Insurer QBE's rugby predictor makes it a 26-17 win

by Maryvonne Gray 30 Oct 2015

Insurer QBE's rugby predictor makes it a 26-17 win

Actuaries at QBE’s European division have been hard at work applying their stochastic modelling techniques again, this time to predict the winner of the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

The predictor puts the probability of the tournament favourites, the All Blacks, to win at 70% - quite a bit higher than the 27% probability of a Wallabies win.

There is a 2% likelihood of a draw.

The analysis showed that the more points scored, the more likely it is that the All Blacks will secure the Webb Ellis Cup, while if the Wallabies turned the tables it would be a low-scoring game.
Total points in match NZ win Aus win Draw
0 to 10 51% 41% 8%
11 to 20 60% 35% 5%
21 to 30 65% 33% 2%
31 to 40 69% 28% 3%
41 to 50 71% 27% 2%
51 to 60 74% 24% 2%
60+ 78% 21% 1%
QBE boasts that the Predictor has had an 80% success rate in picking winners in the tournament with some uncannily accurate score predictions.

When South Africa met Wales for example, the Predictor estimated the score would be 23-20, the actual result was 23-19, just one point out.

Equally, when Samoa played USA, the model predicted a 27-16 outcome, the final result was just two points out at 25-16.

However, of course there were some notable exceptions with the model (and most rugby fans) not predicting the upsets such as Japan’s win over South Africa, or Wales beating England.

Indeed, some reports in Australian media claim the Wallabies are exactly where they want to be as underdogs and citing the All Blacks’ tendency to crack under pressure.

“Even in the last world cup final, on home turf at Eden Park in Auckland, they nearly coughed up what was expected to have been the easiest of victories against the French,” David Scutt wrote in Business Insider Australia.

“This time on the other side of the world, without a bipartisan crowd cheering on every move, there are things you can’t factor into stochastic modelling.”

Let’s not forget, however, that just the name ‘All Blacks’ is enough to prompt superstitious avoidance amongst the Aussies who are referring to their opponents as New Zealand, presumably in a bid to remove some of the team’s mystique.

One thing is certain, the pressure is definitely on the All Blacks. Insurance Business NZ believes if they just stick to the rules of rugby (see pic) everything will be fine!
  • Jbone 30/10/2015 2:00:50 p.m.
    An 80% success rate isn't really worth a boast. Picking all the favourites would probably get you closer to 90%.
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