Doc: Stormers have head start

2012-07-24 22:23

Cape Town - Renowned South African sport scientist, Ross Tucker, believes the Stormers will have an 8-10 point head start over the Sharks in their Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands on Saturday.

Tucker, who works at the Sports Science Institute in Cape Town, predicts the Sharks will be exhausted after travelling to Australia to beat the Reds last Saturday and then back to South Africa for their semi-final.

"The competition's history shows that home ground advantage is already worth five points," he told Die Burger.

"With the physical toll of the overseas flight, combined with the bumps and bruises they have to recover from, I'll speculate that the Stormers will start with an 8-10 point advantage.

"Some guys don't get affected by jet lag, but it's very tough if most of your players' sleep patterns are disturbed for four nights over a two-week period," said Tucker.

However, Sharks coach John Plumtree is adamant that the travel factor can't be used as an excuse.

“We’ll be up for it alright, but we’ve got to be smart about our preparation this week," he told the Sharks website.

“Everyone will be talking about the travel factor, but we knew we’d have to travel again if we got through our playoff. We’ve had to come back to South Africa and the players are positive, at least they can sleep in their own beds and spend time with family. It’s always nice coming home.”

Should the Sharks prove Tucker wrong they'll nevertheless remain heavy underdogs to lift the trophy as they'll then have to travel back to Australasia to tackle either the Chiefs or the Crusaders - who clash in the other semi-final on Friday.

The clash at Newlands kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.


  • amyleighwilliams - 2012-07-24 22:39

    Let me guess he is from the cape? Underrate the sharks we love it.

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-24 22:44

      8-10 points head start.. ok fine so they are 5 points short of the win then...

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-24 23:14

      who the hell is this idiot anyway? and why does his opinion matter regarding the game? what about my opinion? the stormers will not win the super 15, they can quote that. nick mallet and nick faldo and mandela - your arse

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-24 23:25

      Way better looking and smarter than Tardis. Then again Tardis is ugly as sin and smart as a plank. Super confident though... Hehehehehe...

      theunis.botha.96 - 2012-07-24 23:32

      Now that you mention it.Lyk vir my soos half geskeerde/gekrapte skaap afval.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 02:44

      I think the Chiefs will be the underdogs . They'd have played the crusaders while the sharks only played the zzztomerzzz . o backstabber soooo clueless .. heheh indeed .

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-25 03:47

      zZRandomDr0lZz still smarting? Hehehehe...

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 04:04

      the answer is no .. keep rolling' sixes hero!

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-25 04:06

      He may be smarting, but he certainly isn't smart :) Hehehehe...

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 04:33

      lordie but that's weak .. you're the type that lets one rip takes a deep breath and then sits back with a content smile on your face , proud of your handy work .. surprised you didn't thumbs up yourself for that one as you normally do

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-25 06:41

      Ouch that really hurts. Just kiddin'... :) Remind us what your mission on this blog is RandomDr0l, because it sure seems you don't have one. Except perhaps for a very negative fascination with the Cape Town franchise Rugby Team, the Stormers. Here where it all began, where Markotter and Craven plied their trade. And now things seem to be falling apart in the Republic of Tshwane. Too bad. Hehehehe..

      steyts - 2012-07-25 06:43

      Yes one sport scientist gives his opinion and then all of a sudden the whole of the cape underrates the saarks!! Shame, the poor bulls fans had such a terrible year supporting their own team they now wish that another team will beat the stormers so they can at least get a little bit of a smile on their faces!! PATHETIC!! Just like the team they support!!!

