Blues win percentage against NZ teams



  • There's been some comments in the media that the current situation is similar to all the other Blues coaches. I thought I would check out the win percentages vs other NZ sides

    Yes, the form of the NZ teams has ebbed and flowed but they are generally strong. Also, they are the one constant across the various number of teams, competition structure etc


    Umaga 6.7%

    15 games 1 win

    The one win was the first game vs the Highlanders (33-31)

    If his team the next 5 NZ games (2 vs Crusaders, 2 vs Hurricanes, 1 vs Highlanders) he can just edge in front of Kirwan


    Kirwan 29%

    24 games 7 wins
    (3 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders, 2 Crusaders)

    Crap


    Lam 37.5%

    24 games 9 wins
    (4 Highlanders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)

    I think there has to be a note about the injury crisis in Lams fourth season. Crazy number of injuries, players with no NPC experience starting... locks in particular, we were starting our 7th choice lock with a loosie next to him etc

    First three seasons prior to that injury crisis:
    9/16 56.3%

    This included the best streak since Henry: 6 in a row versus NZ teams. The streak Included all other NZ sides. That season was the last time the Blues made the playoffs


    Nucifora 50%

    6/12
    (2 Chiefs, 2 Highlanders, 1 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)

    A bad first season cemented reputation then his team went ok (0-4 in that first year)


    Sloane 52.9%

    9/17
    (3 Crusaders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders)


    Various 1 season coaches all got 50%

    Yes, even Jed Rowlands


    Henry 92.9%

    13/14

    13 in a row before losing the final in 98


    Clearly Henry belongs in his own category.

    From 1999-2011 all of these coaches had a minimum of 50% success rate against NZ teams:
    Rowlands 50%
    Hunter 50%
    Oliver 50%
    Sloane 52.9%
    Nucifora 50%
    Lam 56.3%

    Sure, thats not good enough, but they were competitive. They all got a lot of criticism in the press compared to the current coach.

    Then came the injury crisis in Lam’s fourth season. I have never been convinced the right action was to sack Lam after that amount of injuries. He had very little support in the media and from the board so he had no chance.

    The new normal of shittness has settled in under Kirwan/Umaga



  • That's a great post.

    Lets be honest, I can't see us winning any of the five remaining games against NZ opponents. The pattern is they get stronger and we get weaker.

    So it's probable, likely even, that after three years Tana's record against NZ teams will be 3.4%

    Fucking hell.



  • That's the sort of shit I come on here to read about. Great Post.

    Incredible that those numbers haven't been discussed in the NZ press. Wonder why?

    It's really hard to even give the blues the injury card anymore, given the difficulties of the Chiefs and others. It has to be recruiting (or not recruiting in some cases). Lots of choices that didn't work out well.

    If we plotted that on a graph, it pretty much looks like this:

    alt text

    Think Tana can get a dead cat bounce this year? It must be coming, which could be disastrous if that gets interpreted as the turn of the tide. Or, was the bounce that win against the Lions and (to continue to metaphor), now they're a penny stock?



  • @Duluth

    Great analysis.

    Any idea on the average score in the Blues' NZ derbies since Lam's tenure? While I acknowledge "a loss is a loss" the winning/losing margin might add to the overall picture. Anecdotally, it seems the Blues have had a lot of close losses under Umaga.



  • easy to say that about Lam with the benefit of hindsight though, but there was large sections of the media and public who couldn't see past the W/L column (which is seen as the only indicator) as many know, I am not really invested in the Blues, but know at the time I felt the sackings were a bit harsh, not least because anyone associated with Lam was tarred with the same brush of 'failure', which at the time one of them was Bryce Woodward.

    Although will those previous results also be skewed by the more recent change of competition where you play more derby matches than in previous competitions?



  • @bovidae

    Don't have time for that sorry.

    Yes there has been a number of close losses, but that was true under Kirwan too. A quick glance shows Kirwan had 5 losses in a row where they were within a try.. the loss before that was by 8

    I find the close loss thing gets rolled out for Umaga but not Kirwan



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    easy to say that about Lam with the benefit of hindsight though, but there was large sections of the media and public who couldn't see past the W/L column (which is seen as the only indicator) as many know, I am not really invested in the Blues, but know at the time I felt the sackings were a bit harsh, not least because anyone associated with Lam was tarred with the same brush of 'failure', which at the time one of them was Bryce Woodward.

    Although will those previous results also be skewed by the more recent change of competition where you play more derby matches than in previous competitions?

    Hind sight is 20/20 and all that.

    Back then is was "We suck, sack Lam, we are a proud Auckland union!!"

    Now by comparison it is "So Lam wasn't all bad??"



  • @hooroo

    I said it at the time. I did not want Lam sacked.



  • @duluth said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @hooroo

    I said it at the time. I did not want Lam sacked.

    You would have been a very lonely voice, I imagine?



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    Although will those previous results also be skewed by the more recent change of competition where you play more derby matches than in previous competitions?

