RUGBY BETTING TIPS AND PREDICTIONS
How to bet on Rugby
The sport of rugby has continued to grow and develop rapidly since it was declared a professional sport in 1995. The sport has grown thanks to worldwide media coverage which appeals to all sports lovers alike. This in turn has led to bigger budgets available for the clubs due to money generated from T.V rights. Recently clubs and national sides have become more competitive due to new innovations in the sport. Backroom staff and analysts have become a major part of the game, therefore games are becoming more exciting and this creates a better betting environment for all involved.
THE MAJOR COMPETITIONS
Rugby is a sport that is constantly on the go. Players rarely get a chance to breathe. Between club games in the national leagues, club games in Europe and international tournaments, there is always an opportunity to bet.
Aviva Premiership : The English premier League is made up for 12 teams. The league starts in September and ends in May. After all 22 rounds of matches have been completed, the top 4 sides qualify for the semi-finals. After each winner has been determined they go onto face each other in the Grand Final, always staged at the home of English rugby, Twickenham. This is the biggest event in the English rugby calendar and there is never an empty seat in the house.
Top14 : In recent times the the Top 14 league has become very competitive and attractive to the neutrals. France have always had a strong national league which has paved the way for young native players to burst onto the scene with their club. That's why for years they were a power house in world rugby. Things have changed drastically in the past few years. Massive investment from abroad has seen an influx of some of the worlds best players, from the Southern Hemisphere in particular. Stars such as Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Bryan Habana and Quade Cooper have joined clubs in the Top 14.
European Rugby Champions Cup : Previously called the Heineken Cup, it is the most prestigious in European rugby. Here you will find the best clubs from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France. The competition runs from October to May, divided into 5 groups of 4 teams. Irish, English and French clubs have all historically done well in this competition. Toulouse have the most victories (4), while Leinster and Toulon have won 3. Toulon having won the last 3 in a row.
European Rugby Challenge Cup : This is the second tier of the European competition. Clubs that finish from 4th to 6th in their respective leagues qualify for the group stages. This Cup follows the same structure as the Champions Cup in regards to the quarter final layout. These games are played on the same weekends as the champions cup.
6 Nations : With the first competition taking place in 1882, it was originally called the "5 Nations". Italy joined in 2000 following in the footsteps of England, Ireland, France, Scotland and Wales. It is known as 'Rugby's greatest championship' because of the sheer quality and drama it brings every year. The team who wins all 5 games wins the "Grand Slam". If two teams end up on the same points, it goes down to points differential. The last two 6 Nations championships have gone down to points differentials (Ireland winning both). Wales have won the competition 37 times, the most of any nation.
The Rugby World Cup : There is no competition more prestigious than The Rugby World Cup. This famous competition runs every four years and it is between the top 16 teams in the world. New Zealand have won it the most times (3) and have won the previous two tournaments. The next tournament will be held in Japan in 2019.
PRO 12: The PRO 12 is made up for 12 teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. Irish teams have dominated in recent years but the improvements made by the Opsreys, Glasgow Warriors and the Llanelli Scarlets in the past few means it has become far more competitive. Very similar to the Premiership and Top 14, the top 4 face off in the semi-finals with the winners playing each other in the final.
Super Rugby : Founded in 1986, formerly known as Super 15, this international event brings together 18 teams from across Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Japan and New Zealand. The tournament takes place from February to August and includes a first group stage followed by a final knockout phase. This competition is probably the most eye catching and entertaining out of all the club rugby tournaments. With flair, speed and incredible individual tries Super Rugby is host to the crier of the crop of attacking talent. The Crusaders from New Zealand are the most successful team in the tournament's history with 7 trophies.
The Rugby Championship : Formerly called Tri-Nations, the international tournament was renamed in 2011 with the arrival of Argentina. It is now made up of four teams, including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Considered by experts as one of the toughest international competitions around, New Zealand have won the title no fewer than 13 times, including 6 by winning every match.
Rugby Sevens : Rugby sevens is played with the same rules as Rugby Union except there are only 7 players-a-side. The competition, a native of Scotland, the discipline has largely developed in Anglo-Saxon countries (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom). In 2009 sevens became an Olympic sport and will be included in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 program. New Zealand are reigning World Champions and plan to bring a star studded squad including Sonny Bill Williams and Ardie Savea.
Like in any sport, there are plenty of factors to take into account when looking up a match. So here are some to consider before placing a bet:
Venue : Home advantage is extremely important in rugby, a lot more so than in football. Players are often galvanised by their home support and respond in kind. Players often feel a sense of injustice if they are beaten at home. It's as if they have let their club and fans down. French teams in particular are extremely good at home. Toulon and Toulouse both boasting incredible home records. This can clearly be seen when looking at the odds on any given rugby match. The home team will often be given quite short odds. If that is the case maybe betting on the margin of victory is a better idea. Applying a handicap will always lengthen the odds.
The weather : The weather can have a massive effect on a rugby match. If it starts to rain, handling errors become a lot more common. Teams will be reluctant to go wide and move the ball quickly through the hands. A team with a good fly-half will be able to adapt to changing conditions. A number 10 should be able to manage a game and make important calls like a kick to the corner or a rubber kick to mix things up and keep the opposition guessing.
Tiredness/Injuries: Rugby is an incredibly physical sport, with many current doctors saying the injuries they are seeing are those similar to ones from car accidents. The strain put on the body is considerable. With players playing every week injuries are a regular occurence. This is where a large squad is essential. If Leigh Halfpenny gets injuried, for instance, Toulon know that Drew Mitchell or Delon Armitage can slot in. A bettor will need to know if there are any injuries before placing a bet.
International meetings: Unlike football international matches are frequently held on the same weekend as a league game. This forces coaches to used some of the squad players, if players of the first team are away on international duty.
A derby : When it comes to an intense derby, form goes out of the window. Players will often rise to the occasion and pull a performance out of the bag. Winning a derby can be as simple as putting in a massive hit in the opening minutes to motivate the crowd and team. Momentum is huge in derbies. If your team is on top and can capitalise on the dominance, that is crucial. Betting on a derby can be tough, but in-play betting is probably the way to go. As you watch the game one can get a sense of how it is going to end up.