HC and Tigers performance analysis

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ourla
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HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by ourla » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:53 am

Probably a strange time of the year to bring this up but I was pondering on this idea of the club drifting or not moving on in recent years. So I thought I'd take a look at the Tigers performance in Europe over the years.

1996 DNP
1997 FINAL (lost to Brive)
1998 QF (lost to Pau)

1999 DNP
2000 Group (W2 L4)
2001 WON (bt Stade)
2002 WON (bt Munster)

2003 QF (lost to Munster)
2004 Group (W3 L3)
2005 SEMI (lost to Toulouse)
2006 QF (lost to Bath)
2007 FINAL (lost to Wasps)
2008 Group (W3 L3)
2009 FINAL (lost to Leinster)
2010 Group (W3 D1 L2)
2011 QF (lost to Leinster)
2012 Group (W4 L2)
2013 QF (lost to Toulon)
2014 QF (lost to Clermont)

2015 Group (W3 L3)
2016 QF (Stade Francais) - PENDING



Tigers performance (from 18 participations up to 2015)

WON - 2
FINAL - 3 (losing finalist)
SEMI - 1

QF - 6
Group - 6 (lost in group stage)



First thing to note is that actually qualifying from the group stages is not a given and is an achievement in itself. I would argue that for Tigers not qualifying from the group denotes a poor season in this competition. You could also say that the fact that this has happened twice in the last five years, or three times in the last seven years indicates poor form. The counter arguments to that is the last two times we have actually only lost 2 games. And that the standard of the competition has risen.

The most common outcome is that we get beaten in the QF. Slightly surprisingly in 2003 and 2006 we lost at home to Munster and Bath respectively. The other four were away. Three of the last four years we have gone out in the QF. Two of the teams that beat us have gone on to win the competition. In all 3 cases we lost by 6 or 7 points away from home.

We've appeared in five finals. Three of those were in the first five that we participated in. We have not made it a semi final for five seasons.

Conclusion:

First off, I think it's been too long since we won the damn thing. Those back to back victories in 2001 and 2002 are starting to feel a long time away. We had two bites of the cherry in 2007 and 2009 and came up short. Since then we've not really got close.

Having said that our recent record is a little misleading in that we came against some of the best teams in the QF's and put in some terrific performances in defeat. Certainly no disgrace to be beaten on their patch on each occasion. That said, arguably the reason we ended up in that position was the inability to win the group and get a home draw against a runner up. My analysis hasn't gone that deep but I wonder how many teams have won the competition having not won their qualifying group.

I think the QF is par for Tigers i.e., an OK performance. Going out in the group stages is below par and getting beyond the QF is a good performance, rising to very good getting to a semi and brilliant getting to a final. Winning is I would say now something special.

Of course we have to now bear in mind the changes to the competition of upped the ante a bit, in terms of getting beyond the group stage. After that I don't see much difference to how fiercely difficult it's been in recent years.

What of course we'd all like to see is Tigers getting back in that semi final and final mix. You get the feeling we've become the respected but beatable team in Europe. As of today you couldn't see that changing this season but if we could get out of group and have most of our squad out on the park things may look a little different. But again (with the injury situation) it looks more likely we'll face a tough QF even if we get through and have an undercooked or limited team to take on the best in Europe.

But back to the original question I conclude the same as others in other threads that our standards haven't dropped as much as many others have risen. Which some may argue is the same thing as saying we haven't moved on. I think we'll have to agree to see disagree on that one. Personally I see no evidence that we are way of the pace or not holding our own. Our fortunes on the injury front probably needs to change if we are to threaten to win it again. Certainly we need to get our mojo back. We need the latest coaching set up to bed in and start to work (defence in particular). Maybe there is a little evening out and the French/Irish teams won't have things so much in their favour. We'll see.

Wins by Clubs (for the record):
4 - Toulouse
3 - Leinster, Toulon
2 - Leicester, Munster, Wasps
1 - Brive, Saints, Ulster, Bath
Last edited by ourla on Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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tigerburnie
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by tigerburnie » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:28 pm

Wasn't the 2006 loss to Barf at the Walkers Crisp bowl , so technically not at "home". Good work though.
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LE18
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by LE18 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:44 pm

Yes it was at the Walkers, we gambolled on a win, so we ended up in Spain supporting Biarrittz. Ugh. :smt022

Incidentally Ourla, did you identify the years we qualified as best runners from the groups and how do you rate those years against the years we failed to qualify from a group containing 4 very strong teams, did the Trevisos and Zebres work in our favour and slighly skew our percentage of success?

ourla
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by ourla » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:57 am

