South Africa surge into Rugby World Cup contention
South Africa have been the big movers in betting to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup after sealing their first Rugby Championship title since 2009.
While the Springboks crushed tough Argentina 46-13 on the road to send their stocks soaring, great southern hemisphere rivals eased as World Cup favourites after a shock defeat at the hand of Australia.
There was a valid excuse for the All Blacks in their 47-26 loss to the Wallabies in Perth as they played the second half a man down after lock Scott Barrett was red-carded. But warning signs had already been apparent in a draw at home to South Africa and in the early stages against Australia.
New Zealand remain $2.40 favourites to lift a third consecutive World Cup title in Japan, while South Africa are into $5 after a recent resurgence in form that has made them champions of the Southern Hemisphere.
Latest betting on Rugby World Cup 2019
To win the RWC title
New Zealand $2.40
South Africa $5
RWC pool betting
POOL A WINNER: Ireland $1.25; Scotland $3.50; Japan $21; Samoa $201; Russia $301
POOL B WINNER: New Zealand $1.25; South Africa $3.50; Italy
$251; Namibia $1001; Canada $1001
POOL C WINNER: England $1.37; France $5.50; Argentina $4.75; Tonga
$501; USA $501
POOL D WINNER: Wales $1.55; Australia $2.40; Fiji $34; Georgia $301; Uruguay
All Blacks struggle for top form
New Zealand were quoted at odds-on just a few weeks ago with some bookmakers in betting on the World Cup but recent displays have raised question marks over their expected dominance.
Steve Hansen’s team will have the chance to quickly reassert their dominance over the Wallabies at least when they host them next Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland.
The Australians have not won at the ground for 33 years, and need a win or a draw to claim the Bledisloe Cup title from the Kiwis for the first time since 2003.
Australia’s impressive display also had punters wondering whether they have struck form in time to be considered contenders in Japan.
The WGL advises that if you think this is the case, you should take the $11-plus available about them now; if they beat the All Blacks in New Zealand next weekend you can expect their odds of winning the World Cup to plummet.
They could be boosted for the Bledisloe decider by the return of superstar flanker David Pocock after a length injury absence.
On the other hand the All Blacks have a selection conundrum with Scott Barrett facing a ban and centre Jack Goodhue suffering a hamstring injury. There are also growing calls for some underperforming stars to be replaced.
South Africa find winning formula
The Springboks are not getting carried away despite their recent successes in defeating Australia, drawing with the All Blacks and crushing Argentina.
They, of course, are drawn in the same group as the All Blacks at the World Cup, and there may be some value in the $3.50 available about them topping Pool B.
Coach Rassie Erasmus has his team playing great rugby as they build up to their World Cup opener against defending champions New Zealand in Yokohama on September 21.
“I think for us the most important thing was to work on our consistency,” captain Duane Vermeulen told AAP after beating the Pumas.
“We are happy with our performance but there are still a few things to work on. It’s a great feeling for us to walk away with the [Rugby Championship] title, but in the end it’s a stepping stone for us going into the World Cup.”
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