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Rivalries
Posted by: BathSalmon
Date: 16/03/2020 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

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