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 06:55

      sure, sure ;-) . Mission on the blog LOL .. It's to prevent a crime against humanity wimplo ..... "mission on the blog ", you really are an idiot

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:30

      But what did nick Faldo say? And is mandela's birthday going to have an influence? Then there's the issue of nick mallet and rucks being hit, and let's not forget the studio. I can't believe this story was published, doc says the stormers have a head start. Anything to give the bicurious capetonians some hope

      shaun.reece.3 - 2012-07-25 08:14

      Ok Tom we get it, youre a retard! If the sharks win this weekend the super trophy will go to NZ no question.

      pieter.diesnor - 2012-07-25 08:21

      Tom, Nick Faldo said you are an idiot. Mandela's birthday did not change the fact that you are and will forever be an idiot. Nick Mallet said that you are an idiot, and you cannot hit a ruck if your life depended on it.

      john.comyn.18 - 2012-07-25 08:25

      @Tom.Turd - It's an opinion Turdis nothing more even if it does comes from a highly respected Sport Scientist. I personally don't give a flying toss about what your opinion is. I'll go with the sports scientist.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 08:26

      its your funeral

      Stormkaap - 2012-07-25 11:13

      Ross dont get too excited/upset by some responses. There are some okes who suffer from ASS(attention seeking syndrome) moenie wrorrie nie

      felix.feline.3 - 2012-07-25 11:15

      Holy crap, a real celebrity is talking to us! Hi Ross *waves

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 12:10

      Yeah, no worries. Just worth clarifying a few points, in the unlikely event that it helps. It's fun to engage with people re the science. Even if they do resort to caveman dialogue in response! Emotional Thanks for feedback! Ross

  • Craig - 2012-07-24 22:53

    So that means we only win by 10 and not 18 as i predicted, its good enough anyway.......

      steyts - 2012-07-25 06:47

      So you are going to have a huge win at a place where you haven't won for a long time and against a team that has won more games than you and ended top of the log!! Good luck!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! Sharks are overconfident again just like they were in 2007...

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:34

      No the sharks, if they can ignore nick mallet, nick Faldo and the studio and just use Mandela,s birthday in their speech are the better team right now playing attacking direct rugby with excellent defense, unlike the stormers who are trailing off and have a wonderful mix of defense and defense, very effective in squeaking past teams like the rebels. If the sharks have shaken off the effects of traveling somehow, they are gonna smash you fools and if not, I look forward to seeing crusader park full of red and black for the final.

      steyts - 2012-07-25 08:02

      tom that defense beat the bulls twice this year as well!! So it is not just the rebels, but 13 other sides as well that lost to the stormers this year, including the sharks in Cape Town... The sharks fans are extremely confident that they will pull this off because they played well against the cheetahs and a depleted reds team... WELL DONE!!! This weekend we will see how good they really are...

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 08:14

      ja steyts get ur fax right chaan, stormers didnt play brumbies or chiefs this year, so that makes it 12 team in total including the rebels. face to foot foot to face repeat internet memo....DELIVERED

      steyts - 2012-07-25 09:13

      They played 16 times and lost twice.. That makes 14 wins minus the rebels which makes it 13...

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 10:40

      you said 13 other sides and the rebels. thats 14 teams. you did not play the chiefs nor the brumbies this year. therefore it makes 12 other teams and the stormers and then the chiefs and brumbies who you didnt play. what an idiot of the highest order. derpa derpa comprendo?

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:00

      Finally, someone who understands the implication of what a "headstart" means. Nowhere does it imply that the final score will be an 8 to 10 point win. All it is saying is that the Sharks have a big challenge to overcome. They may well do it. I have no opinion on that (well I do, but I'll save you the trouble). Just understand that when we talk about home ground advantage, we are looking at the relative effects of two teams playing one another at their respective home grounds. It's very easy to work out that if two teams are exactly equally matched, Team A playing at home might beat Team B by say 5 points, but Team B at home wins by 5 points. In that case, being at home is worth 5 points to each time. So,if Team A can go to Team B's home ground and beat them by 5 points, they're actually 10 better on the day. So all this is saying is that for the Sharks to win, they'll need to be 8 to 10 points better. Maybe they will be. Time will tell.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:18

      so ross tucker what u just said was pretty much nothing and utterly useless. thanks for explaining i think your maths is wrong though. another pseudo intellectual here - you are a thorn among the roses

  • backstabber.adder - 2012-07-24 22:57

    Heard about the new movie "50 shades of blue"? It is about the Stormers' domination of the Bulls over the last 2 years and the 50 forms of denial and depression masked as sledging and "humor" on this website. Hehehehehe...

