If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Peter O'Mahony

  • 08-02-2023 3:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭

    I was listening to Ger Gilroy's podcast on Off The Ball today and he had Statistics expert Derek McNamera on. Just listening to a brief outline of modern day statistics, would give you a headache.

    Anyway, I have been involved in rugby for 50 years, so I like to think I have learned a bit, even about the "unseen work". I am a Munster fan and in my head the Irish backrow on Saturday, rated, Doris 9, Van Der Flier 8 and O'Mahony 7.

    Surprise, surprise, according to McNamera's Statistics, (and these are the sort of Stats used by International teams), O'Mahony was "graded highest", of the Irish backrow.

    He had no mistake in the game in seems, and was "involved in everything".

    The whole program was interesting for a rugby geek and he starts to talk about the backrow about 7.45 minutes in, although the whole program is interesting.

    Maybe that's why Farrell keeps picking him.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭Tefral

    Poor mans body is fecked but he keeps going.... some man to poach a ball.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'd be really curious to see the detail on that.

    I thought O'Mahony had a solid game, and had already said elsewhere I'd retain him in the team this weekend, but to me if the statistics or the model is telling you Peter O'Mahony had a better game on Saturday than Caelan Doris, then there is something wrong with the model.

    I'm also confused about the "no mistakes" classification, as he did have a missed tackle (in addition to 5 made). Is this a situation akin to how Ringrose typically shoots the line where if you show defensive linespeed aggression and effectively force the ball carrier to make a decision it doesn't count as a mistake?

    Doris and VDF had 19 & 17 tackles respectively and missed 0.

    I don't doubt that an element of the statistics is down to the roles the players are fulfilling, but it's still unusual to think you can play a more limited role well and be deemed to have had a better game than the guy who plays a starring role well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭daphil

    I did think, that although he played quiet well, that  Doris and Van Der Flier outshone him, but it seems that statistics now, for example do not just count tackles, but the type of tackle and it's effect, the angle you enter a ruck and a million other things,

    Another example that I heard mentioned by I think, Brien O'Driscoll, was Ringrose, shooting up in defence. A couple of times he missed the tackle, but he forced the opposition to ruck in an unplanned position and there are plus points in that. McNamera's reasoning seemed be that O'Mahony's display enabled the other two to play their own game and that it was an ideally matched back row. I also have to agree with Tefral, with regard to how he manages to keep going.

    It's a long way from your props cursing you for not putting the ball in touch.

  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭LRind2008

    An entire thread dedicated to Peter O'mahony, im not surprised.

    Had a look at the company above, a lot of their stats look extremely questionable and the weight and grading they give to certain involvements are massively skewed.

    Even when you look at some of their top perceived performers if you don't find any of the top 5 players in the world in any of you're lists then you are definitely grading involvements and the value of those involvements incorrectly.

    There are better companies doing the same thing but sadly arent free to use, I know Ulster have a team of guy doing this for them and that company also provides their software to football clubs in the UK who use is for recruitment of players, the guys mentioned on off the ball look like the AliExpress of stat companies.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,157 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    Any statistical model that rated POM as the best back row in the France game is simply a bad model and should be scrapped.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 7,322 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    It's Six Nations time alright.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,343 ✭✭✭FrannoFan

    Thread should be named after the stats guy

    Naming it pom is a lightening rod for the standard interprovincial craic.

    Newstalk must have a deal with that company as he's on every week. First time I listened he was trying to explain how ardie savea in the nz series was one of the worst performers. Was enough for me to disregard him as an analyst.

    If he's no claiming pom is better than vdf and dorris there is something seriously wrong with your modeling.

    He's being correctly selected for ireland at the moment but he's also the one most vulnerable to change if coaches wanted to go a different direction

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,157 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    More or less - he deserves his place and I have no issue with his selection. But while he may play a facilitation role etc etc, he is the third best backrow who took to the field Saturday and a model that says otherwise isn't very good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,343 ✭✭✭FrannoFan

    Exactly. Totally agree.

    It seems to be a sales pitch slot.

    But it's not a great advertisement when your product produces stats completely at odds with the eye test

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭Kalyke

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,178 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    id have to disagree in theory on that one, lots of players can look great but actually do very little of the important stuff when it comes down to it

    whether this particular set of analytics is the best model is debatable but i did think at the time that what the guy was saying about savea was very interesting

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,448 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    The problem with his stats model is that it collects the data that he is looking for and its the same data he collects and correlates for all players in that position.

    So when he says POM was statistically the best player what he is really saying is that - In the particular set of statistics that we gathered and compared for the players in a certain set POM has the best numbers.

