Rugby is a simple game at its heart. The team which scores more points over 80 minutes wins.
Whether those points come from crossing the whitewash or kicking goals, the ultimate objective remains the same: get into the opposition 22 and come away with the points.
How teams use their time in the opposition 22-metre area is the difference between success and failure. It’s also where most of the drama happens during the course of a match.
That will certainly be the case over the next two weekends when Rugby’s Greatest Championship takes centre stage once again with the return of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations.
Four matches will bring this year’s Championship to a thrilling conclusion, with four teams – England, Ireland, France and Scotland – still vying to lift the title on Super Saturday.
And one of the new MatchStats powered by AWS will provide an insight into the importance of Visits to 22 – helping fans understand where their team is going right or wrong.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Technology means rugby fans have greater access to insights into the game than ever before thanks to the MatchStats powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
New enhanced match graphics and statistics give supporters greater understanding into a range of key in-game events, including scrum analysis, play patterns, try origins and much more.
Among the revised and finessed AWS MatchStats for the resumption of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations is Visits to 22 – the area of the pitch where games are won and lost.
For those who don’t know what the 22 means, these are lines 22 metres from the trylines at either end of the pitch – the section of the pitch where attacking pressure is applied.
The primary aim of any team in rugby is to cross the tryline or get the maximum amount of points out of any attacking opportunity by being clinical in the opposition’s 22.
Keeping the scoreboard ticking over with penalties or drop goals may prove just as successful as scoring tries but one thing is for sure – coming away empty handed could prove costly.
The new Visits to 22 stat provided by MatchStats powered by AWS measures just this.
It highlights the number of times a team has entered the opposition’s 22-metre area, the time spent in the opposition’s 22, the number of tries scored and then points per visit.
Points per visit includes all points scored from visits to the 22, including penalty kicks and drop goals, with multiple entries into the 22 during a sequence of play marked as one entry.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
This stat aims to shine a light on how creative each team is during 80 minutes.
It gives fans a deeper insight into how many opportunities a team produces, how long they stay in the attacking area, how many opportunities they convert and how many are successfully defended.
Viewers can see whether one team’s defensive strategy trumps their opposition’s plan of attack and vice versa (how one side’s attacking flair can cut through the defensive wall).
A prime example of how this stat can unravel a game is England’s opening game of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations, which ended in a 24-17 defeat to France in Paris.
The Red Rose enjoyed 57 per cent of the possession and 65 per cent territory at the Stade de France but Eddie Jones’ side were left to rue their missed chances.
According to the Visits to 22 stat, England entered the France 22 on seven occasions in the opening 46 minutes but came away with no points scored as the hosts took a 17-0 lead.
New defence coach Shaun Edwards appeared to work wonders with Les Bleus, with the home side well drilled throughout as they shut down wave after wave of England attack.
France only spent one minute and 25 seconds in England’s 22 in comparison to the visitors’ eight minutes-plus but the hosts were much more ruthless and sealed victory as a result.
And all eyes will now be on the final four games of this year’s Championship – and the Visits to 22 stats – as England, France, Ireland and Scotland look to clinch the 2020 title.
‘MatchStats’ powered by AWS are built using detailed historical rugby data from Stats Perform, who bring decades of experience in collecting and analysing data – including the utilisation of AI – to bring new understanding to those in media, betting and team performance.
For more information about MatchStats powered by AWS, visit the website.