      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-24 23:28

      No - nobody seems to have heard of it . . . .

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-24 23:48

      yeh didnt hear about it either

      backstabber.adder - 2012-07-25 03:50

      Bulls version of 50 Shades of Grey. I guess the latter has not reached the trailerpark yet. hehehehe.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:35

      Still, no, but good attempt. I'll give u 3 for effort, out of a possible 50

  • backstabber.adder - 2012-07-24 23:01

    Waarmee slaan die Blou Bul trolle se vrouens hulle as hulle te veel op die internet speel? - met 'n karavaan spaan... Hehehehe....

      press.enter.12 - 2012-07-24 23:29

      WP Trolle is seker te klein om 'n spaan vas te hou . . . . . .

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 04:55

      o wimplo .. you really hurt our foot with your balls

      james.eayrs - 2012-07-25 04:59

      ...en in Skaapstat slaat die vrouens hulle met 'n papsak!

  • theunis.botha.96 - 2012-07-24 23:07

    At the pace the Sharks is going at the moment,8-10 is a very dim headstart for the Stormers.They need at least 20-30 just to be noted on the field of play.

  • tobias.strydom - 2012-07-24 23:17


  • tobias.strydom - 2012-07-24 23:18


      felix.feline.3 - 2012-07-25 11:17


  • henmich.maart - 2012-07-25 00:40

    If you're a Stormers' supporter-stop the stressing right now! If,like indicated by the coach,the team's gonna take on the Sharks physically from kick-off and don't make to many mistakes,the jet-leg just gonna kick in at some stage of the match. If the Sharks win this one-then well done by them! I have a lot of respect and admiration for their way of playing the game,but as a Stormer supporter I'm not too worried about Saturday's game. I just hope the guys don't refrain from doing something special if oppertunities arise 'cause of too much structural discipline. See you in the final Stormers!!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:51

      Jet leg - I never got the internet memo about this

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:34

      can ross tucker elaborate on jet leg?

  • stefan.vanniekerk.1232 - 2012-07-25 01:47

    What sience is he basing this on? Being a sport doc myself I know well that we often know little . Please man , keep your comments limited to facts.

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 02:42

      "What sience is he basing this on? " .. It's called the magic 8-ball

      franklyn.davies.1 - 2012-07-25 05:13

      erm....arnt you accustomed to home ground advantage for starters ?

      steyts - 2012-07-25 06:51

      I bet you that is just his opinion that sport24 took and blew out of proportion... Then again he talks about a head start, he never once mentioned that he thinks the stormers will win the game...

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 12:05

      Hi Stefan There's a pretty large body of published work that a) establishes that home-ground advantage exists, and b) that it's worth X number of points in a given situation. Jump on PubMed or Google Scholar and you'll see it. My number was based on an analysis that I did myself on Super Rugby history, where I looked at every team's record home and away, and compared them. The result is that in Super Rugby, the home team wins 61% of the match. That means there is a home ground advantage, as I'm sure you'd agree. Secondly, you can quantify the relative effect of that home ground advantage by looking at points differences of Team A vs Team B when home and away. So if Team A has an average HOME score of 20 - 16 (Win by 4 points), and an average AWAY score of 17 - 24 (lose by 7 points), then you can pretty easily deduce that there is an 11 point swing as a result of going from HOME to AWAY. You agree? The result is that home advantage is worth 5.5 points to Team A. So doing this, in the history of Super Rugby, home advantage is worth a RELATIVE amount of 5 points. This does not mean that the home team wins - advantage is not synonymous with winning (Thank you to those who have actually understood this). But what it does mean is that a team that wants to win an away match has to overcome an inherent "handicap" of about 5 points in order to do so. They often do - if the Crusaders play the Lions, you'll put your money on the Saders, no matter where they play (cont)...

