Momentum in the Six Nations can’t be ignored. Here we look at graphical representations of what a Six Nations Momentum Chart looks like.

Six Nations Momentum Chart

The first plot (with orange and grey bars) visualises the win record for the tournament when a nation loses a given round. The second plot visualises the win record for each round.

My previous article quantified the key rounds for building momentum in the Six Nations. Based on the historical “4-1 Finishers”, we found that the key rounds are the second and fourth rounds. These rounds are represented by the grey bars on the momentum chart.

Six Nations Momentum Chart | Chart 1

Six Nations Momentum Chart

Six Nations Momentum Chart | Chart 2

Six Nations Round RecordsSource code. Bars from left to right represent Round 1 to Round 5. The Charts are based on data for the entire Six Nations era excluding the 2019 tournament.

Momentum Analysis

Firstly, notice all of the bars on the Momentum Chart are below 80%. Because if a team loses one out of the five rounds, their win record cannot exceed 80%.

England’s key rounds are rounds 2 and 4

When they lose these either of these rounds, their win record for the tournament, on average, decreases to 50% or below. This observation from the Momentum Chart reflects well on the second plot (“win record for each round”). We notice that England’s win record for rounds 3 and 5 is 47%. Thus, it’s important for England to win rounds 2 and 4 to build form for rounds 3 and 5.

How England dismantled Ireland

Scotland’s key rounds are round 3 and 5

Their win record for these two rounds is 47%. This is significantly higher than their win record for round 2 at 21%, round 4 at 16% and round 1 at 10%. And from the momentum chart, we realise when they lose either of rounds 3 and 5, their win record for the tournament dips below 20%.

Wales tend to perform well later into the tournament

On the second plot, we notice their two strongest rounds are rounds 4 and 5 with a win-record of around 60% for these two rounds. On the other hand, their weakest round is the first round with a win-record of just 42%.

France is the opposite to Wales

On the second plot, we notice their two strongest rounds are rounds 1 and 2 with a win-record of around 70% for these two rounds. And on the momentum chart, we realise when they lose round 2, their win record for the tournament on average, decreases to 40%. Therefore, a favourable schedule for France would be a home game in Round 2.

Ireland is the most balanced nation

The momentum chart shows each round is just as important as each other for momentum. And their win record for each round is roughly the same. But interestingly, they have a higher “Round 3 Win Record” than any other team.

Can Joe Schmidt Fix Ireland’s Problems?

Italy has never won their second match

Unfortunately for Italy, their bars are a lot shorter than the other nations’ on both charts. They are currently on an 18 game losing streak in the tournament. However, they did beat Georgia 28-17 last November to quieten some of the noise around their inclusion.

Author: Kaito Goto

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