Euro 2020 Draw

Normally I’d do a post about the draw for the Euros, but what it would look like if it was done according to the team’s FIFA rankings.  I can’t do that at the moment because the play-offs haven’t happened yet.

On the other hand, it does mean that fans who are travelling to the matches can book their flights and accommodation earlier. That should help the fans and I’ve said for a long time, an earlier draw is a good idea.

Also, the Germany/France/Portugal/Someone else group sounds like it will be excellent fun.

For the full draw please see here.

Updating the Rugby World Cup 2019 Network Diagrams … and future plans.

Now that all the changes to the squads have been added, admittedly after the tournament has finished, I can update the figures. In general, the changes made very little difference.

The quarterfinals:


(Sorry to any New Zealanders for cutting off the N of the country name.)

The only difference adding Rob Herring for Sean Cronin for Ireland makes is that Leinster and Munster now both have the most players left in with 12, followed by Crusaders, Scarlets and Saracens with 11.

All 8 teams are their own communities.

Japan are the team closest to the centre still, but Yamaha Jubilo are now the team closest to the centre.

In the total players used up to the quarterfinals diagram, Canada and France have still added the most (4), then Ireland, Italy, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Tonga with 2 then Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Wales who have all added one.


All 20 teams remain their own communities.

Jaguares have the most (27) players at the World Cup, followed by Welwitschias (20) and Glasgow warriors and Benetton (16).

Scotland and Pau are the teams closest to the centre.


The addition of Owen Lane for Josh Navidi changes nothing because it swapped a Cardiff Blues player for a Blues player. Therefore, the teams in the centre haven’t changed from the previous version (England and Harlequins) and the teams with the most players haven’t changed.


In the total players used up to the semifinals diagram, Canada and France have still added the most (4), then Ireland, Italy, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga and Wales with 2 then Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand and the United States who have all added one.


All 20 teams remain their own communities.

Jaguares have the most players at the World Cup (27), followed by Welwitschias (20) and Glasgow warriors and Benetton (16).

Scotland and Pau are the teams closest to the centre.


No changes to the diagram showing just the finalists because I made the Ben Spencer for Willi Heinz change in the original diagram. I made it because it had an effect on how close the teams were to each other as Willi Heinz and one of the South Africans both play for Gloucester while Ben Spencer plays for Saracens.

In the total players used up to the final diagram, Canada and France have still added the most (4), then Ireland, Italy, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga and Wales with 2 then Argentina, England, Fiji, New Zealand and the United States who have all added one.


All 20 teams remain their own communities.

Jaguares have the most players (27), followed by Welwitschias (20) and Glasgow warriors, Benetton and Saracens (16) (due to addition of Ben Spencer of Saracens for Willi Heinz).

Scotland and Pau are the teams closest to the centre.


I wanted to see if there was any correlation between final result and players named to the squad. Obviously, teams that went further in the tournament played more games which increases the risk of injuries. Therefore, I divided the numbers of total players (and total players/original players) by the number of games played to try to account for that.

If you look at total players named to squads divided by games played versus the team final positions it looks like this:


You can see an obvious pattern. There is a similar pattern if you plot starting number of players named divided by total players named then divided by games played against final positions.


I’m not sure what to do with the information. Dividing by the number of games played has a huge effect and I don’t know if the effect is out-sized. Also, it’s all well and good to be able to see patterns at the end but it would be interesting to see if you could predict final positions from this sort of information at the end of the group stage.

Another interesting question, raised by L, is whether you can predict anything from number of players actually played and which teams maintained the most continuity, in terms of players who were on the pitch with each other. It’s something you could probably work out from easily available data, but it will take time to do so it is being put into the future plans folder.

Watch this space, but don’t hold your breath 😉

Other forthcoming plans for this data include trying to make a video showing the changes throughout the competition – the first few dry runs look very pretty but that might also take some time to perfect, but the results of that should be out sooner than the other analysis.

Rugby World Cup Final 2019 Network Visualisation



Trying to get this out before kick-off and failing (just).

This is the figure where I have updated the team with the change (England) because it affects the diagram. Willie Heinz, who has been replaced due to injury, linked England to Gloucester, while they are linked to South Africa by Franco Mostert. Therefore, there are now fewer links between the two teams.

The addition of Ben Spencer to the England team to replace Willie Heinz means that the club team with the most players in the final are Saracens with 10 (9 for England, 1 for South Africa).

They are followed by Stormers with 9 (all for South Africa) and Bulls, Bath and Leicester Tigers (Bulls all South Africa, Leicester all England, the Bath players are from both).

Of the club teams, Sale Sharks are closest to the centre.