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 12:08

      ...but the score difference between them is the crucial thing that tells you how much the Lions benefit from home advantage. For example, if the Crusaders beat the Lions 35-12 at home (a 23 point win), if I told you that home advantage has historically been worth 14 points to the Lions, then my prediction would be that the Lions would stil LOSE the home match, but only by 9 points instead of 23. Hope that makes sense. This is not based on limited facts. I think your response is based on emotion. As a sports doc yourself, you know how to separate reason from emotion, and just because this is your sport, the axiom should still apply. So no magic 8 ball, just the reporting of statistics from the history of the Tournaments. The Sharks may well go to Newlands and win, but if they do, they would have overcome much more than just an opposition team, and what they have overcome is worth about 8 - 10 points. Time will tell if they're good enough to do it.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:18

      TOO LONG DIDNT READ how boring

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 15:04

      @Ross , home ground is statistically significant but trying to come up with some number for a particular match based on studies of different players / teams under different coaches , following different strategies ,... ?

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 15:09

      "So if Team A has an average HOME score of 20 - 16 (Win by 4 points), and an average AWAY score of 17 - 24 (lose by 7 points), then you can pretty easily deduce that there is an 11 point swing as a result of going from HOME to AWAY. You agree?" No, "correlation does not imply causation'

      franklyn.davies.1 - 2012-07-25 18:41

      @randomdude,what are your qualifications besides being an internet troll ? Home ground advantage is a fact ! just go enquire with all the sports bookies that fleece the punters who go on form alone,i recall reading an article that depending on other minor mitigating factors( injury,weather,temperature,crowd attendance,etc),that home ground advantage was between 5-7points for the home team whereas a neutral venue invalidated that-these were for Heineken cup matches.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 21:08

      what are your qualifications quite frankly there are only a few things true in the world nick mallet was in the studio sadie didnt hit rucks ross tucker has data and belongs to the church of HGA lean sadie doesnt receive internet memos when someone does something to the detriment of society, give them a bells nick faldo predicted ernie els will win 2 or 3 more majors so what does it matter what anyones qualifications are?

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 22:47

      I didn't say home-ground advantage doesn't exist.. do you know what statistically significant means ? Blabla sport bookies, they cannot predict the outcome of a game any better than a magic 8-ball . The point is you cannot make statement like the zzztomezzz have an x point advantage because there are MANY other variables that account for a particular score by a particular team on a particular day against a particular opponent , .... so unless you have some model that can isolate how much of the points difference in individual home & away games can be attributed to venue only , crunching those scores , that are the results of many variable , and then deriving some conclusion from it but only attributing that to one of the independent variables at play is wrong. Do you know what scientific control is ? controlled experiment ? The good doc is assuming that the impact of things like strategies, rule interpretations, weather, player form, ... are all constant between all the games he's crunching numbers for and the only significant variable is venue . Saying home ground advantage exists is fine ,saying it's worth x number of points for a particular team in a given match is wrong . The best you can do is say something like that's the avg points difference between home and away of all the games that make up the dataset. Anything more is meaningless .. and I'm a Nuclear Physicist by day super hero at night .. the real name is Dr. Jon Osterman look me up

  • kalman.dittrich - 2012-07-25 02:00

    what a brown eye, Just like scientists have tried to fool us that the earth is billions of years old, or even better, the continents was all joined and moved to where they are, Load of poppycock, I say they will be extra rejuvenated and very hungry for their first chance at a super 15 win, Sports scientist??? Have you ever? Whats next? Where does this man get this from, The sports science handbook, LOL, lets see Billy and then we talk again, Get a real Job

      lean.sadie - 2012-07-25 02:21

      You just know it all don't you lol. He is saying they have an advantage, not that they will win. Plus anything we know about the past (Earth) could be right, it could be wrong, then again some people know it all on internet, so good for you. Plus its not rocket science, stormers have an advantage, they rested for a few days, started training earlier, had no time to fly etc etc. So yea they should be more rested. But that does not translate to a win, its just an advantage, you know like the English had an advantage over the Proteas playing at home. Doesn't always mean anything, its just a fact. Dunno when the meaning of advantage turned into a win. Must have missed the internet memo some where.

