Leeds survive as the Ultimate Underdog

We are still celebrating Leeds’ victory over London Irish here at The Rugby Blog HQ – not because we are ardent Leeds fans (I’ve never even been to Leeds), but because it’s a victory for one of the biggest underdogs the Guinness Premiership has ever seen.

I’ve been browsing some of the SportGuru Community Prediction Statistics, which are a pretty good indicator of how much expectation there is for a side to win.

Here is the view for Leeds first win of the season, away at Wasps in Round 7, where only 0.34% of players correctly predicted a win for the away side:

Wasps v Leeds

And here are the statistics for their most recent victory over London Irish, and it’s clear that expectations still have not risen hugely:

London Irish v Leeds

Nearly everyone expected Leeds to be heading straight back down to the Championship, and it’s a real triumph for Neil Back and his determined squad that they have got themselves to this position. It’s not over yet, but I’m expecting them to revel in a victory over Worcester this weekend and send the Warriors down.

I imagine the SportGuru predictions will be slightly more in favour of Leeds this weekend.

4 thoughts on “Leeds survive as the Ultimate Underdog

  1. I think that it is refreshing that a bit of old school rugby nouse has helped a team like leeds stay up in the modern game.

    What is more refreshing however is that an ex-Leicester player has not tried to play or coach in the Leicester way but instead play to their own teams strengths to help them win……………..maybe a certain England coach may want to take heed of what Mr. Back has achieved??

    Some intelligent coaching from Back and good luck to Leeds for next season assuming that something catastrophic doesn’t happen in the next couple of weeks!!

  2. Please don’t jinx us Andrew – we’re not safe yet!

    When Backy and Kiwi came to Headingley two years ago they put together a three year plan.

    Year 1: Promotion from the Championship. Check.
    Year 2: Survival in the Guinness Premiership. Hopefully.
    Year 3: Push on for a top 6 finish. Pretty please.

    Watching Leeds has been really tough at times this season but as time has progessed I’ve seen a massive improvement. I’ve not felt as proud of my team in years as I did on Sunday when we beat Irish. Sure, our backline isn’t scintillating, but we have a fantastic team of grafters who work tirelessly for each other. Amongst them are a few stars who really stand out, but I don’t want to name them just in case Jim Mallinder and chums decide to snatch a few more of our players. Only joking! Sort of…

    Anyway, GP survival would be brilliant for Leeds and Yorkshire rugby as a whole. I am going to be keeping everything firmly crossed at Headingley on Sunday afternoon! And yeah, whatever the result, I’ll probably have a bit of a cry. It’s allowed though, as I am a girl. :-)


  3. I couldn’t agree more about how important for Yorkshire that you stay in the Premiership.
    I am a proud cornishman and I have always said that it would be a great thing if there was a Cornish side in the Prem. I’m not sure that the Pirates are equipped to get there as of yet but their fan base is certainly growing and you never you know, in a few years……..

    Premiership rugby in all corners of the country is of vital importance to help support the domestic game grow!

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