    It doesn't skew a percentage. But that is why I didn't spend any time on the 1 season coaches.. the sample size of 4 matches is meaningless.
    All the others had a minimum of 12 games vs NZ opposition



  • @hooroo

    Yes, it can be lonely being right



  • @duluth said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @hooroo

    Yes, it can be lonely being right

    In comparison to the last two choppers but he was hardly burning it up either.



  • @hooroo He took the Blues to the semi final - losing to the eventual champion Reds. Kirwan or Tana have got nowhere near that since.



  • @kiwimurph said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @hooroo He took the Blues to the semi final - losing to the eventual champion Reds. Kirwan or Tana have got nowhere near that since.

    ... and we coulda shoulda won that game. Every time we kept it tight we smashed them up front and made shedloads of metres. But no, we kept spinning it wide, and wound up losing.

    I still remember it (through blue tinted glasses?)



  • @nzzp

    From memory, Munro and Payne had shockers. Lam made a bad mistake in picking Munro as a winger ahead of Ranger



  • @duluth Yep he put Ranger on the bench and started Munro. Munro was very poor - Ranger carved up off the bench but it was too little too late.



  • @duluth Have you got Lam's results by year? Was his fourth year an aberration or was he on a declining trend?

    Would be interesting to chart the Crusaders results against NZ opposition as a comparison. I'm pretty sure those results would also deteriorate during Toddy's reign - in part, because he wasn't as good a coach as Deans or Robertson - but also because I'm pretty sure the Chiefs, Canes and Highlanders have all become markedly stronger teams (four titles between them since 2011, none before). At various points recruitment rules have become less regionalized which also probably worked against the more recent Blues coaches.

    I daresay someone who was statistically adept and interested enough could adjust the stats to reflect the calibre of the opposition and more accurately reflect the relative calibre of the coaches.

    Unfortunately, I suspect this still won't help Tana that much!



  • @chris-b said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @duluth Have you got Lam's results by year? Was his fourth year an aberration or was he on a declining trend?

    Upwards trend. Complete collapse in 2012

    2009: 1/4 vs NZ, 5/13 overall
    2010: 2/4 vs NZ, 7/13 overall
    2011 : 6/8 vs NZ, 11/18 overall

    Steady improvement.. then 2012 was a collapse 0/8 vs NZ 4/18 overall

    It all depends on what leeway you give him for the injury crisis



  • For a number of years, the Chiefs and the Highlanders were pretty ropey and the Hurricanes were the Hurricanes. Now all the other 4 franchises seem to be well run which makes the Blues stand out as the poorest.

    I think it is connected to the head coach but goes beyond that. Look at the injuries the Chiefs are currently coping with. We in the Bay were baffled by Ardron's selection for the Chiefs given his lame work at number 8 for us that saw him benched often. Now not only does he look like a class player, he is also doing it as a lock - not just the head coach can be responsible for that transformation, the environment must be a key factor and the coaching team etc must have done some serious work on his game in the past few months.

    And right now all the top 4 franchises seem to be able to bring in guys from anywhere and have them playing well as soon as they walk onto the grass in Super rugby.

    With the Blues, it seems to have the opposite effect. Promising players quickly become a shadow of what they were before. Which suggests that the rot runs deep and shuffling the chairs/recruiting a star or 2 isn't going to change that.



  • @kiwipie said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    And right now all the top 4 franchises seem to be able to bring in guys from anywhere and have them playing well as soon as they walk onto the grass in Super rugby.

    Which suggests that the rot runs deep and shuffling the chairs/recruiting a star or 2 isn't going to change that.

    Yes, which has also being discussed in detail by various Blues fans. Problems with the board have been talked about ad nauseam, as have problems with recruitment (which Umaga has some responsibility for)

    I know you didn't do this, but there is a strawman that the Blues fans only blame the coach which is absolutely not true
    The coach should be judged for what he is control of: initial squad selection, match day selection, coaches he decides to delegate too, game plan, preparation etc etc



  • @kiwipie said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    Now all the other 4 franchises seem to be well run which makes the Blues stand out as the poorest.

    Well we can expand it to look at a some results against non NZ sides

    2 matches ago the Blues conceded 63 points at home against a Saffa side. The worst home defeat in history beating the previous record of 51 from 2004

    7 matches ago was the most embarrassing loss in Blues history vs the Sunwolves. Great tactics of throw it around in 42 degree heat to tire out the smaller fitter guys who are used to the conditions..



  • Genuine question - are there any Blues fans happy with Umaga?

    I see a lot of excuses for Umaga, and indeed support for Umaga, from people who aren't Blues supporters.

    I understand that. He was a popular player and supporting him doesn't impact your team. In fact it helps your team..



  • @duluth well no it wont skew the %, but given the more frequent matches, and in a bad year you will potentially lose twice as many games as you would in one off years.

    Not defending Umaga, just when you say by the end of 3 years he will have had 24 games v NZ teams, whereas say Henry would have taken 6 years for that many (not counting finals had Umagas Blues made it...)

    What it does show is that Henry's % over a longer period is even more impressive, whereas short term success is (in theory) easier to achieve.



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @duluth well no it wont skew the %, but given the more frequent matches, and in a bad year you will potentially lose twice as many games as you would in one off years.

