After what can be described as one of the most hotly contested Rugby Championships in recent history, victories for the All Blacks and the Springboks respectively mean that this year's Rugby Championship will go right down to the last round of the tournament. With results being so difficult to predict, rugby betting markets will undoubtedly be interesting to watch.
To give you an idea of the competitiveness of this year’s tournament, Argentina, who are at the bottom of the log, still have a mathematical chance of winning the trophy. They would need a big favour from Australia to completely shut out the All Blacks on Saturday morning, as well as a bonus point win vs the Boks in Durban. Good luck placing your rugby bets!
One thing we know about this year’s Rugby Championship, is that no team is out of it and they have all shown glimpses of being championship teams.
But, as Saturday lurks, let’s take a deep dive into a few of the stats surrounding the games.
Starting with the All Blacks it would be impossible to ignore the fact that they are playing at Eden Park. The iconic Auckland venue has hosted some of the very best All Black performances. It’s almost certain that the rugby betting odds will determine them as firm favourites.
Australia have never beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park in the professional era. To make matters worse for the Wallabies, in the last 22 fixtures the All Blacks have averaged an 18 point winning margin. That's an outrageous stat.
But, not all is lost for the Wallabies. They were well and truly unlucky not to win last week's clash.
In what can only be described as utter chaos, Bernard Foley’s failure to listen to the referee with his team 37 -34 ahead, resulted in an overturned penalty for time-wasting. This gave the visitors a 5m scrum with seconds left to play. In classic All Black style, they used their chance and in real smash and grab fashion scored to win the game. For anyone interested in rugby world cup betting, this win was crucial for New Zealand’s quest to top world rankings again.
In all my years of playing, I can’t remember seeing anything like it. Time-wasting tends to be something you see a lot of at a local club game on a Saturday afternoon, but hardly ever policed by the referee. If you investigate a little further you can clearly hear the warnings, and Mr Raynal, to his credit, stood his ground after the final whistle and backed his decision. That, I can safely say, is something you never see after a local club game.
Sticking with the theme of venues. Kings Park in Durban is not necessarily a fortress. Of all the betting sports popular in South Africa, this event will surely take center stage on the markets. The Springboks have a 65% win record there. Compared to the 75% win record at Ellis Park, it would seem touring teams would fancy their chances. Ironically, Argentina have only ever beaten the Springboks once in South Africa. 25 - 37 in 2015. The venue - Kings Park.
Jacqeus Nienaber’s charges have had a tricky few days of late. Off the field there have been some obvious disruptions with individuals being sent home from camp. Adding to that speculation in the press around drug use amongst the squad moments before kickoff. Not what you want to deal with in the build up to a must win game.
After a brilliant start the Boks struggled to maintain their dominance. The Argentinians capitalised on back-to-back yellow cards by the Springboks which saw the hosts claw back to 20-22. With 10 minutes to go and the crowd in full song, it wasn’t looking great for the boys in green, but to their credit they showed some great composure and sealed the game with late tries from Damien de Allende and Malcolm Marx, giving the Springboks a bonus point and simultaneously keeping their title hopes alive going into the final round. Bok fans and sports betting enthusiasts will have some tough choices to make when it comes to whether the Boks will lift the trophy or not.
In the past two games the Boks have won by consecutive 16 point margins. Out of all the fixtures, Argentina at home would be the fixture they would see themselves winning comfortably. Currently, they sit 2nd behind the All Blacks on the log. Equal on log points, but 13 points behind the All Blacks on points difference. This is a great opportunity for rugby handicap betting on the supposed underdogs, Los Pumas.
If New Zealand lose on Saturday morning, the assignment is pretty straightforward for Siya Kolisi’s men. Beat the Los Pumas. However, if they beat Australia. We need to not only beat them, but beat them well.
Nic Groom is a former South African Rugby Union player. He played scrum-half for the Cape Town based Western Province and the Stormers, representing the Cape side over 126 times. His time in Cape Town saw him win 2 Currie Cups and a Vodacom Cup and in 2015 he was selected for the Springbok incoming tour squad vs Ireland. He later signed for English Premiership side Northampton Saints and played 50 games for the East Midlands Club. After a thrilling 11 year career, which saw him represent the Barbarians, South Africa 'A', the Lions and Edinburgh Rugby, he finished playing at London Irish. Nic has played 229 professional rugby games.