Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 16 March, 2020 16:41

Since the English Premiership turned professional in 1997, 20 teams have graced the top flight of the English game at one point or another. Whilst still a relatively young professional sport in terms of world sports, the professionalism of the clubs battling it out is only increasing. Results are fought for in an ever-increasing competitive league and new rivalries are being forged and traditional rivalries intensified.

A recent result of Bath against Exeter in round 13, saw Exeter post a record margin of victory over their West Country rivals. This results sparked debate on COML over the comparative fortunes of both clubs and how they are being run. Yet, I remember when Exeter joined the Premiership in 2010, they struggled for a long time to record their first victory against Bath. This sparked an idea – what if we could see the results of clubs verses each other since 1997?

What would we find for the clubs we support – would there be any surprises in the way we perceive our supported clubs successes against other teams, compared to the actual cold hard facts?

If you are interested in finding out more, then click through to start the discovery!

Click this link below:
[rigin=viz_share_link:showVizHome=no">public.tableau.com]

I have tried to build this tool for both viewing on a laptop and mobile.

You can even access the full set of results as a poster – although it is easier to view that once downloaded as an image. Otherwise interact in both the mobile and laptop views to choose teams you are interested in.

Note: the only results included in this are from the regular season games. Europe and play-off / finals are not included.


Laptop view
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y9balmW3bIs/Xm-iyBdG6rI/AAAAAAAAMB8/2C7BdZQOBas3XDEpngpDkvhxNFhwnoV9ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BLaptop.PNG


This is how the mobile view works (runs a bit quick - but you get the idea!)
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xeYArzM7RP0/Xm-ofpGuo-I/AAAAAAAAMCs/lr1mU0M9teoJkzCXAfsHF7ZlYYKs-rH_gCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/20200316_121043.gif


Here is an example, taken from the Mobile view…

Selecting Gloucester as your club of choice, we can see all the results against traditional rivals Bath. Gloucester wins are shows as bars to the right and losses to the left. The length of the bars show how big the winning margin was in each match – with the intensity of orange or grey showing the same thing. The purple area line behind shows the cumulative winning / losing margin as the years progress. If the purple area in on the left side, then Bath have a bigger winning margin overall, if the area is on the right then Gloucester have a bigger winning margin.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B0WruvLVeP0/Xm-iyxby1pI/AAAAAAAAMCM/2ebSclAvD7s_jgXPl82fC9roq0N7zhnuQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BMobile%2BGlawvBath.PNG


We can from the bars that Gloucester was winning more games between 2006 and 2012, but more recently Bath have been on top. If we were to constrain the starting year to 2006 (by selecting on the short grey line next to the left hand side year. We can now see the 2006 and 2012 period of Gloucester dominance more clearly.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aY1ULsPkFNY/Xm-izP53IkI/AAAAAAAAMCQ/isUylmYKU9Iq_CWGtRLxGInRCai7SsE3QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BMobile%2BGlawvBath2006.PNG


This is just one small story of the battle for dominance between two clubs steeped in traditional rivalry.

Returning to the original prompt for putting this together – Bath v Exeter. What can be found from looking at the history of those games? Had I remembered correctly, the early dominance of Bath when Exeter joined the Premiership? Lets see…

All matches between Bath v Exeter (Bath wins to the right, Exeter to the left)

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-u_rxhbwlQFw/Xm-iyv9xNSI/AAAAAAAAMCI/GeuMs-615p04WXA3hurP6hAaiInImHaoQCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BMobile%2BBathvExeterAll.PNG


Looking at this there appears to be a turning point around the 2017 mark. Let’s take a look at the results before 2017 and after 2017, by constraining the years.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OWFGlCCR5Z0/Xm-ixQwkHVI/AAAAAAAAMB4/vwes1yHv13YUD14yc9OO5jgPoXf6PUa-QCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BMobile%2BBathvExeter2010-2017.PNG


It looks like my memory was correct, Exeter took 5 years to record their first league victory against Bath, and overall in the first 7 years to 2017, Bath had the better of their West Country neighbours.

But after 2017….

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ks4PjcbXv4M/Xm-iyd6OulI/AAAAAAAAMCE/pdiDKJx51Ksjv99bolB004GbwlF-d_7mwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BMobile%2BBathvExeter2017-2020.PNG


Exeter have clear dominance over Bath, culminating in their Round 13, 57-20 win at Sandy Park. Obviously, this is a worrying trend for the Bath team and fans, but what we can see when looking at all these results across all clubs, is that these periods of dominance generally fluctuate. This league is so competitive, it is rare that one club has a lasting dominance over another.