    Sure, it's possible to 'run up the score' to some degree. However that does not explain the trend, or the drop of from Kirwans shitty tenure.

    It does show that he hasn't made gains on the other NZ sides in three years (I know some Umaga sycophants don't think its fair to compare a team to its contemporaries.. which of course is a ludicrous position and should be laughed at)



  • So from this point, what would be a pass mark in the last 5 derby matches? Three of these games are at Eden Park

    One could be an aberration. Two out of five? That would show some signs of life I guess..



  • @duluth with 3/5 at EP, they should to be 'aiming' for 5 wins, but realistically should be 3/5, and that being the pass mark, but I expect there will be singing in corridors of Mt Eden if they get 2/5....anything less than 2/5 should be totally unacceptable.



  • I'll be really surprised if they win 1 out of 5.



  • @kiwimurph that wasn't what he asked 😉



  • Pass mark is winning all the home games.

    You can’t compare to the first part of the season and accept mediocrity as the new normal. We are in a hole, a good coach will get you out of it.

    If you can’t even win your home games it’s all over.

    Mind you, I though he should have resigned after the utter embarrassment of shipping 63 points on Eden Park.



  • @kirwan said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    Pass mark is winning all the home games.

    You can’t compare to the first part of the season and accept mediocrity as the new normal. We are in a hole, a good coach will get you out of it.

    If you can’t even win your home games it’s all over.

    Mind you, I though he should have resigned after the utter embarrassment of shipping 63 points on Eden Park.

    I think the Blues will be like the Chiefs of Pre Rennie days. Hopeless but will beat a NZ team at the wrong time to stuff that teams chances come the pointy end.



  • Personally I don’t think it would take a hell of lot to change the Blues around ,they have shown despite all the issues they do have with question marks over the coaching and recruitment especially they have for all intensive purposes been very competitive especially in the Conference games. .can think of far too many games over past 3 x seasons that the could of and should of won..but lacked leadership and direction at crucial times.
    On the occasion they have let themselves down badly,losses away to the Lions a couple of seasons back,the last game against the Sunwolves from last year and a couple of weeks ago against the Sharks come to mind.
    But in the main,they have always been there or there abouts which suggests to me they are not that far off..

    There’s been a lot of comparisons to the Warriors,and all they have really changed is fitness and some very shrewd recruitment.
    I do believe for these changes to happen,a similar mindset has to happen not just within the coach staff but also the organisation as a whole.

    If Tana Umaga is to stay,coaching staff should get the boot,Tom Coventry should come on board as the assistant,great record with forwards.
    From a franchise piece,the Blues have got to work a lot harder to make Auckland,Harbour & Northland super strong,back load all your best talent into those unions so the talent at least stays in the franchise..,make movement around the 3 x unions easy..get some real rivalry within the 3 partners..



  • Gee that doesn't made great reading for Tana. I'd been a defender of his on the grounds that he had inherited a team in bad shape and been unlucky with the sudden emergence of the hurricanes as an elite team, as well as the not so sudden emergence of the Highlanders. But when you look at how much better Lam and Kirwan's record was then it's a lot harder to argue that he's doing the best with what he's got.



  • @steven-harris said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    If Tana Umaga is to stay,coaching staff should get the boot,Tom Coventry should come on board as the assistant,great record with forwards.

    The coaching staff Umaga picked..

    I would be fine with Coventry taking over as head coach and appointing his own assistants. The Blues seem to be in a similar position to where Harbour was a couple of years ago. Jackson had made changes at NH but made no progress in terms of results. Coventry followed Jackson and completed the job

    Or Pivac. I have to throw that name in there. I've been calling for him to coach the Blues for 15 years on here.. One day someone might listen to me



  • @duluth said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    Jackson had made changes at NH but made no progress in terms of results

    To be fair to Jackson, he took them from easy beats of the Championship to the Premiership competition.



  • @tim

    Correct, my mistake. I thought Coventry had been there two years



  • @duluth Coventry has really taken them a step forward again though. They were one of the top 3 teams in the Mitre 10 Cup last year.



  • @hooroo said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @kirwan said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    Pass mark is winning all the home games.

    You can’t compare to the first part of the season and accept mediocrity as the new normal. We are in a hole, a good coach will get you out of it.

    If you can’t even win your home games it’s all over.

    Mind you, I though he should have resigned after the utter embarrassment of shipping 63 points on Eden Park.

    I think the Blues will be like the Chiefs of Pre Rennie days. Hopeless but will beat a NZ team at the wrong time to stuff that teams chances come the pointy end.

    we were the kings of coming home with a wet sail. Played awesome open footy when the pressure of actually getting something out of the season was off. Foster was the master of it.



  • @mariner4life

    What changed? How fast did it change?



  • @duluth said in Blues win percentage against NZ teams:

    @mariner4life

    What changed? How fast did it change?

    New coach seemed to help, along with have a super AB coach to pull the strings too



  • @hooroo

    Yes, that did seem to help

    One year was it?

    Because I was told to judge Tana after three years.. we're almost at three years now.. now I'm told Tana should get another 2 years added to his contract

    The strange thing is I can't find a Blues fan that wants that


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