RUGBY UNION BETTING: Live on Skysports 2: Sat 08.30: The finest international rugby union tournament in the world begins this weekend, South Africa look to defend their title against a resurgent New Zealand.
The Springboks and Kiwis come head to head in Saturday’s match up in Eden Park, Auckland, to kick off the Tri-Nations of 2010, in what promises to be an absolute cracker of a game.
New Zealand and South Africa, aside from being the best two international rugby union sides in the world, have a long and fierce past, including darker chapters during the apartheid years. Rugby Union means a lot to the three nations involved in this premiere tournament (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and a very high level of competitiveness can be expected.
New Zealand head into Saturday’s opener as 8/13 favs with Sportingbet, despite South Africa’s 3 game winning streak over the Kiwis. South Africa, 17/10 with Betdaq, have not actually won at Eden Park in 73 years and don’t really look set to change that record, despite recent head-to-head form. The All Blacks were quick to point out that 2 of the recent defeats to the Springboks were in South Africa and with a weakened team, minus Dan Carter. Couple that with a 9 game winning streak over anything Europe could throw at them and you begin to see a bit of value in that 8/13. A final piece of evidence may be that last year Australia, who had just beaten South Africa 21-6, travelled to New Zealand only to be dished out a 33-6 beating.
South Africa have not covered themselves with as much glory since walking the 2009 Tri Nations, losing to France, Ireland, Leicester and Saracens over the course of the year. A very strong showing in the Super 14 in 2010 will allay some fears though and the Springboks approach the match with a swagger and confidence in the abilities of every single man in the squad. Having said that though, New Zealand will capitalise on their own form and can be backed on a -4 point handicap at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
In the outrights, New Zealand are slight favs at 5/4 with Coral to take back the Tri-Nation title from South Africa, who themselves are 7/5 at Totesport. South Africa were really dominant last year and whilst they haven’t had the form of the All Blacks, they have the players to change that. The odds should be swapped and South Africa look good to retain the title. They will be nigh on impossible to beat on South African soil and after a set back in the opener, can go on to accumulate points.
Australia look like they will struggle again, nowhere near the quality of the other two nations, as a home 20-21 defeat to England would testify. Ladbrokes have 5/1 about the Wallabies to win this year.