Rugby World Cup 2019 Semifinal Network Visualisation

(With some spoilers of the results of the semifinal matches themselves)

Network visualisation of the Rugby Union semifinal teams

England are now the team closest to the centre, with Harlequins the club team closest to the centre. New Zealand are the team floating out on their own, and given both theirs and Ireland’s relative under-performance, it does suggest that rugby union is becoming more like football, ever more inter-linked, and that inter-linking is vital for performance.

The club teams with the most representatives are Crusaders, Scarlets and Saracens (11), followed by the Stormers with 9 and the Ospreys with 8.

All four teams remain separate communities.

No update on the all players diagrams but that should be coming soon. There will be a slight delay for RL reasons, but hopefully the quarter, semi and final versions of that should be up before the end of November.

Rugby World Cup 2019 Quarterfinals Network Visualisation



Notably, all the teams with players unattached went out in the first round, which suggests my theory that the teams that have to rely on players with no club team are weaker is correct.

Leinster are now the club team with the most with 13 (all the players who player for Jaguares, Welwitschias, Benetton and Glasgow Warriors played for eliminated teams), followed by Munster with 12 and then Crusaders, Saracens and Scarlets with 11. Yes, I find the lumping of Crusaders and Saracens hilarious.

All 8 remaining teams are separate communities, and the teams are held less tightly together. Fiji, Samoa and Tonga were providing a lot of the connections that held the others in place.

Japan are the national team nearest to the centre, and NTT Communications Shining Arcs are the club team closest.

I’ve not updated the total players diagram yet, because I am aware that some replacements have not yet been updated on the Wikipedia page I am using as my information source (noticeably Rob Herring for Sean Cronin before I made the update) so there’s a good chance it’s slightly out of date. I will update the total players once the semifinals are sorted out, in the hope that all updates will have been made by then.

End of the 4th Round of Group Games Update to the World Cup Network Visualisation

The changes up to the end of the fourth round (again, as accurate as Wikipedia can make them):

Italy – Giosuè Zilocchi and Danilo Fischetti for Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni.

Argentina – Gonzalo Bertranou replaced Tomás Cubelli.

After fourth round of group games, the diagram looks like this:



Jaguares still have the most players with 26, followed by Welwitschias (20) and then Glasgow and Saracens (15). Two Benetton players have been replace, and both replacements play for Zebre.

The closest teams to the centre are either Samoa or Scotland and either London Irish or Pau. In both cases, I can’t tell.

In the community view, France and Fiji have become one community:


I’m sharing the non-labelled one as well, because I think it’s just so pretty. rNaC5F.png

Looking at the total players named:


Jaguares have the most (27), followed by Welwitschias (20) and Glasgow warriors and Benetton (16).

Samoa and Pau are the team closest to the centre.

From original teams being named to start, Canada and France have added the most (4), then Italy, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Tonga with 2 then Argentina, Fiji, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States and Wales have all added one.

In the community view, the teams are back to being 20 separate communities.


I was dubious about Venom, because I knew Spiderman/Peter Parker couldn’t even be mentioned because of Sony’s deal with Marvel. I felt that you could probably make a Venom film without Spiderman, but I couldn’t figure out how you’d make an Eddie Brock film without Peter Parker. Because it’s Brock’s obsession with Peter Parker that leads to his downfall. He fixates on Peter to try to hide his own shortcomings from himself. Hating Peter Parker becomes his raison d’etre.

The film worked round this in way that was quite clever. First, they have an unspecified New York incident move him away from Peter Parker, the Daily Bugle and events in New York, then they move his knee-jerk dislike to Carlton Drake (or I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Elon-Musk*), and finally, they actually have Eddie admit his faults. I actually liked Eddie Brock!

A good chunk of that was due to Tom Hardy, who appeared to be having all of the fun. He’s got charm enough to burn, and can do lovely but feckless so extremely well. And he’s good enough to sell you on Eddie Brock’s repentance. Which is just as well, because some serious repentance is required. And I like that. The film makes it clear that Ann is right to be angry with Eddie. It’s a film where actions have consequences, no matter if those actions come from good or bad intentions.

I also like that Doctor Dan is a good guy. The minute he sees that Eddie is ill, he immediately tries to help him. All hail Doctor Dan.

Other actors who seem to be having all the fun include … Tom Hardy as Venom. Venom’s alienness makes the occasional FX weakness easier to take, as does the way Tom Hardy makes Venom completely different to Eddie Brock (and I wonder if that challenge was how they got him to sign up for a minor superhero film). The other interesting thing about how they do Venom is the sound just before he appears, which is (probably deliberately) reduced as Eddie and Venom get more used to each other. The falling sensation some people experience as they’re drifting off to sleep that catapults them awake is called a hypnic jerk but some people get sounds as well/instead. Mine sound just like the noise of Venom’s appearance. Which led to an interesting if peculiar cinema experience. I know it’s coincidence but I’d love to know why that particular combination of sounds was chosen.

