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Dublin: 5°C Monday 17 May 2021

Having a flutter? Here's 10 interesting bets for the Rugby World Cup

All aboard the ship we like to call ‘Nehe Milner-Skudder For Top Tryscorer’.

Australia to make the semi-final, 10/11

THE WALLABIES ARE paired in Pool A alongside England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay and though far from easy, will come through that.

Of the seven World Cups since the tournament’s inauguration in 1987, the worst they’ve done is make the quarter-finals.

They’re currently second in the world rankings behind New Zealand and should they top their pool, will most likely face Scotland in the last eight, or possibly Samoa.

Even if they finish second, they should have measure of whoever they face from Pool B…netting you some handy cash.

Winning hemisphere

Southern hemisphere, 4/9 Okay, the value here isn’t much but with three of the top four teams in the world rankings below the equator — Ireland the exception — we think the Webb Ellis trophy will be staying there.

Can anyone honestly say otherwise?

Hemisphere of the third-placed team

Northern hemisphere, 6/5 Now we’re entering into slightly more risky territory than the above, but only just.

Let’s make a huge assumption that the semi-final line-up will be Australia versus New Zealand – a repeat of four years ago and England versus Ireland. The latter will probably mean wins over France and Argentina, but well manageable.

It sets up a mouth-watering last-four clash with the old enemy and whoever loses, we think, should have the measure of Australia in the 3/4th place play-off?
Long shot? Perhaps. Worth a tenner.

Highest scoring pool? Pool B, 5/1

This has to represent value, what with three of the teams outside the top 10 in the world rankings – and South Africa likely to be runaway Pool victors.

We suspect the Springboks will run riot against USA and Japan while they should dispatch Samoa as well without too much fuss. The only issue here is how Scotland will do. Occasionally superb, often dire, they’re our only concern. A big win for them against any of the teams South Africa will beat could see a payout.

Pool with most tries, Pool B, 7/1

Again, we’re really banking on the Springboks but what’s often been the case in the past is when teams are eliminated – and they play each other, the rugby tends to be well, reckless.

It’s going to be a straight shoot-out for second here between Samoa and Scotland but one has to see South Africa accounting for both. That leaves a couple of dead-rubber games and what we hope will be a try-fest, or series of.

England stage of elimination

Quarter-final, 11/4 Should English finish runner-up in Pool A they’ll most likely face the Sprinkboks and we think that could be their lot.

Odds of 11/4 are very decent and is definitely worth a score.

Six Nations team to progress the furthest

France 11/4 Three final appearances, a third place, twice semi-finalists and only once did they not make it past the last eight. That’s a proud record and one they should maintain. Key to this one coming through will be how the Irish Pool game goes.

Top try scorer

Bryan Habana, 16/1 His eight tries from the 2007 tournament is unlikely to be beaten but the Sprinkbok speedster is a tasty bet this time around again.

Half his tally from eight years ago came against the Samoans and should he rack up any few against their Pool B minor opponents (not you Scotland), he could be well on his way.

Kiwis are the best value – but there’s just many of them to choose from!

All Black but Fijian-born winger Waisake Naholo is worth a few quid at 9/1 after topping the Super 15 try-scoring charts this year.

Top points scorer

Jonathan Sexton, 6/1 Wilkinson in 2003, Montgomery four years later. Yes, the winner of the World Cup usually has a man there or thereabouts as top points scorer so for Sexton to win this we think Ireland need to go further than ever before.

He’ll face immense competition from George Ford and Dan Carter but still represents good value at sixes.

World Cup winner and top tryscorer double

New Zealand and Bryan Habana, 25/1

Or, Jonathan Joseph and Australia 225/1 anyone?

About the author:

Brian Canty

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