With no matches to cover this weekend I thought I’d get up to date on the Man of the Match polls and see how things lie in this years, dare I say, record breaking voting.
A whopping 903 votes have been cast so far in the first eleven matches this season (putting us so far out in front of all other player polls that they are hardly worth considering – in your face all other sites ) and I’m glad to see that after we continually praised him for the last couple of seasons that the sublimely gifted Robbie Diack is out in front as you can see from the table below.
Hot on the heals of Diack is another FRU Favourite, Craig Gilroy, who’s amassed almost 23 votes on each of his three appearances so far this season. Whether the Dungannon flyer will get enough games to maintain his challenge remains to be seen but if he keeps up his remarkable scoring record I’m sure the youngster will be there or there abouts at the end of the season.
I was surprised to discover that Ulster have included 41 players in their match day squad this season averaging 6.4 changes from match to match with the lowest number of changes, 2, being between the Glasgow ML match and the Aironi HC match and the largest number of changes, 10, being between the Connacht and Glasgow Magners matches and the Edinburgh and Munster Magners matches.
Fans however have generally liked what they have seen have and have spread their votes throughout the squad with only five players failing to register a vote. Based on the average number of votes per game played, the fans most popular starting XV would read: -
Most Popular XV: Court, Brady, McAllister, Barker, Caldwell, Ferris, Wannenburg, Diack, Pienaar, Humphreys, Gilroy, Wallace, Marshall L, Trimble, D’Arcy
if you selected the highest average for each position.
This gives a starting team with a win average of only 67.3% compared to the actual winning average of 68.2% (draw scored as half a win). However if you picked the players with the best win average for each position (that have been in 3 or more squads) then the win average moves up to a whopping 85.5% and would see Ulster sitting on top of the Magners League on 35 points. This team of super heroes would read: -
Most Winning XV: Young, Brady, Court, Caldwell, Barker, Wannenburg, Faloon, Diack, Porter, O’Connor, Danielli, Wallace, Cave, Gilroy, Smith.
Club influences may have played a part in the voting but it’s interesting that the likes of Botha, Best, Muller and Paul Marshall appear in neither of these starting teams though they would appear on the subs bench and five players, Darren Cave, Craig Gilroy, Niall O’Connor, Jamie Smith and Paul Marshall have not lost a game that they have started!
All a bit of fun, and it doesn’t take into account minutes on the pitch and the quality of the opposition but it does throw up some interesting selections none the less.
Why don’t you give it a go – what’s your favourite XV for the season so far? Let us know below.