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-07-25 04:34

      so...Kalman, still believe the earth is flat too? I don't take too much note of what this guy says - probably misquoted anyway - but the fact is the Sharks have played a tough game in Aussie and flew quite a bit - and this does take it out of you.

      steyts - 2012-07-25 06:58

      Kalman you obviously know nothing about what goes on behind he scenes in sport!! Because sport in a multi billion dollar industry there is a massive amount of scientific research that goes into sports such as rugby, cricket, athletics, tennis, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc... Conditioning, ways to counter jet lag, altitude, etc are all topics of a lot of research!!! Scientifically the sport science industry changes a lot every year with new discoveries and ways of training athletes... Prof Tim Noakes is a sport scientist as well.. Will you tell him to get a real job.. Don't think so!!!

      brandon.styles.14 - 2012-07-25 07:35

      LEAN on me, and the same thing is going to happen to the stormers that happened to the poms, they going to get humiliated in front of their own supporters. PS, I still think you have a stupid name.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:42

      Kalman the legend, lean your comments ar a whole lot of nothing just mishmashed and spoke in circles no point. Nick Faldo said Ernie will win 3 or 4 more majors and nick mallet said the stormers will win super 15 and Nelson Mandela had his birthday last week. And I didn't once sing that stupid love u tata song because I don't love him. The memo will now be the new catch phrase thanks lean on me. Ok to sum up my post, meant nothing Leans post: he is a know it all, could be wrong could be right, advantage is not a win. That's about all, did we really need 8 lines for something you could have said in one, or better yet just not have posted?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:52

      Brandon didn't u get the Internet memo? Geez bud get with the program !!! If u need someone to lean on, I'm here for u

  • john.latilla - 2012-07-25 02:46

    I hope the Sharks have booked their flights - first class only!!

      steyts - 2012-07-25 06:58

      What a waste of money then....

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:42

      They didn't get the Internet memo

  • Karel du Toit - 2012-07-25 06:14

    and how much are the stormers paying you to start the psychological war? SHARKS win by 15

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:43

      You didn't get the Internet memo did you?

  • heinrich.vanjaarsveld.52 - 2012-07-25 06:17

    What a joke that was what they said about the reds and guess what the sharks dominated from the get go it doenst matter whether u rested a week look at last year the stormers got the week off and still got there arses whip by the crusaders and that's gona happen this weekend be carefull what u say stormers don't hatch your eggs before the end result u will get surprice again maybe traveling doesn't play a major factor anymore the players are used to traveling a lot for games I predict a close game 27 24 in sharks favour

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:43

      Didn't get the Internet memo

  • cavin.snyman - 2012-07-25 06:18

    Interresting note on MSN sport - Super 15 team of the week consists of 8 Sharks, 6 Crusaders and 1 Reds player. Stormers dont count your chickens before they hatch is all that I will say. Good luck. Sharks Forever!!!!!!!!!!

      pomene.stormer - 2012-07-25 06:32

      It's not rocket science to understand the S15 team of the week is based on the teams that actually played that specific week and if you did not notice it by now, the Stormers had the weekend off - hence they were not considered - wake-up you're missing an excellent competition !!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:45

      Everyone talks like they got the Internet memo on rocket science. Do any of u fools know what a rocket science or an Internet memo actually entails? Didn't think so, so please refer to things some of us know about like, brain surgery. Thanks, Internet memo, DELIVERED

      pomene.stormer - 2012-07-25 08:03

      @Tom.Turd - If you want to rate someone as a fool then start with yourself doughnut. Try and start commenting on the actual subject around here - IT'S RUGBY - and keep your negative irrelevant comments for yourself - No internet memo this but a straight forward - Parkview !!!! - Hope you get that one !!

  • nathan.davies.1257 - 2012-07-25 06:46

    Agree Stormers will start with a 8-10 Point advantage, dunno if they be able to keep it tho:)

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:46

      Didn't u get the Internet memo that advantage is not a win, it is merely something that comes before a penalty in the oppo's 22 for grant to kick. Just like denial is not just a river in morocco

      nathan.davies.1257 - 2012-07-25 08:08

      Sigh...anyone can blurt out useless random pieces of information.

  • maakdiebulle.almalbokke - 2012-07-25 07:04

    The only head start they will ever have, is if the stormers gave each other some head before the game.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:47

      And that everyone was an internet memo, u just got served!

