Hayman. Firs run-on test has got to be a learning experience, especially in the front row and if he stays ahead of the learning curve then he should be rewarded with more caps. Good repetition of the experiment from Henry, in putting another awkward, very big guy in to add the extra dimension in for opposition front rows to try to deal with.

    It's worth remembering that it took even Hayman a while to find his feet scrummaging at that level. Hands-wise I don't think Hayman ever really came right, but am prepared to accept that the excellence he brought to the scrums & lineouts outweighs the odd occassion someone made the mistake of passing to him in open play & he lived into his 'shitty-hands' nickname.

    Suspect we've got to continue the habit of blooding new guys to see if they work well at the top level, else we revert to the situation that most of the other coaches find themselves in. We went through the pain introducting rotation, now we have to use that investment to our best advantage. The other coaches will be playing catch-up for a while, as depth isn't like working out how to tackle the likes of Jonah.

    This means that having the top 15 on the paddock at one time is unlikely, but defends against the risk of injury and may mean that we're less of a static target. I do like the fact that we're leading rather than following on this.

    Nonu remains a bit too variable in the quality of his games. I'm not sure if it's that he's a bit one dimensional (lacking talent in distribution and seemingly reliant on sheer power to break the line) and the opposition teams occassionally are dead right in their preparation regarding how to handle him, or if it's something else. I'd suspect sorting out the centres is one of the reasons that Toeava has been afforded so many chances to get things right and perhaps vice-versa.

    Toeava on the other hand started to show a bit more composure and the ability to successfully utilise his 'A game' when needed, albeit after a lot of chances. Toeava has the range of skills and physical attributes to be one of the top outside centres, it's (just) a case of getting the mental aspect reliabily under control. Hopefully the confidence gained from the last game will remain and be built upon in the next game. It may even provide Nonu with the required stimulus to raise his game too. Again adds another dimension for other teams if you have to prepare for 2 very different skills sets in the same position....Maybe Hadyn could start a thread on the dreams of Ted.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 460 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I don't get it. Aren't they all slow? :)

    You may laugh HG, but cricket fans will understand the importance of this.

    Rome's burning.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    My view (FWIW) on the scrum problem was the complete lack of any rhythm from Barnes in his chanting of the "Crouch, touch,pause, engage" mantra. He seemed to vary the way he intoned this pretty much every scrum, so the packs couldn't be quite sure just when to put in the hit.

    Both packs seemed to have the same problem in the early stages and, with the hit being so important in getting the advantage in the scrum, it took a while to settle.

    Maybe I'm a typical kiwi playing 'blame the ref', but it seemed obvious to me.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 572 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You may laugh HG, but cricket fans will understand the importance of this.

    What's interesting in cricket is the penalty doesn't affect the game in play.

    Basketball, 24 seconds is up, shot clock is done, you turnover the ball.

    Rugby you delay the game you get penalised or marched 10 metres.

    Ice hockey you get warned for late lineup for faceoffs, and if you do it a second time you get penalised and a player sent to the box.

    Cricket you might get penalised some money and banned for a later game. If a bowler is getting through their overs too slow, why don't they ban the bowler from bowling again for... 10, 15 overs or something? Revisit the run target? The teams will learn real quick.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

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