The end fight, although weak as tends to be the case in minor superhero films, had some enjoyable details in the lead up to it, like Venom using a dog as his way to get out of hospital, and then Ann letting him use her to bodysurf to Eddie. I also liked that Ann:

1 – remembered stuff
2 – did fight dirty. She got that Drake/Riot had to be stopped, by any means necessary.

Basically, I just liked Ann.

As well as finding the end fight underwhelming, I didn’t like one of the two end credit scenes. Not “Into the Spiderverse” which looked amazing, but the Carnage one. I think it’s because that’s not what Cletus Kasady sounds like. It’s not Woody Harrelson’s fault. He’d make an excellent Cletus Kasady given the opportunity, but they seem to have told him to play it that way.

So in short, Venom was good, stupid fun and far better than it had any right to be.

*I know Drake is a scientist in comics, and it’s not Elon Musk’s fault that a lot of his plans sound like supervillain schemes, but … it’s a remarkably close portrait.

Speaking French is bad for your health – a network diagram update after the 3rd round of group games at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Edit


The changes are:

Ireland: Jordi Murphy replaced Jack Conan.

Ireland are literally doing it to themselves, as Conan was injured in training.

Canada: Guiseppe du Toit and Theo Sauder replaced Nick Blevins and Ben LeSage.

This change occurred between games 2 and 3 but was only updated on Wikipedia today (6th October). No, I am not sure why they’ve swapped a centre for a fullback.

Kainoa Lloyd replaced Taylor Paris.

South Africa: Damian Willemse replaced Jesse Kriel, who was injured in the first match. This was what I was meaning when I said I thought teams were waiting to see how bad injuries were before sending players home. This was a swap of a fly half for a centre.

United States: Chance Wenglewski for David Ainu’u. Again, this happened earlier but the Wikipedia article was only just updated.

France: Christopher Tolofua for Peato Mauvaka, and Vincent Rattez for Thomas Ramos – The latter change was a wing for a fullback.

The removal of Canada’s link to Castres and Ireland’s shift up and to the left may explain the changes in which teams lie closest to the centre. Samoa and Scotland are the national teams closest to the centre, and London Irish and Pau are the club teams closest to the centre. I can’t tell which is closer between either pair.


All the teams are in different communities.

If we look at all players named at any point up to the end of the 3rd round of group games, it now looks like this:


France and Canada have used the most players, 35, with Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Tonga next with 33. Apparently, playing rugby for a country that speaks French is bad for your health.

Labelled, it looks like this r8W1nb.png

Either Samoa or Fiji are the national team closest to the centre, it’s too close to tell. The club team closest to the centre are Pau.

Looking at the community view, France and Fiji now one community for reasons I do not understand.


Rugby World Cup 2019 Network Visualisation Up To The End Of The First Round

The following players were replaced after the first round of games.

Samoa: Alamanda Motuga for Afa Amosa

Scotland: Magnus Bradbury and Henry Pyrgos for Hamish Watson and Ali Price

South Africa: Thomas du Toit for Trevor Nyakane

France: Pierre-Louis Barassi and Cedate Gomes Sa for Wesley Fofana and Demba Bamba

Tonga: Latiume Fosita and Fetuli Paea for Kurt Morath and Nafi Tuitavake

Wales: Bradley Davies for Cory Hill

These changes make the figure look like this:



There is one less unattached player, Nafi Tuitavake has no club listed while Fetuli Paea plays for Tasman Mako in the New Zealand Mitre 10 Cup. The unattached players left are Canada and the US (5), Samoa (4), Fiji (3), Georgia (2) and Italy (1).

As nothing has changed with Argentina, Jaguares have the most representatives with 26, followed by Welwitschias (20) and Benetton (16). With regard to Benetton, they already had 16 and I made a mistake in the original calculation. Benetton are alone on 16 because Glasgow lost a player when Ali Price had to withdraw.

Samoa remain closest to the centre and London Irish are still the club team closest.

Looking at the total numbers of all players named in the squads up to the end of the first round, that diagram now looks like this.


The following teams have named replacements since the original squads were announced: Samoa, Scotland and France (2), NZ, Canada, Fiji, South Africa and Wales (1). Like the 2015 World Cup, Samoa and one of the teams in the group with them have added the most players (so far). Not sure if France have just been unlucky.

In this diagram, Samoa are the closest to the centre (just, it’s very close with Fiji) and London Irish are the club team closest to the centre.