Kerry V Cork Preview 2015 Munster Championship

Original transcripts of the three games can be found at 2012, 2013, 2014

When Cork have the Ball

Year Attacks Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
2012 37 31 84% 17 55% +1.481
2013 30 26 87% 17 65% +3.850
2014 26 23 88% 12 52% -0.359
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Cork’s attacking play disintegrated last year. They managed a full 16 less attacks than Kerry did however this was the tipping point of a trend (if 3 games can be considered a trend!) rather than a one off. And something they need to rectify this Sunday.

The difference in attacks over the three years was Cork +4, Cork -7 & Cork -16. 2014’s defeat, whilst comprehensive, was not completely unexpected when compared to 2013. Yes Cork only lost by two points in 2013 but their shooting was sublime that day converting 65% of their shots and only leaving Kerry’s 45 without a shot on four occasions. They couldn’t repeat the trick in 2014.

Last year they converted 88% of their attacks to shots but their attack volume was so low that average shooting only produced 12 points. On 26 attacks an average team will score 0-10 or 1-09 … to get the 17 points that Cork achieved in 2012 and 2013, off average shooting, they will need 42 attacks. Assuming they maintain a high Shot Rate (in the mid 80 percentile) then off average shooting they need 39 attacks.

If they get the best of both worlds – a high Shot Rate and a high Conversion Rate (60%) – they still need 33 attacks. Sunday *has* to be about primary possession and transference of that possession into the 45. They have proved over the three years that they can manufacture shots when they attack and that their shooting is above average. They just need the ball.

From Play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 22 12 55% +2.34
2013 18 10 56% +2.19
2014 16 5 31% -1.96
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Of course what would help immensely are goals. Or even one goal. In the last three games Cork have only manufactured 8 goal shots and returned a paltry 0 – 03. I say *only* as for comparison (unfair) Dublin managed 8 attempts at goal against Kildare scoring 4 – 01 whilst (fair?) combined Dublin & Kerry managed 9 in two games against the vaunted Donegal defence.

Cork were better in 2014 as they managed four attempts but they all came in the last ~15 minutes when the game was over.

Even with four missed goal shots in the numbers Cork’s 2014 shooting from play was abysmal; 33% going for a point (4 from 12) with a combined weighting of -1.335. They’ll need to rediscover the shooting boots from ’12 & ’13 to win on Sunday.

For points by Sector

Sector Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2 1 1 100% +0.62
4 10 3 30% -0.59
5 13 8 62% +1.52
6 9 3 33% -0.23
7 8 4 50% +0.60
8 4 4 100% +1.17
9 3 1 33% -0.25

Nothing about where Cork are shooting from stands out hugely except perhaps that they are just average when shooting from the wings. Against the big teams this can be a productive area as they mind the square – think Flynn against Donegal in last year’s AI semi final. If Cork are going to continue taking 67% (32 of 48 attempts) of their point attempts from between the 20 & 45m then they’ll have to convert more from the wings.

When Kerry have the Ball

Year Attacks Shots Shot % Scores Success % Weighting
2012 33 27 82% 12 44% -1.100
2013 37 33 89% 17 52% +1.345
2014 42 38 90% 24 63% +4.575
Avg 37.0 28.7 77.7% 14.7 51.2%

Kerry’s attacking play has improved year on year with a step up in every metric (attacks, Shot Rate, Success Rate & weighting) from ’12 to ’13 to ’14.

Not much more that can be added really – more of the same from a Kerry perspective

From Play

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 20 9 45% +0.08
2013 26 11 42% -0.05
2014 31 19 61% +4.68
Avgs 21.4 9.7 45.3%

Much like Cork if there was one area of concern for Kerry (concern is a bit strong – an area that needs polishing) it would be their goal taking. In the three games they’ve taken 10 shots at goal but scored only 1 – 02.

Their point taking in 2014 was phenomenal (67% Success Rate with a weighting of +5.313) however prior to that it was average. So what was the difference?

My immediate reaction was to say O’Donoghue – take him out of the picture given his phenomenal 2014 performance and the three games would level off. Not quite

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 18 7 39% -1.14
2013 22 8 36% -1.44
2014 21 11 52% +1.72

Yes O’Donoghue had a huge bearing but the rest of the team stepped up as well. Now undoubtedly they were getting more space (a) due to O’Donoghue and (b) due to the nature of the game compared to ’12 & ’13 but as a collective they still outperformed the two previous years. Something for Cork to note perhaps when they review the 2014 tape.

As for O’Donoghue? He has been incredible against Cork converting 93% (!!) of his point attempts over the three years. Below is his shot chart from ’13 & ’14 (the ’12 version has gone awol) showing how close into goal he has played.

O'Donoghue V Cork
x = for a goal, white = for a point

From Deadballs

Shots Scores Success % Weighting
2012 7 3 43% -1.18
2013 7 6 86% +1.40
2014 7 5 71% -0.11

I stated above that one area Kerry might look to polish up on was goal shots – there is a second. Their deadball shooting has been average over the past three games scoring 0-14 from 21 attempts (67% conversion Rate).

If Cork can keep it close, and increase the pressure on the free taking, this may just be an area that will let Kerry down on Sunday.

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