On Saturday the autumn internationals returned with a bang. Since all four Rugby Championship sides made the semi-finals of the last World Cup the gap between the southern and northern hemisphere has been shrinking rapidly. This was clarified by resounding victories for England and Ireland, the latter by a record-breaking margin.
Wales seemed incapable once more of shaking the Wallabies curse, Scotland put in a scintillating attacking performance to sneak past Samoa and the All Blacks were clinical in Paris in the first-half to punish a lacklustre first 40 by the French.
QBE Business Insurance predicted all five results before the action commenced this weekend, using hundreds of variables and running the programme 10,000 times.
For each match a precise scoreline was generated, but just how accurate were they?
Prediction: Wales 20 Australia 24
Actual result: Wales 21 Australia 29
Prediction: England 38 Argentina 21
Actual result: England 21 Argentina 8
Prediction: Ireland 20 South Africa 20
Actual result: Ireland 38 South Africa 3
Prediction: France 16 New Zealand 35
Actual result: France 18 New Zealand 38
Prediction: Scotland 31 Samoa 22
Actual result: Scotland 44 Samoa 38
QBE correctly predicted four of the five results, holding true to their overall prediction rate at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Whilst they were miles off in their prediction of the Ireland-South Africa scoreline, this is no surprise. Very few saw the resounding nature of their victory coming, as the Irish attacked with pace and precision and held the Springboks to only a solitary penalty, a mightily impressive feat.
However, in the All Blacks victory over France and Wales’ brave loss in Cardiff the supercomputer was scarily accurate. Being a total of eleven points off in the two games, with the fixture in Paris eerily similar. England’s ‘grindathon’ as Eddie Jones put it so poetically was an uncharacteristically low scoring game for two nations that had an aggregate score of 73-59 to the Red Rose in their tour of South America this summer.
Neither would many have predicted that the match at Murrayfield would be such an open spectacle with an eleven-try thriller played out. Nevertheless, QBE were not far off with their margin of victory in either game being out by four and three points respectively.
Another phenomenally exciting round of rugby awaits the expectant fan this weekend. With a mouth-watering fixture between England and Australia the main event this Saturday.
QBE have again forecast every point this weekend, let’s hope they are as close as last week.