Rugby Championship 2019 Winner Odds & Predictions

Kiwis set to dominate Southern Hemisphere showdown again

Rugby Betting

The Rugby Championship, the former Tri-Nations series will start up again in mid-July. The big kick-off is on Saturday, July 20th with South Africa v Australia, which leaves an Argentina v New Zealand to follow. New Zealand were, once again, kings of the show last time out at as they continued their remarkable streak of having won all but one edition since 2012. Will they reign supreme once more?

There is little doubt in the mind of the bookmakers as to who is going to get the title in the bag. New Zealand are the 2/7 outright favourites* (betting odds taken from William Hill on July 11th, 2019 at 2:31 pm). They were cracked once last season though as South Africa managed to pull off a shock two-point margin of victory over them in Wellington.

Rugby Championship Winner Odds*

New Zealand 2/9
South Africa 6/1
Australia 10/1
Argentina 25/1
* (betting odds taken from William Hill on July 11th, 2019 at 2:31 pm)

2019 Fixtures and Dates

This year’s Rugby Championship has been shortened. Teams will only play each other once instead of the usual twice. Why? Because of the 2019 Rugby World Cup starting in September. This happened back in the 2015 edition of the tournament and that is because that was also a World Cup year as this one is.

Confusingly though, each team will play another fixture after the Championship is done, just not for points but to serve as warm-ups ahead of the World Cup because there have been no June international tests this year.

Sun Jul 21 1:05 AM South Africa vs Australia Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Sun Jul 21 4:05 AM Argentina vs New Zealand Estádio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Sat Jul 27 5:35 PM New Zealand vs South Africa Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Sat Jul 27 7:45 PM Australia vs Argentina Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Sat Aug 10 7:45 PM Australia vs New Zealand Optus Stadium, Perth
Sun Aug 11 5:40 AM Argentina vs South Africa Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta

Extra Games – non-Championship

Sat Aug 17 5:35 PM New Zealand vs Australia* Eden Park, Auckland
Sun Aug 18 1:05 AM South Africa vs Argentina* Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Australia To Finish 3rd
5/2

MoPlay

2018 Review

The New Zealanders dominated things again last year. New Zealand won five of their six games, racking up 225 points on their way to the Championship title as well as running up four bonus try points. The one blot on their copybook for that campaign was a thrilling 34-36 home defeat against South Africa. That was the first time that the Black Cats had lost against the Springboks since 2009. That’s how big of an upset it was. Those points helped the Springboks into second place at the end of the campaign with a W3 L3 record.

Australia had a bit of a torrid time all around. Their two wins recorded were against South Africa and one against Argentina. Australia’s home defeat on the Gold Coast against Argentina, a 23-19 reverse, was the low point of their campaign. Like Australia, Argentina won two games in the Championship but finished bottom because Australia had managed to pick up a losing bonus point along the way.

New Zealand

Once again the All Blacks are the frontrunners for the title. Since the competition took on its new format after inviting Argentina into the fold to create the Rugby Championship in 2012, New Zealand have had their hands on all but one title. That was in a shortened edition of the Championship in 2015 when Australia took top spot. That year though they played an extra game for the Bledisloe Cup against Australia and got some revenge over the Wallabies.

In the 2019 Rugby World Cup year, New Zealand are going to want to use this as a powerful platform to push forward to bigger things. They will be looking for their third straight World Cup title in Japan later in the year. Steve Hansen’s men are top of the world rankings by some distance and they hold a crazy W35 D1 L3 record in the Rugby Championship.

This will be their first Test action since November last year. In 2019 they posted W12 L2 record in Tests. Those losses were against South Africa in the Rugby Championship and then a friendly against Ireland in November in Dublin. Since their series against the British Lions back in 2017, New Zealand have won all but three matches. They are still the ones to beat and by some margin. The All Blacks go as 9/2 outright favouirtes * (betting odds taken from William Hill on July 11th, 2019 at 2:31 pm)

South Africa

The Springboks are sitting one place above Australia in the World Rankings currently and they do appear to be in much better shape than the Wallabies are currently. The Boks posted a mixed W7 L7 overall in 2018 though as they struggled for consistency throughout the year. They had started well with a 2-1 home series win over England.

But they struggled out of the gates in the Rugby Championship, losing three in a row after having opened with a win over Argentina. In their Autumn series action in Europe, the Springboks narrowly beat France and Scotland, before rounding off with a loss against Wales. Their defence doesn’t seem to be the most robust currently but they are 23/20 favourites with Unibet to finish second.

Australia

In last year’s Rugby Championship, Australia took some heavy beatings by New Zealand, the benchmark by which you have to base a title challenge. The Australians had a really rough year all round actually. There were only four matches won by them and two of those only were in the Rugby Championship, successes over South Africa and Argentina. The others were home wins over Ireland and Italy in friendly fixture.

So with nine defeats in their 13 Tests played, the Wallabies are going through a period where they can’t find that consistent quality and their pack looks there for the taking. You can always rely on a bit of adventure through the backs, but in the forwards, they look very average. Their 19-23 home defeat against Argentina in last season’s Championship was a bitter pill for them to swallow. The Australians are 5/2 to pull things together to finish second* (betting odds taken from William Hill on July 13th, 2019 at 11:32 pm)

Argentina

There was a significant moment for Argentina last year’s Championship. When they won on the Gold Coast against Australia, for the first time since joining the Rugby Championship, Argentina managed to win two games in a single campaign. That was a big breakthrough that they had been waiting for. It was their first success over the Australians since the early 1980’s as well. Their first win in last season’s Championship was over South Africa.

So it is going to be really interesting to see if they can cause an upset somewhere in their limited matches of this campaign. They will likely be targeting the Australian fixture as their big chance of a win. The Pumas are ranked 10th in the world currently and are 9/4 with Unibet for a third-place finish* (betting odds taken from unibet on July 13th, 2019 at 11:32 pm). Back in 2015 in the shortened edition of the Rugby Championship, Argentina did take third place above South Africa.

Predictions

The shortened edition of the Rugby Championship does make it interesting. The telling match in terms of the title is not likely to be Australia v New Zealand in the final round of matches. It is the clash between the All Blacks and South Africa.

The Boks are the biggest threat to the Kiwis after pushing them close in their games against them in the last Championship.  But the All Blacks have home advantage for that one and that’s where the title will be won for them. You can almost smell the order of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina.


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