1997 - won 4 from 4 matches- finished top (each team played each other once in pool of 5)
1998 - 4 from 6 - qualified as runner up (Italian team in group with Toulouse and Leinster)
2000 - 2 from 6 - finished bottom (Stade, Leinster, Glasgow)
2001 - 5 from 6 - top (easy group)
2002 - 5 from 6 - top (easy group including Italian)
2003 - 5 from 6 - top (easy group including Italian)
2004 - 3 from 6 - runner up failed to qualify (tough group - NO Italian team)
2005 - 4 from 6 - qualified as runner up (Italian team in group with Biaritz and Wasps)
2006 - 5 from 6 - top (fairly tough group with NO Italian team)
2007 - 5 from 6 - top (Munster, Cardiff, Bourgoin)

2008 - 3 from 6 - runner up failed to qualify (Toulouse, Leinster, Edinburgh - NO Italian team)
2009 - 4 from 6 - top (Italian team in group. Both other teams 4 from 6)
2010 - 3 from 6 - 3rd (Italian team in group)
2011 - 4 from 6 - qualified as runner up (Italian team in group with Perpignan and Scarlets)
2012 - 4 from 6 - 3rd (Italian team in group. Both other teams 4 from 6)
2013 - 4 from 6 - top (Italin team in group)
2014 - 4 from 6 - qualified as runner up (Italian team in group with Montpellier and Ulster)

2015 - 3 from 6 - runner up failed to qualify (Toulon, Ulster, Scarlets - no Italian team in group)
2016 - 5 from 6 - top (Italian team in group with Stade Francais and Munster)


* In 1998 we had to win an extra play off to get into the QF.

As you can see in terms of how many matches we win in the group stage there isn't much in it. Sure we wom 5 from 6 three years on the bounce 2001 to 2003 but the groups look fairly easy to me and bookending those years in tougher groups we only won 2 and 3 respectively. In recent years we're regularly hitting 4 from 6 but as you can see the BP's can then get you any of the top 3 slots and consequently qualification or not. When you have an Italian team in the group, aside from the odd shock it makes a 3 team group leading to the BP criticality. To answer to the direct question, having an Italian team in the group doesn't necessarily help. We've topped the group even when it's been a tough one. Equally we've been nudged into 3rd by Clermont and Ospreys in 2010, and Clermont and Ulster in 2012 - when there has been a Italian team in the group.

One interesting thing is our seeding since full seeding was introduced:

2009 - 4 (tier 1)
2010 - 2
2011 - 4
2012 - 6
2013 - 9 (tier 2)
2014 - 13
2015 - tier 3

Personally I am not sure the seeding matters too much. The toughness of the group is arbitary luck of the draw.

Overall this further analysis indicates group stage performances are holding up. As Cockers likes to say it's fine margins. If we'd have completed the job against Ulster at home we would have had a home QF and then who knows....
Last edited by ourla on Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LE18
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by LE18 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:14 am

Fantastic work Ourla, hope the new format is kind to us. :smt001

ourla
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by ourla » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:17 pm

The new format hasn't totally helped in terms of evenness of the Pools.

Pool 1 is viscious.
Pool 2 is Leinsters for the taking.
Pool 3 (ours) is almost as viscious as Pool 1.
Pool 4 is anybodys
Pool 5 includes Treviso so is 3-way anybodys, great chance for Saints.

There are three runners up to go through because of their being one less pool. You'd expect Pool 5 to provide one of those but after that it's anybodys guess.

In our Pool Scarlets and Ulster drew 32 each in R1 of the Pro12. In R2 no surprises Scarlets getting thrashed at Leinster and Ulster thrashing Zebre. R3 Ulster won comfortably at Cardiff whilst Scarlets thrashed Treviso. So decent start for both. Toulon are 4 from 6 losing by 7 and 5 to Racing and Stade. So again OK. Only Clermont are 5 from 6. As reigning double champs Toulon will be expected to top the pool. If it wasn't for our injuries and our Bath defeat Scarlets would be expected to finish bottom, with us and Ulster trying for 2nd. Unfortunately now it could well be a straight fight between Toulon and Ulster.

Taking a more positive view we have Ulster at home and Scarlets away to start which is ideal. By December when we play Toulon back to back we may have some players back and be in better form. Let's see.
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amazing tiger
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by amazing tiger » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:32 pm

i think these days just getting out of the group is tough and english teams also dont have the budget. i wouldnt say our form has been bad our excellent but we havent been that bad

ourla
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by ourla » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:21 pm

Updated:
First time we've won 5 from 6 since 2007.
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Jeremy Anderson
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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by Jeremy Anderson » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:53 pm

ourla wrote:Updated:
First time we've won 5 from 6 since 2007.
Good stuff - well done
Jez

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Re: HC and Tigers performance analysis

Post by tigercaspian » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:10 pm

Really enjoyable and even-handed read, supported by stats .
Many thanks

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