It's enough to make All Black fans choke on their pre-match snacks – a data project which is rarely wrong has deemed the Kieran Read-captained side are no longer the top-rated side to make the Rugby World Cup final.

Before tonight's All Blacks/Ireland quarter-final at Tokyo Stadium, the prediction model created by Melbourne-based Kiwi stats specialist Stefan Yelas has rated the Springboks as the top contender to nail a spot in the November 2 final.

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The Boks – who the All Blacks toppled 23-13 first-up in Japan – have been rated a 69 per cent chance of making the final. Meanwhile, the All Blacks have been given a 57 per cent chance of making the top two; down from 79 per cent earlier in the tournament.

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Yelas said the stats turnaround was largely down to the fact South Africa had ended up on the easier side of the draw; they play Japan in tomorrow night's fourth and final quarter-final, and if successful will then face Wales or France in the semis.

"South Africa . . . have the better chance of making the final," Yelas told the Weekend Herald.

All BlackS flanker Ardie Savea has been one of his side's best and most destructive performers in Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell
All BlackS flanker Ardie Savea has been one of his side's best and most destructive performers in Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"At the start of the tournament everyone thought we would be playing Scotland in the quarter-final. [But] Ireland have ended up on the other side of the draw. It has given us the harder side of the draw.

"That is why the percentages have come down a bit."

Yelas' widely-rated prediction tool has correctly picked the All Blacks to win the past two Rugby World Cups.

The last time they weren't the top-rated team to secure a spot in the final was in 2003, a tournament where the All Blacks were knocked out in the semis. Instead, Yelas' model had correctly picked eventual winners England as the team most likely to make the final.

The All Blacks' Rugby World Cup favouritism has dropped after arch-rivals ended up on the softer side of the draw for the knockout stages. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The All Blacks' Rugby World Cup favouritism has dropped after arch-rivals ended up on the softer side of the draw for the knockout stages. Photo / Mark Mitchell

While the model rates the Springboks as the team most likely to secure a spot in the final, it has still placed the All Blacks as favourite to win, at 44 per cent; with the Boks at 27 per cent, England at 24 per cent, Wales at 3 per cent, Ireland 2 per cent, and France and Australia at 1 per cent.

But pre-tournament, the All Blacks' favouritism on Yelas' model gave them a 61 per cent chance of winning the Webb Ellis Cup three times in a row.

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He said it was the first time in the past four tournaments that the All Blacks weren't rated at least a 50 per cent chance of winning ahead of the quarterfinals stage.

The prediction model rates Japan – who topped their pool after upset wins over Ireland and Scotland – as having no show of winning the final if they make it that far.

While Japan beat the Springboks 34-22 in pool-play four years ago – a match dubbed "The Brighton Miracle" – Yelas' programme says they have just a 14 per cent chance of winning tomorrow night.

"Japan have been fantastic, they are entertaining," Yelas said.

"But I don't expect South Africa to come unstuck against them. Home ground advantage and their performance probably won't get them through."

He said the fact Ireland had been "bad" and Scotland were "terrible" meant "Japan have probably had the easiest pool, which is great for them".

Yelas' Rugby World Cup 2019 – Prediction Model is a statistical model based on team ratings derived from past performances.

The model uses data from all games between the 20 World Cup teams since 2011. Those ratings have been updated after each match in Japan.

In an exercise carried out before the start of the World Cup, the simulator was able to correctly predict the outcomes of 75 per cent of games played by the competing teams in Japan over the past eight years.

Stefan Yelas' match predictor model backs the Springboks as the team most likely to make the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Supplied
Stefan Yelas' match predictor model backs the Springboks as the team most likely to make the Rugby World Cup final. Photo / Supplied

Yelas added some of the current ratings of his programme would have been affected by match cancellations last weekend because of Typhoon Hagibis - including the All Blacks/Italy clash - and scoreline blowouts in matches where red cards had been handed out during a crackdown on high tackles.

"Things that are outside their control are affecting their chances more so that any other tournament," he said.

>> • Follow Stefan Yelas' Rugby World Cup picks here: http://octanedashboards.com/clients/rwc2019dashboard/rwc2019.html


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