  • tammy.bekker - 2012-07-25 07:22

    If I remember correctly, the Sharks beat the Reds last week after travelling AND playing an away game. Coming back to South Africa and playing the Stormers will be childs play. Sharks forever!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:48

      Tammy broker, good profile pic, good use of perspective but until we see a front on pic, comment deemed PENDING APPROVAL

  • jean.rossouwsa - 2012-07-25 07:50

    Bla bla bla bla , Julle kan nie n beker in die kas WENS nie, julle moet dit wen!!!! Dit is hoekom julle NIKS weeeeeeeeeeer gaan wen nie.

      Mandy Casey - 2012-07-25 07:51


      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 07:54

      Probably one of the only people to get the internet memo. And this doctor is renown, just like viennas

      Mandy Casey - 2012-07-25 07:56

      Rather play the ball instead of the man

      john.edwards.733450 - 2012-07-25 15:35

      o caravan stop slamming your nuts on our foot it hurts .. do they put stupid in the water down in the cape ? You'll be going on 17yrs "bekerloos"

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-07-25 07:51

    Stormers will win this weekend. Scientists are by their very nature conservative. Therefore Stormers will take it by more than 10 points. I would prefer the Sharks to have played either the Chiefs or Crusaders this week so that we could have had an all ZA final at Newlands.

      kalman.dittrich - 2012-07-25 15:02

      Mandy your respect for Scientists is admirable, But seriously, Einstein was amazing and remained humble in much of his suggestions regarding all matters and more importantly acknowledged that Scientists knowledge is far from perfect hence a special consideration for a higher power, Sports is more of an Art , the science part is poppycock I insist, The same thinking smarty pants people said the Mile could never be run faster than a certain time, It was physically impossible, But when Sebastian Co broke the Mile record many people broke it that very year having been unbeaten for many years, The Mental side of Sport is far more real than the "Scientific" Mumbo jumbo

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 15:13

      einsteyn was smart but did he invent the ipod? the internet? i would also be humble if i saw a laptop after talking nonsense about e=mc2

  • tim.kilpin - 2012-07-25 07:57

    Just brave talk to get the Stormers confidence kevels up

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 14:25

      no, its science HGA bud HGA just like hitting rucks

  • ray.stadlerjd1 - 2012-07-25 08:00

    We all can agree that a SHARK swims though Storms, Hurricanes, but the wellington hurricanes dictated the current and drifted the poor helpless fish into a river somewhr, Western Stormers, will indeed teach them a GREAT WHITE leason

  • duane.hoffeldt - 2012-07-25 08:00

    Being a SHARKS fan, I am under no illusions that the Stormers are hungry as hell to win the trophy this year. But I am sure of one thing though and that is come Saturday, if both teams play like they have over the last couple of weekends, then even with the extra weeks rest and the home ground advantage, the Stormers are going to see their nought.

  • odupreez - 2012-07-25 08:10

    Sport scientists, Weather forecasters, Economists, Gypsy Fortune Tellers all play guessing games - Most of the hogwash they utter must be taken with a pinch of salt. Strange that these guys actually get employment and their are actually people around that pay them. The Stormers do not score many tries and rely on ? Peter Grant ?, and the mistakes that the other teams make to score points. If the Sharks especially the Du Plessis brothers can minimise their errors, they are in with a more than even chance.

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:54

      You're reacting emotionally, and the result is that you're not understanding what I'm saying. What I am saying is that years of data, in many sports, have shown that home-ground advantage is real. The result is that when a team plays away from home, they have to overcome not only the opposition, but an inherent disadvantage of being away. The result is that the away team effectively start the match with about a 5 point deficit. They may still win the match, but they have to do more than if they were at home. The interaction of 2 teams in a competitive match is a complex system, & you can't model it linearly (which is what this discussion is). But this is conceptual, to illustrate to you that the Sharks, who are a) playing away and b) traveling across 11 time zones twice in less than two weeks, have an enormous "handicap" to overcome. The Sharks may well still win the match. Given their recent form and momentum, I'd be very nervous as a Stormers coach, fan or player. Because the match will be very competitive. But if this match was being played by the Sharks WITHOUT the travel, and if it was at the Sharks' home ground, then the prediction would be very, very different. The fact that they've had to travel is a factor that you have to consider. It means that if on any given day, the Sharks are 5 points better than the Stormers (which may be true), on this particular day, it won't be enough. They need to do more. If the Sharks win by 3, they're worth 11. Don't emote

