Rugby World Cup 2019 Betting: Best Odds, Tips and Analysis
- Third Place Play-Off - New Zealand -19pts at EVS with Betway
- Rugby World Cup Final - England -5pts at EVS with Ladbrokes
Two teams left in the Rugby World Cup – and they are the right two teams. Firstly, England were so dominant in their semi-final with pre-tournament favourites New Zealand.
From start to finish, it was brilliant from England. It was one of the best and most complete performances I’ve seen in my life as they tore apart the All Blacks. The only score New Zealand got came from a mistake at the line out and, to be honest, they could easily have been kept to nil. England, with a bit more luck, might have had a few more scores.
They were streets ahead in terms of what they had to offer and there is no doubt in my mind the best team are through from that clash.
New Zealand didn’t choke, they just couldn’t play their usual game and that is down to how England operated. They were worried before the game that they may have got their tactics wrong not picking Kane Hames in the back row and going with Beauden Barrett instead.
The move backfired. They were trying to counteract a line out threat that they thought England had but it failed to do that being without a classic back row player caused them problems elsewhere.
Watching the game though I don’t know anything the All Blacks could have done differently to affect the result. England were simply awesome and got their homework right, their defence was spot on, they stopped every single attack at source and dominated at the set pieces. I said before the game if they could do that and get it right up front they could win, and that's exactly what happened.
Rugby World Cup 2019 Betting Odds (As of 30/10/2019)
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Fine Margins Split South Africa and Wales in a Much Tighter Semi-Final
To be fair, I felt South Africa should have put Wales away more than they did in this match. You talk about pressure with the All Blacks as favourites to beat England in their game, but I think that played a bigger part here on South Africa’s performance.
Their performance didn’t reflect the ability they have. They slipped up a touch and almost blew it. To get through by the skin of their teeth, in the end, is a testament to South Africa.
Wales were missing some key players and injuries meant they just ran out of steam. They gave it all they had and there wasn’t a player that left anything behind. They emptied the tanks for sure and it was almost enough to reach the final, but South Africa eventually just got away with it.
As for Wales now, they need to fix the problems in the club game at home. They will look at the World Cup as a whole and it was a super campaign, far better than Ireland’s of course. It’s a huge achievement to make the semi-finals and I think Warren Gatland and his squad to come away with a great deal of pride.
Third Place Playoff - A Game No One Will Remember and the Players Won’t Want
The reward for losing in two tough matches will be that New Zealand face Wales on Friday for the third-place spot in this World Cup.
New Zealand’s motto is to play like it matters every single time and whilst the shackles might be off for both teams and I’d imagine the ball will be zinging about the backs a lot more than in a competitive game. It’s a game no one wants, and it makes sense as a money-grabbing exercise more than anything else.
The spread is New Zealand -19 which can be backed at even money with Betway, and that should be duly accounted for by the All Blacks. The country is in mourning and I’d imagine they will turn it on here and run up a score against a weakened and injury-stricken Wales.
If they have any sense both sides should just take the week off, but Gatland will want his side, who are 7/1 underdogs with Coral, to take this seriously given it’s the only country his Welsh side haven’t beaten during his tenure – something he would love to put right.
The Rugby World Cup Final – England v South Africa
So the final itself is what it is all about now.
South Africa are underdogs and to add to that I don’t think that semi-final will actually have taken as much out of England as they would hope. They were on such a high and I’d expect them to carry that through.
I really like this England squad. Across the board, they have phenomenal players. The fact that Eddie Jones was able to mix the team around and put George Ford in at No. 10 having not played him in the quarters shows you that and their forwards are top class. They are playing a really strong brand of rugby at the right time, and just look so composed as a team.
Dare I say it when England won the World Cup in 2003 they actually played their best rugby the year before and only got over the line in the tournament - thanks to an exceptional Jonny Wilkinson of course.
This side is a more all-round team. The athletes they have including the likes of Maro Itoje (whose odds for SPOTY 2019 have soared), Courtney Lawes, Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola are something else and they play brilliantly for each other. The backline combination just works as well with Ford, Young and Farrell alternating. There is a list of names who are just hitting peak form at the right time.
I think this could be a very one-sided final, strange as that may sound to say it. South Africa were my early picks for this World Cup in this column and they may have it in them to still get the job done. Making the final is a huge achievement for them given where they were just two years ago, but all factors are now pointing to England. The handicap for this game at England -5 points at EVS with Ladbrokes - and that looks too good to be true.
To be in with a chance South Africa will have to do what New Zealand couldn’t do - contain the forwards and compete at the set pieces. That is something they are capable of doing given the physical size of the players they have.
They need to find a way to unleash their backline but as we saw against Wales they couldn’t free them up and get the ball to them. It will be harder to do that against England in the form they are in right now.
England’s defensive tactics that they deployed against the All Blacks in the semi-final is going to cause South Africa major problems. You could see South Africa kicking the ball back an awful lot and that is really going to suit Eddie Jones’ men.
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Expect An England Win
Say what you like about Eddie Jones but he has put in a masterful display of management so far in this World Cup. Deflecting the storyline and attention to himself and away from his players, allowing his super coaching staff to get the players delivering perfectly in the big games.
John Mitchell and his coaching staff have contributed massively and don’t forget they were brought in by Jones. While he has managed the off the pitch antics brilliantly, and probably as expected, he has also put the template in place for them for their on-pitch tactics to deliver as well.
It might pain people to say it but so far, he has done his job to absolute perfection.
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