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IBM TryTracker predicts key battles for Ireland match

07 February 2013

  • IBM TryTracker will give in-depth analysis of Ireland v England
  • "Keys to the Game" predicts a physical encounter on Sunday

Following last weekend’s successful launch of the Rugby Football Union’s and IBM’s groundbreaking match analysis tool, IBM TryTracker, fans will again be able to take an in-depth look at the stats during England’s matchup against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.

IBM’s Predictive Analytics software analyses historic and current rugby data provided by Opta, the world’s leading sports data provider, to provide valuable in-game stats. It gives viewers access to insights that will heighten their understanding of what to watch for in each game and explains what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of a team win against specific opponents.

The IBM TryTracker includes the ‘Keys to the Game’, which predict three crucial areas of performance specific to each team ahead of match day. If a side hits their target in these aspects of their game they will significantly increase their chances of victory. The data collected and provided by Opta for all England internationals is analysed by IBM, before being hosted on RFU.com.

In last weekend’s 38-18 win over Scotland in the Calcutta Cup, England achieved all their “Keys to the Game”. TryTracker predicted that Stuart Lancaster’s side needed to make 14 turnovers, five line breaks and make 74.6% of their kicks at goal. At the final whistle the team had hit their 14 turnovers target, made 11 clean breaks and fly half Owen Farrell had helped England to a healthy 87.5 kick percentage.

English physicality v Irish attack

While last week’s Keys to the Game against Scotland was all about line breaks and possession, the stats suggest a physical encounter is on the cards for England at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Chris Ashton tackles Ireland's Tommy Bowe

Photo: Getty Images

England keys

An average of five metres per carry means the forwards getting over the gain line will be a crucial part of the clash, sucking in the Irish defence at the breakdown to open up the wider channels. The target of 10 offloads also suggests that supporting runners will be a key element to producing fluid rugby and unlocking the Irish defence. And finally, having seen Declan Kidney’s side cut through Wales at the Millennium Stadium, a 91% tackle success rate is a must if England are to quash the Irish attacking threat.

  • Average at least five metres per carry
  • Attempt 10 or more offloads
  • Complete 91% of tackles successfully 

Ireland keys 

Brian O’Driscoll and Simon Zebo were two stand out performers for Ireland against Wales with strong running lines that cut through the Welsh defence. Against a formidable English defence, more than five line breaks has been identified as the key to a successful day going forwards. Having seven or more attempts at goal will help keep the scoreboard ticking over and suggests that the Irish will force England's hand if fly half Jonny Sexton can keep putting over his kicks. A 94% tackle rate is even higher than England’s target, showing the attacking potency of Lancaster’s side.

  • Achieve more than five line breaks
  • Have seven or more attempts on goal
  • Complete 94% of tackles successfully