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:24

      ross tucker what are you on about? taking all th time to type these long winded nothings that no one will read cos this is not a doctoral thesis. get over yourself and why dont u study something worthwhile like me, interior design, make a difference to peoples lives instead of talking all day about home ground advantage and how much data you have wtf ??? everyone knows what handicap betting is and some of us participate really, grow up

  • my10cent - 2012-07-25 08:34

    Dream on Ross,i hope the Sharks give the mountain goats/chokers a thrashing they will never forget.

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:46

      When you say "dream on", you're referring to what? My prediction? Because if you read the article again, you'll see that I actually didn't make a prediction. The Sharks may well win. But if they do, they'll be overcoming a big handicap. So if the Sharks win by 5 points, they would have shown that they're actually worth a 13 to 15 points win. My comment is not a prediction at all. You can see that?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:25

      you can see that? is not the correct way of asking a question. you should say "Can you see that?" please stop the long winded ramblings because no one cares

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:54

      for future reference, authors or people quoted by the news24 site should not read the comments section and get all defensive, you should let everyone be and forget about it. some people will enjoy reading this drivel article but some people dont, everyone has an opinion, really - posting in response to rubbish that we spew here says more about you than the trolls. When you say "dream on", you're referring to what? My prediction? Because if you read the article again, you'll see that I actually didn't make a prediction. The Sharks may well win. But if they do, they'll be overcoming a big handicap. So if the Sharks win by 5 points, they would have shown that they're actually worth a 13 to 15 points win. My comment is not a prediction at all. You can see that? i mean COME ON, want a tissue?

      jp.duplooy.14 - 2012-07-25 14:48

      @my10cent- its more like ur minus 10c!

      smellarat.smith - 2012-07-26 01:47

      Ross Tucker I would not bother responding to these attention craving fools. As a fellow scientist, I thank you for a very good article.

  • gert.coetzee.583 - 2012-07-25 10:24

    Stormers will take it. The travelling factor, home field advantage, week's rest will bode too much.

  • vernon.annandale.7 - 2012-07-25 11:01

    If that's the case Doc...? Why were the Stormers behind at the half-time in last years semi and ended up loosing the game?

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:50

      Because the team they were up against was better than them. Remember that advantage doesn't mean you will win the match. It just means that RELATIVE to playing the same match, against the same team, you'll do better when you're at home than away. So in that semi last year, my interpretation is that they were outplayed. Ross

      vernon.annandale.7 - 2012-07-25 12:51

      So the travel does not come into play then? Are you sure because this Doc says otherwise,he assures a 8-10 point lead over the sharks,all I say is screw all the talk and may the best team win!

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:25

      you cant loose a game

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:25

      thanks ross tucker for the internet memo i hope you CC'd everyone in, is your alter ego lean sadie?

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:55

      vernon, this doc in the article is ross tucker. ross tucker you are making your name gat by commenting here and sending people facebook messages. i feel like you are worse than me, and i am a lowly troll

  • dustin.mccrindle.5 - 2012-07-25 11:22

    If this is based on scientific research it should read that the Stormers have a 6 to 9 pt advantage, as we can thru stats deduce that their advantage has very little chance of including a 5 pointer.\r\n\r\nThat being said, we are in for 2 CRACKER matches the weekend!\r\n\r\nPS: Please explain to the Saders that they were supposed to do so much worse when they played almost a full season without a home ground.\r\n\r\nWith love, proud Sharks supporter...

