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Thanks to the good folks at Elevate Analysis, we can now confidently predict the outcome of all three Dunedin premier playoff games tomorrow. But perhaps you might want to keep that lazy fiver in your pocket.
Taieri v University
Peter Johnstone Park
Taieri: won 8
University: won 2, lost 6
Round robin result: Taieri 38, University 14
Key statistics: Taieri has set the benchmark all season and leads the competition in tries scored with 44. The Eels have the most accurate lineout (81.18%) of the teams still in the hunt and have won more breakdowns (632) than any other team except Dunedin. They have also scored more points (297) while conceding fewer points (100) than any other team. The only statistical crutch University can lean on is it wins 96.83% of its scrums compared with Taieri’s success rate of 92.42% — the second-worst in the competition.
Prediction: Taieri by plenty.
Dunedin v Southern
Dunedin: won 6, lost 2
Southern: won 4, lost 4
Round robin result: Dunedin 36, Southern 32
Key statistics: Dunedin has not copped a single card this season. That is an A+ for discipline. The Sharks boast the second-most accurate scrum. They have won 98.46% of their own ball and have won the battle at the breakdown a competition-high 690 times. Interestingly, though, their breakdown accuracy (92.62%) is the worst of the nine teams. Southern is in the middle of the pack for most of the key stats. That kind of sums up the Magpies’ season season.
Prediction: Comfortable victory for Dunedin.
Harbour v Kaikorai
Harbour: won 5, lost 3
Kaikorai: won 5, lost 3
Round robin result: Harbour 33, Kaikorai 10
Key statistics: Harbour (96.85%) and Kaikorai (95.76%) are the two most accurate sides at the breakdown, but both have struggled in the lineout. Harbour has won 71.93% of its ball, which is the third-lowest. Kaikorai is the worst at 68.67%. Harbour’s scrum operates at 91.43% — the lowest success rate. Kaikorai (95.71%) has an edge there, but not if Harbour’s Super Rugby players show up and boost the front row.
Prediction: Algorithm says no — as in no idea. Both sides will get through to the semifinals if Taieri and Dunedin win — one as a winner and the other as the highest-ranked loser.