Irish rugby’s love affair with European club competition looks to be well and truly back on track.
Home quarter-finals for both Leinster and Munster have left us with a serious feel-good factor heading into the Six Nations. However, if the predictions of rugby statistics website Rugby Vision are to be believed, it’s going to get even better for both sides.
Rugby Vision is a website that brings statistical analysis to the game of rugby. The site, founded by an economist from MIT, applies the relevant statistics to make predictions on the outcomes of specific games or tournaments as a whole. As they put it in their website:
“Rugby Vision (RV) is a suite of statistical models that predicts outcomes for major rugby competitions.”
The result is something they refer to as ’22/22 insight’ which has an impressive track record in recent competitions, although they are quick to warn as to its occasional fallibility before ‘betting the farm’. Even bearing such caveats in mind however, their Champions Cup predictions are very rosy for those on the Emerald Isle.
— Rugby Vision (@rugbyvision) January 24, 2017
Yes, you’ve read that right, a frankly stunning 51.3% chance of an Irish side winning the tournament outright. And this despite the chance that both sides will have to play semi-finals away from home.
Even more surprisingly than the predictions regarding the Irish sides is that concerning Toulon. The three-time champions are given a paltry 1.8% chance of triumphing, and scratching beneath the surface it’s not hard to see why.
Toulon will actually likely have a home semi-final should they progress to the last four. However, it is getting to that stage that would be the issue. Their quarter-final pits them against Top 14 leaders Clermont Auvergne, away from home. Add to this the fact that Clermont are yet to win this competition in either its present form or previous incarnation and the scale of the task facing Toulon is abundantly apparent.
Toulon would then have to deal with the resurgent might of Leinster or the scintillating intensity of Aviva Premiership toppers Wasps in the semi-final. Neither an entirely promising prospect for the side that currently sits fifth in the Top 14.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena
Read More About: clermont, european champions cup, glasgow, ireland international rugby, ireland rugby, irish rugby, Leinster news, leinster rugby, Munster News, munster rugby, saracens, Toulon, toulouse, Wasps