Wasps v Northampton Saints Super Powers analysis
Date: 16 May 2018
The Super Powers Experiment
Wasps’ Energy partner npower has conducted an experiment to ascertain when it is that fan energy and player energy combine to produce the most powerful force for the club.
To determine this “high-energy point,” npower has recruited 50 Wasps fans to investigate the link between fan energy and player energy.
Each fan’s heart rate was monitored at three Wasps home games using a personal fitness tracker.
At the same games, (against London Irish, Worcester and Northampton Saints), npower measured crowd noise to provide a unique insight into the link between fan support and their team’s performance.
- Each individual’s heart rate was collected every second to obtain detailed data.
- All fans’ data was combined to provide an average heartbeat for the group. This is called the collective ‘Fan heartbeat.’
- After the match, data was mapped against match action to correlate heart rate fluctuations.
- A commercial sound level monitor (Larson Davis Model 831) was positioned at ground level in the stadium to measure noise levels throughout the match, with data points taken at both 10 second and 1-minute intervals.
The ‘npower high energy point’ of the match v Northampton Saints, 29 April
The data revealed the “npower high energy point” of this match to be Guy Thompson’s winning turnover as Wasps defended their line for all they were worth, to prevent Northampton Saints from scoring a try in the final minute of the match that could have snatched a draw.
At this moment, every ounce of fan energy and player energy combined to ensure that Wasps held out for the vital win that secured them a play-off spot for the third year running.
Collective Fan heartbeat registered 92.22
Crowd noise levels peaked at 120.6 dBA
Having seemingly been in control of the game at 33-17 with just over 15 minutes to play, Wasps conceded two tries in the space of four minutes to put themselves back under the pump with a narrow seven-point lead to defend with 10 minutes to play. (36-29)
Wasps thought they had sealed the win moments earlier through a Josh Bassett score, only for the try to be ruled out by the TMO for alleged foul play in the build-up, much to the disgruntlement of Wasps’ fans and bemusement of the players!
Saints, who fought valiantly throughout the match, seized their opportunity and broke downfield to mount one final attack. With Saints preparing for a lineout metres from Wasps’ try line, Joe Simpson appealed to the crowd, urging Wasps fans to be even louder in their support of the team to help them defend their line.
Home fans responded with gusto as chants of ‘Wasps, Wasps, Wasps’ rang out. As the home crowd roared, heart-rates soared, and Wasps players put their bodies on the line to keep Saints out.
Guy Thompson, on his final home game in black and gold, clasped his hands around the ball at the breakdown and won the vital turnover to snuff out Saints last gasp attack.
The Ricoh Arena erupted, Joe Launchbury punched the air, Guy Thompson saluted the crowd, and Dai Young broke into a smile on the sidelines!
- Collective Fan heartbeat peaked at 92.22 beats per minute in the 79th minute.
- Individual heart rates ranged from as low as 51 to as high as 160!
- The fan heartbeat rose from 81.88 to 88.45 as Jimmy Gopperth made a break, followed by Jack Willis and Simon McIntyre on the charge as part of an attack that culminated in a try for Christian Wade, as Wasps stormed to a 7-0 lead with less than 5 minutes on the clock.
- The third highest collective heart rate peaked at 87.42 in the second half when quick hands through Wasps back line produced a well-taken try by Juan de Jongh.
- Three subsequent Wasps attacks saw the fan heart beat nudge over 85.
- when Elliot Daly broke down the left wing, supported inside by Thompson, Willie Le Roux and Dan Robson.
- Juan De Jongh’s break moments later produced a similar heart rate response.
- The third Wasps’ attack, in which Danny Cipriani and Willie Le Roux played key roles, resulted in a try for Elliot Daly, with the heartbeat peaking at 85.23
- The lowest heart rates were registered during Saints tries or periods when players were being treated for injury.
- Saints four tries saw the collective heart rate of our 50 Wasps fans drop to mid-high 70s.
- The power of fan energy was seen as half-time approached and Wasps were pegged back in their own 22 with a Saints lineout to defend. The drummers started drumming, Wasps chants rang out around the stadium and the collective heartbeat rose to 83.70 as fans tried to convert their support to energy for the players. It seemed to work as Wasps forced Saints to knock on as they looked to launch an attack.
- An increase in heart rate to 81.99 was also recorded when a Wasps attack broke down and Saints capitalised. The visitors had created a two on one and looked certain to score, but Cipriani raced back to haul down his man before Saints could get the offload away.
- With 10 minutes to play and a slender 6-point lead, Wasps fans heart-rates fluctuated between 80.42 and 87.04, peaking at a crucial Launchbury turnover and the Bassett try that wasn’t. All of which conspired to set up a thrilling climax to the game and the ‘npower high energy point’, with fans and players uniting in their commitment to get the essential 5 points.
Crowd noise levels
- Peaked at 120.6 dBA at Guy Thompson’s turnover in the final minute of the game.
- 115+ dBA was reached eight times during the match.
- Wasps length of the field attack in the 8th minute (118), De Jongh’s break minutes later (117.8), Guy Thompson’s quick tap and charge in the second half which culminated in a try by Juan de Jongh (119.4) and Daly’s break down the left wing before his chip ahead went dead (118.9)
- Bassett’s almost-try reached 115.8 as he went over, almost matched by the boos when the try was disallowed! (115)
- Noise levels gradually increased when Wasps fans sense a scoring opportunity. For example, rising from 109.5 dBA before a Wasps lineout to 116.1 dBA as Wasps launched an attack leading to Wade’s second try of the game.
- There was a memorable moment as Wasps fans showed their appreciation for James Haskell as he came onto the field around the 60-minute mark for his last home appearance. Applause levels and Haskell chants notched 112.8 dBA.
- A significant increase in noise levels also occurred while Wasps fans urged their side on in defence.
- When Saints were on the attack, looking likely to score, the crowd got behind their team and decibels hit 111.3 dBA before Wasps forced an important turnover with just under 30 mins played.
- 10 minutes later, there was an increase from 106.5 to 109.8 dBA as the drummers and crowd created extra energy for players to feed off to defend their line. This combined defensive effort of crowd and players led to Wasps forcing Saints to knock on and surrender possession.
- 120 dBA was only breached once and that was in the final minute of the game when the crowd responded to their team’s need for extra energy to defend their line. Similar to the rise in heartrates to 92.22 as fans got to their feet to urge the players on, sound levels jumped from 109.8 dBA, as Joe Simpson rallied for more noise, to 120.6 dBA
- There was an average of 107.43 dBA during the match.
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