With all that said, this latest result for Bath, wasn’t the worst in their history. It’s only fair to Gloucester fans after pointing out Bath’s dominance overall, Gloucester did in 2002 put near 70 points on against Bath in a clearly one sided game, finishing 68-12.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vihACgmtf3U/Xm-iyNl5TzI/AAAAAAAAMCA/oVcXfBIBMJMdQ_pjOfKHspRwRlzVydiUACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Rivalries%2BBath%2527s%2Bworst.PNG


And for some further perspective… that’s an extra 20 point winning margin on top of what Exeter achieved the weekend before last! Bath fans, you think Exeter was bad – it has been a whole lot worse before!

These are just a snippet of the stories you can find when looking at the results, using the link at the top of this post. There no doubt will be many more! I look forward to hearing what you find / learn from it.

All the best,

Sam / BathSalmon



Adopted Player 18-19: Anthony Perenise
Adopted Player 17-18 & 16-17: Dave Attwood
Adopted Player 15-16: Matt Garvey

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 16 March, 2020 17:25

Blimey what a piece of work!

Are you working at home by any chance(Sm151)

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 16 March, 2020 17:56

Shhh... my boss reads this board! Ha

And thanks, glad you liked it.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: Woodpecker (IP Logged)
Date: 16 March, 2020 21:04

If I get Coronavirus I will try to understand it.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 08:05

Quote:
Woodpecker
If I get Coronavirus I will try to understand it.

I've every confidence in you! It's not too tricky a concept - selected teams wins on the right, losses / opponent wins on the left, overall winner shown by the line either to the right or left.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: Statesman (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 10:03

Thank you - that's a great piece of work and very interesting. Are you the same person that did the 6 nations history a while back?

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 10:04

Thanks. Yes that's me.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 12:53

Impressive piece of work Bath Salmon, but I am struggling to understand one table - Bath v Sarries seems to have omitted 2 of our more famous wins.

These were:

3 May 2008. 66-21
5 Oct 2014. 21-11.

Am I missing something?


PG

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: SimonG19 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 14:05

Blimey I'll have to come back to this when I've a day to spare.

Tomorrow!

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 18:11

Quote:
P G Tips
Impressive piece of work Bath Salmon, but I am struggling to understand one table - Bath v Sarries seems to have omitted 2 of our more famous wins.
These were:

3 May 2008. 66-21
5 Oct 2014. 21-11.

Am I missing something?


PG

Thanks for that spot! I created the data set nearly 2 years ago, I should have double checked it. There were a couple of issues in those years - which I've now corrected.

I remember that Saracens game (66-21l clearly, Banners scored a great try (might have been in his 1st season?) Broke away for near a length of the field try and swerved round the last defender, if I remember correctly.

Funnily enough, I've now spotted I have the amateur era results as well, going back to 87-88 season! Although they need a bit of work. Also not sure we played both home and away in the same season back then??



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17/03/2020 18:19 by BathSalmon.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 17 March, 2020 22:19

So here's an interesting thing...

* caveat: any Saracens fan readers - this is not picking on you for the recent financials

I've noticed a real step change in Saracen's results around 2009. The season following the 66-12 loss at The Rec, discussed above.

Saracens results up to 2009, notice the purple lines are mostly in the centre for most teams they play - indicating they've had even battles up to that point. Or to the left of centre - indicating they have lost more on aggregate.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dlSMji-rsY4/XnFKlamHl9I/AAAAAAAAMDU/xjrtGEQVLDQK9002014Ysu3oIdF1qnN4ACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Sarries%2BPre%2B2009.PNG


Now, the results after 2009 - only Northampton Saints show any sort of resistance to the Saracens juggernaut!

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-v0J1dEViPGc/XnFKlOk5aWI/AAAAAAAAMDQ/n1v1j7phqw0I-EISB-Ttw-FIbqyDK0rCACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Sarries%2BPost%2B2009.PNG


So what happened in 2009? I know 'correlation doesn't always equal causation', but it would appear the record loss in 2008 at The Rec, sparked action at Saracens for that never to happen again.

Note: the Yellow is our 66-12 win in 2008, Saracens 2nd biggest loss in the league, until recently, when Wasps won 60-10 after Saracens had been confirmed relegated (highlighted Red).