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:49

      No, because stats sums the results from many rugby matches. So if a team scores a try in one match, and a penalty in the next, their average score is 4. It's not wrong, it's just an average. As for the Crusaders, their performance last year was exceptional because of that disadvantage. There's a lot of research on home ground advatnage, what drives it and how much it is worth. The Crusaders were probably 10 points better than most teams last year, but without home-ground, you'll find that it was say 6 points better. But they're still better. "Advantage" doesn't mean you always win the match. It just means you might lose it by less... Ross

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:26

      home ground advantage bud HGA HGA, thats what its all about and hitting rucks and nick mallet opinion

  • ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 11:42

    To Tom Tardis Part of me is really intimidated by your amazing debate style and obvious intellectualism. It's quite clear that you've really thought through what you've posted, and produced a really compelling argument. The bit about criticizing how ugly I am is particularly impressive. You must be a very classy man. But let me try to explain, and I'll type really slowly so that you can follow what I mean here... What is indisputable is that home ground advantage exists - there are dozens of studies showing it. It's worth an AVERAGE of 5 points in Super Rugby, based on an analysis of the history of the tournament. When you factor in continental travel (because Aus and SA are on different continents, just so you know), then you have an additional factor. So take two teams who are EXACTLY EVENLY matched. They play at Team A's home ground. Team A will win by 5 points. If they play at Team B, then Team B wins by 5 points. There's a point value to being at home. If Team B also happens to fly across 11 time zones twice in 11 days, then the point value is probably 8 to 10 points. This DOES NOT mean that the result is decided, because they still play the match! The Sharks, given the momentum they have, could very well come to Newlands and win by 5 points. If that happens, I would interpret this to mean that the Sharks were 13 to 15 points better than the Stormers on any other day. Simple, no? Stay classy.

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 13:28

      too long didnt read

  • andre.nell - 2012-07-25 11:50

    Theory means nothing in a Semi ......Die span met die meeste hart sal hom vat - Bulgroete

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 15:21

      HGA bud HGA

  • crazyjourno - 2012-07-25 12:16


  • cape.maori - 2012-07-25 12:54

    Doc, why do you feel the need to justify your opinion on this forum? These blokes are emotional, irrational and do not understand the expertise in your field. Don't bother responding to their drivel - the article makes sense.

      ross.tucker.581 - 2012-07-25 13:05

      I'm just explaining it. If there's even one person who initially misunderstood the article, and who now has a better appreciation for the relative effect of home ground advantage, it's time well-spent! I hear what you are saying, and thank you for voicing it - you're right, but I still feel that if you have a chance to inform, then you must take it! So maybe there's one person who has come back and now says "Oh, right, I didn't realize that advantage didn't mean winning". IN that case, it's good. So it's not so much to justify the opinion, more to use this as a chance to discuss it. Pearls before swine, perhaps, but it's one by one that helps! But thanks for you comment, appreciate it! Ross

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 14:12

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz but good point cape maori. everyone can appreciate the article for what it is, for those that read it. i personally dont read the articles because usually it is drivel. much like this one

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-25 14:34

      Some people can't read properly or maybe it is already happy hour? I agree with Ross that the Sharks are up against it, but they have a few match winners in theire team. Sharks and Chiefs by 3?

  • lisa.bester.94 - 2012-07-25 15:11

    He hasn't been in the news for a while so he has to say something, could have been anything....It does not take a docter or a rocket scientist to tell you that the sharks will be tired. But unfortunately for the stormers that does not give them 10 points. for the stormers to get to 10 points they would have to get 3 penalties and that is what we did brilliantly last week no kickable penalties. We'll see what happens, I am a BIG SHARKS SUPPORTER, my heart says one thing but my head says something totally different. WHO KNOWS THIS IS RUGBY. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN ON THE DAY

      tom.tardis - 2012-07-25 16:37

      lisa bester, hot, comment deemed...VALID

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-07-28 21:57

      Nobody is greater than the game, not even traveling. BLACK . WHITE . DYNAMITE

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-07-28 21:54

    You now have the same credibility as the village beauty queen after she turned into the local village bicycle.

  • steveroodt - 2012-07-31 01:16

    Ross better give up your day job. You got it wrong my man as i am typing this the Sharks are in the air to play the Chiefs

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