Paul Rees (no relation – as far as I am aware) writing in The Breakdown.
Take the “row” out of “crowd” and what are you left with? CD, a disc which is one way of trying to develop an atmosphere in an empty stadium. Home teams are having to generate their own energy with the lack of support having a clear impact.
The last weekend of the Six Nations saw the penalty count won by the away side in all three matches. The three hosts were awarded a total of 27 penalties with their opponents receiving 47, an average of nearly 25 a match compared to 18 in the opening three matches, which were all played before crowds and divided equally between the home and away side. Is it a coincidence that Manchester United have conceded five penalties in their last seven Premier League matches at Old Trafford when the previous five spanned 101 contests?
I would be curious to see the count in the matches where Nigel Owens officiated.