Rugby Union Betting Guide for Australia

Rugby Union

Rugby Union (or usually simply referred to as ‘Rugby’ to differentiate it from Rugby League’s ‘NRL’) is one of the most popular football codes in Australia and as the more global of the two Rugby codes, it is popular right around the world. The birth of rugby is one of the most interesting stories in sporting history. William Webb Ellis, a 16-year-old student at Rugby Schoolpicked up the ball and ran with it while playing soccer back in 1823.

 

Since becoming professional in 1995, there has been a steadily growing market for Rugby betting fuelled by competitions including the Rugby World Cup. Whilst there are several domestic competitions, Rugby betting is usually dominated by International Rugby Union events and Bledisloe Cup matches for example, are usually broadcast by live TV, Radio and Rugby Live Stream to over 190 countries worldwide.

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Popular Rugby Betting Markets and Competitions in Australia

super rugby

The major Rugby Union competition played between provincial teams from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan and South Africa is Super Rugby.  Australian teams represented in Super Rugby are the ACT Brumbies, the Queensland Reds, the Melbourne Rebels and the New South Wales Waratahs, whilst the Western Force were represented from 2006 until 2017.

Australian teams

The Rugby Championship (played between the national teams of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina) is the southern hemisphere’s answer to the Northern Hemisphere’s Six Nations Championship.

The Rugby Championship

Bledisloe Cup

The annual Bledisloe Cup series between Australia (the Wallabies) and New Zealand (the All Blacks) is considered to be the ‘annual heavyweight championship of the world’ of Rugby Union (as much as the northern hemisphere nations do not like it referred to in that way, in most years it is an accurate reflection of the standard and intensity of the contest).

Rugby 7’s Men represent Rugby Australia in the shortened 7-a-side version of Rugby Union in the International 7’s series and the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Rugby 7s Women

Rugby 7’s Women known as ‘The Pearls’ represent Rugby Australia in the shortened 7-a-side version of Rugby Union in the International 7’s series and the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. They are the Olympic gold-medallists from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after making a clean sweep of their rugby games at the tournament.

Australia’s ‘Wallaroos’ (the Australian Women’s 15-a-side team) share the international spotlight on the Bledisloe Cup stage this year with the Wallabies for the first time.

There are many other smaller leagues throughout regional Australia. Check directly with your favourite online sports betting sites or betting apps for odds, results, scores, rugby games, tips and predictions on the smaller competitions.

Rule differences between Rugby and NRL

Rugby Union (Rugby) and NRL (Rugby League) have subtle rule differences that can be difficult to understand to the uninitiated, or if you did not grow up in an area exposed to both sports.

Rugby Union is more complex with the more advanced rules and a greater number of players on the field, so we’ll guide you through those rules gently.

Many players switch between the two codes with enormous success, such as New Zealanders Brad Thorn and Sonny Bill Williams, or Aussie legends Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri, whilst other players spend their careers playing just the one code.

If you live in the AFL-dominated states of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, you may have never come across Rugby before, and you may be interested in the differences in the rules between Rugby Union and NRL (Rugby League) before placing a bet on Rugby Games. Please see the following two graphics;

rugby league

Rugby Union vs rugby league

Understanding Rugby Betting & Rugby Union Odds

The basics:

  • Bookmakers use the decimal system exclusively in Australia when determining the odds.
  • Using Rugby odds, you can easily calculate how much your payout will be if you successfully win your bet.
  • The betting sites will provide several different odds – Straight, line and the Margin.
  • The straight bet is simply picking the winner of the game.

Using a hypothetical example of a Super Rugby match featuring the Waratahs against the Rebels, the sports betting site sets the winning odds for the Waratahs at $1.95 and the Rebels at $2.95. The team with the lower dollar figure is the favourite. Simply multiply your bet by the odds number.

Using the above scenario, a successful $10 bet on the Waratahs will pay out $19.50 while the same successful $10 bet on the Rebels will pay out $20.50 if you’re a lucky winner.

The line, also known as the point spread, gives or takes away a pre-set number of points.

Using the example above, the bookmakers believe the Rebels are the weaker side, so they will “give” them extra points. In our above example, if the Rebels are given an 8-point start, and still the lose the game by a converted try (i.e. 7 points) and you have bet on the Rebels, you’re still a winner!

With a margin bet, your bet is on how points the winning team will win by. The final score isn’t as important as the margin of victory, which is usually offered by the sports betting sites at +/- 14 points (Two converted tries), although odds may vary.

Tips, Predictions and Scores

It is crucial to do a little homework when making your tips and predictions.  Of course, Betting only on your favourite team is sports betting suicide. Check the results and scores and read the weekly team sheets. Be sure to there are no injuries to key players that may potentially affect your tips and predictions.

Special Rugby Betting Types

Australian betting sites also offer some of the more fun and less common Rugby betting options you will come across with the best sports betting sites (outside of the more common straight bet, points spread, and margin betting options as outlined above);

  • First Try Scorer– This market is usually available on which team will get the first try OR on a specific player.
  • Head-to head most tries– This market pits two opposing players against each other, usually with odds, to see who gets the most tries in the match.
  • Extra time? – Unlike the NRL, Rugby games do not usually go into extra time. The exceptions are usually World Cup or Super Rugby knockout games. For those rugby games, an ‘extra time’ market will be opened to bet on if the match goes into extra time or not.
  • Total match points– Over/under or the exact number of points that will be scored during the match.
  • First/second half points– The game is broken up into two halves. Bet on each half in isolation.
  • Pick your own line– If you aren’t pleased with the official line, some betting apps have markets that allow you to negotiate your own line bet.


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