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Rugby World Cup: leading try scorer

Some of the best backs (and forwards) in the world have already demonstrated their try scoring ability at the rugby world cup, and now as the tournament heats up, so does the race to be crowned top try scorer.

South Africa’s Bryan Habana claimed the crown last time round in 2007, crossing the line eight times as the Springboks claimed the biggest prize in world rugby, but the Stormers flyer is unlikely to be in contention this time round having only touched down once so far, against Namibia.

England’s Chris Ashton threw his hat emphatically into the ring having gone into the tournament without scoring since February by claiming five tries in two games including a hat-trick against Romania.

The Northampton wing sits atop of the try scoring table and is betting favourite to finish the tournament on top at 3/1 with BetFred. With a game against Scotland to come in the group stages Ashton may well add to his impressive tally but England’s indifferent form mean they may not stay in the tournament long enough to the rugby league convert to keep ahead of his nearest rivals.

Behind Ashton sits a group of five players who have scored four tries each, the most dangerous of which are Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui.

The All Blacks are yet to face Canada and will be expecting a triple figure score against the Canucks, with Dagg and Kahui at the heart of the action.

If either man can bump their tally’s up before things tighten up in the knockout stages, then they are a very tempting proposition, especially at 8/1 and 6/1 with Sportingbet respectively – the fact that the All Blacks are favourites to reach the final and therefore present more opportunities to their players to score only sweetens the deal.

Kahui may lose his place in the side with Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu likely to start at centre (although he can play on the wing), meaning Dagg, who has usurped Mils Muilaina at full back may be your best bet.


2011 Rugby World Cup: Top 6 Nations team

The group stages of the rugby world cup are almost over but there is still plenty to left to decide, with all the 6 Nations teams still unsure of their place in the knockout stages.

England go into their final Pool B game against Scotland needing to avoid a heavy defeat while the Scot’s need to claim their biggest win over their fierce rivals in order to stand a chance of making the quarter finals.

Ireland are still flying high after their historic win over Australia earlier this month but are still vulnerable after Italy set up a winner-takes-all showdown with victory over the United States on Tuesday, while Wales need to win their final game against Fiji to claim second sport behind South Africa, and France still need to win having suffered defeat at the hands of the All Blacks.

Ireland’s win over Australia had far reaching consequences for the 6 Nations teams in particular, with the Wallabies on course to go into one half of the draw alongside their Tri Nations rivals, meaning the likes of England, France and Italy could have an easier route to the final than expected.

If the final games go as expected, England would face France in the quarter finals while Ireland would face Wales, two incredibly tight encounters that are almost impossible to call.

With Scotland and Italy looking likely to miss out, the winner of these two ties will go up against one another in the semi-finals,  and England are the favourites to make it the furthest at 15/8 with Victor Chandler.

Both Wales and Ireland have shown flashes of brilliance in their pool games so far, and this could finally be the tournament that they make it to the sharp end of the tournament.

The Irish in particular have acquitted themselves wonderfully and of course derailed England’s 6 Nations campaign earlier this year, so backing them at 10/3 with Ladbrokes may be a wise move, although their record against France, a potential semi final opponent, in 2011 reads played three lost three.

Wales proved their quality against South Africa and pushed the reigning World Champions to within an inch of breaking, and although their form has been indifferent this year, Bet365’s offer of 6/1 to be the last 6 Nations team standing may be worth considering as an outside bet.

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