It’s QF time, and the model is itching to make some predictions. Being an algorithm, it is not subject to emotion, nor any references to 2007 (as, of course, results from 2007 fall outside its training data set). So, no French hoodoo then, and a predicted victory for the ABs (for those who don’t know what I am talking about, France defeated the All Blacks in the QFs in 2007, and the fixture is repeated this year).
Australia is also predicted to triumph, with a victory margin of 19 points. However, the South Africa vs. Wales and Ireland vs. Argentina games are almost too close to call – the model does pick South Africa and Ireland respectively, but only by 1 and 2 points respectively. Into the mix here come other variables – nearly a home advantage for the Irish? Injuries to Wales and Ireland reducing their effective ratings? The model does not take account of these (and even if it did, I doubt there would be the data to support such a model)
So, a fine weekend of rugby in store!