Congratulations to the Springboks on a brilliant series victory over the British & Irish Lions. The 3rd Test was as tense and close as everyone expected and I collected on the bet highlighted in the Goodforthegame match preview which was either side to win by 7 or less at 19/20. Unfortunately for me I took a late call to back the British & Irish Lions to win the game at 16/10 as the price was just too tempting. It felt very much like the World Cup Final as I sat in a room full of Bok supporters, quietly pulling for the opposition.
Good news for rugby fans is there is more international games lying ahead starting this weekend with the Rugby Championship where New Zealand host Australia and South Africa welcome Argentina.
This won’t be your typical Rugby Championship, due of course to COVID and after playing Argentina twice at home, South Africa go on the road and have 4 matches in Australia and New Zealand. Not having a home game against New Zealand is certainly a blow to their chances and looking at the current betting it is the All Blacks who are favourites at 4/7 with South Africa 5/2, Australia 15/2 and Argentina 14/1.
The big question is whether South Africa are worth backing given their travel schedule. I think the depth in the squad will enable them to mix and match against Argentina and even Australia leaving our 1st XV to tackle the All Blacks.
For my money New Zealand are quite well off their standard set in recent years and the pack look vulnerable and it is here that I think the Springboks can take advantage and win at least 1 of the 2 Tests against them and I will take some of the 5/2.
Onto this week’s matches and New Zealand who beat Australia by 8 points in the Bledisloe Cup on the weekend are (-21.5) points for this game which is also played at Eden Park in Auckland. The South African handicap against Argentina opened (-14.5), but it has come in a point to (-13.5) and the Springboks will likely give some of their fringe players a run.
Having sat out the Rugby Championship last year it is going to have the Springboks back and some excellent rugby and betting opportunities lie ahead.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 12 August 2021.