    It only takes into account what he is looking at, it ignores the players role in the team and the gameplan, it ignores his opposite numbers effectiveness, the knocks that are taken during a game and the bounce of the ball kinda stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,387 ✭✭✭ersatz

    Right, just looking at POM tracking Sexton before Sexton's pass to Doris, POM goes out and back in to service any ruck if Johnny is tackled but also ready for a pass if Johnny cuts back in creating a line up the wing, he's busting his balls flat out and not just running up the field but thinking quickly about where he needs to be depending on the decisions Johnny makes. Often that sort of running line will have an impact on the choices defenders are forced to make. It's not captured by stats but is definitely noted as a positive contribution by coaches. It's a tiny example of teamwork that is extremely difficult to capture as data and often has no impact on the game, but when it does it does.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,448 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    Its the same with other aspects, a player might hit a ruck as the third or fourth player and secure the ball and that counts as a stat for entering ruucks, but hes entering it because the players before him have left an opponent in a position to compete.

    He might not enter another one because the player who has gone before him had removed the threat from the opposition players.

    In one game POM might be dealing with a very competent poacher, and in another vdf might be doing that job

    A missed tackle might be attributed to a player when he wasnt the person supposed to be making that hit, he just tried and failed like sexton and Murray against penaud at the weekend.

    So a players stats are dependent on their teammates as well and in essence they are a load of bollocks when applied individually.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,984 ✭✭✭✭Interested Observer

    This was discussed in the main thread as well, the guy on the radio did not do a good job of explaining what exactly POM did better than anyone else. Mentioned it was a low number of mistakes but you are never, ever going to convince me he had a better game against Wales than Doris for example.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,448 ✭✭✭lawrencesummers

    Doris was excellent against wales alright, and continued his form into the French game.

    He is an early and pretty clear leader for player of the tournie along with the south african fella.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,063 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    I'm gonna try get to watch the game back, but I actually thought he played really well at the weekend (yet the stats criticism surfaced again).

    I love a stat, but I'm fairly convinced the pass / tackle / carry stats we're privy to are completely rudimentary (we don't even get ruck stats). I'd love to get a glimpse at some of the in-team stats they use.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,633 ✭✭✭✭phog

    Heaslip actually mentioned O'Mahony when naming players for having a good game v France.

    Now that could be he's afraid of Zebo or maybe it's because as a former back row player he understands what POM actually delivers for the team he plays for.

    Every coach selects him but there's a cohort of fans who think he's not worth his place especially when it comes to international games.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,360 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    This whole thread could be re-titled 'stats must be approached with caution'

    Any stats that show POM is rubbish clearly don't tell the story at all, similarly any stats which say he's better than VDF or Doris are highly questionable.

    POM starts every game, but always makes way for the sub, so it's reasonable to conclude Farrell thinks he's the third-best back-row available to him.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,063 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Not "always" tho, just "very recently". He was on longer for each of the 3 Tests in NZ.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,178 ✭✭✭sprucemoose

    or that hes the oldest of the three so may not be able to last as long?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Nah, come on. He’s been playing well etc, but he’s clearly the least influential / most replaceable of the three. He’s there on merit now, but the other two are world class players.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,343 ✭✭✭FrannoFan

    He was dead on his feet soon into second half and errors creeping in. (Missed a clear out, missed two lineouts) so they took him off. Age obviously a factor. Dorris 24 and vdf a machine

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,206 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    Its ridiculous to suggest that because POM gets taken off after 50-60 mins, that this means the coach thinks he's the 3rd best player.

    It's about intensity. If POM's role is to go out there and give it absolutely everything for 50-60 minutes knowing that he'll likely be brought off, that's different from a player knowing he'll likely play the full 80 mins and therefore will be asked to manage his energy differently. (this can be done if someone elses role is to do the energy sapping stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,206 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    Peter O Mahony is world class.

    Anyone who knows anything about rugby knows this.

    Any of the players are replacable. Even the mighty Johnny Sexton was taken off after 50 mins against France, and we didn't collapse

    Dan Sheehan is world class, but he was replaced by Herring and Kelleher. Furlong is world class, but he was successfully replaced by Bealham....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,547 ✭✭✭clsmooth

    What would you say are the world class parts of his game?

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,157 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    It's also fairly ridiculous to suggest he's not the 3rd best player in a backrow with the reigning WPOTY and Doris (an early candidate for the same award). There is no shame in that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,423 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Turnovers and winning opposition lineouts would be 2 that spring to mind very quickly.

    His very presence cuts down opposition lineout options for sure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,360 ✭✭✭Former Former Former

    Exactly this

    POM is an excellent player and utterly deserving of his place. Farrell has dropped him a couple of times now and he keeps coming back better again, I wouldn't drop him for anyone.

    POM is also the third-best of our starting back row by literally any measure and more importantly, in the coach's opinion. When the other two are VDF and Doris, there really is no shame in that.

    Both the above statements are true and do not contradict each other.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,662 ✭✭✭Musicrules

    I think O Mahony goes down as one of the all time greats for Ireland. It's a difficult choice but he'd get on our best ever selection. Van De Flier and Doris have been good but have a long way to go to be considered in O Mahony's bracket.