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KKVoyoO8NzE/XnFKlmOY0rI/AAAAAAAAMDY/3ML1HD_BK8oYcLkNyE1B5trVwd4_4qhEACLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Sarries%2Boverall.PNG


Even if you were to say well they were dominating recently because of unfair financial play - if I were to remove the last few years, then they are still shown to make that step change in performance.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fiQ6EnwQL-M/XnFMo0NiLHI/AAAAAAAAMDo/V6GoR7juOgwtPwoISyR3jbQCpq3etzWuwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/Sarries%2Boverall%2Bconstrained.PNG

Was 2009 when Brendan Venter joined?

BathSalmon



Adopted Player 18-19: Anthony Perenise
Adopted Player 17-18 & 16-17: Dave Attwood
Adopted Player 15-16: Matt Garvey

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 17:21

Fascinating insight in response to this Saracens question, over on their board here: [m.rugbynetwork.net]

For those that are interested!

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 18:19

So a raw team with ex players and lots of squad turnover. Doesn’t seem that different from Bath this season does it?



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 19:54

Very much so! But I would suggest our player turnover has been more gradual than the 19 player clearout Sarries had. We also havent looked to raid the SH to fill the gaps.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 21:59

Sam, first and most important - many thanks for taking the time to research and share this tool, it is fascinating. I have a few thoughts on your Saracens question.

May I venture to suggest that along with a crop of ex-players who subsequently proved themselves as technically excellent coaches - one of them brought an "intangible extra" that's probably impossible to describe accurately, but the term "winning mentality" is p'raps closest. That man is Andrew Farrell.

It's well known he came from rugby league - what many RU fans are less aware of is just how good he was. Although Union was professional when he switched from League, it was still light years behind the 13-man code in it's implementation in terms of fitness, conditioning and attack/defensive tactical aspects. This was brutally exposed in the two cross-code matches in 1996 between Bath and Wigan.

Your fine team were hampered by having played the PC final a week earlier and lost heavily at Maine Road. We (I'm a Wiggin pie-eater) couldn't live with you under Union technical laws in the return match. To Bath's credit they didn't play a forward game second half - to their detriment it meant superior fitness allowed Wigan to make the final score much closer than it may (should?) have been. However, I digress - back to Faz Snr ...

He made his Wigan debut in 1991 (the year when son Owen was born) at 16 years of age - and in his 13 years there the club won 7 league titles and 6 Challenge Cups - including 5 consecutive "doubles". At age 21 he became the youngest ever skipper of the GB team. In a squad bursting at the seams with superstars, he was special - both as a player and an inspirational leader. It's probably not a co-incidence that one of his team mates was a certain Mr Sean Edwards. They both had the mentality that simply cannot be coached - that inner drive to win that people either have, or don't have.

Having taken the decision to switch to Rugby Union, he signed for Saracens early 1995 - but due to a series of injuries and a severe car crash it was late '96 before he made his debut. He was still top drawer, but a shadow of the player he was at Wigan. Sadly, most Union fans never saw him in his prime. Always a keen student, he spent his 18-month lay off learning the intricacies of his new code. Subsequent successes at club, international and Lions level suggest that his time wasn't wasted - but in addition, he brought that inner drive which rubs off and inspires others.

Now, they say the apple never falls far from the tree don't they? Like his father, Owen debuted at 16, driving and chewing out players 10 years and more older. A Lions tourist at 22, his attitude and mentality impressed grizzled old veterans like Paul O'Connell. Team mates for both club and country have attested to his leadership and inspirational abilities.

As I said at the beginning, it's hard to describe, impossible to quantify, and only part of the answer to "what changed in 2009 and beyond?" Andrew and Owen Farrell certainly didn't initiate anything - changes were made by others ... but to my mind, in their own way the pair of them have played a significant part in driving not only the club (financial shenanigans aside), but also England, Ireland and the B & I Lions towards the successes they've had over the last 10 years.



Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please - Niccolo Machiavelli

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 22:32

I'm pretty sure Andy Farrell joined 2005, not 1995 winking smiley He was an absolute world class rugby player and is clearly a world class coach.

I'm not saying it's just down to this, but Steve Borthwick joined Sarries in 2008. He was our captain, England captain and lineout leader. He got absolutely fed up of our incompetent, unambitious ownership. Whether he was right or wrong about all of this, he clearly saw something at Sarries to move to and was instrumental in setting the playing-side culture of the club.

Re: Rivalries
Posted by: JL904 (IP Logged)
Date: 18 March, 2020 23:03

hasta - you're correct of course. I must have been distracted by my dog while typing to be 10 years out. That's the excuse - if you don't like it I'll think of another one grinning smiley

Couldn't agree more about Steve Borthwick. Like Faz, he was an absolute monster, and for sure they had the ability to drive or lead the squad as circumstances required.

I shan't edit since it would make your post look odd (Sm128)

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