Rugby Betting in South Africa

By Ken Edwards, 03 April 2019

Rugby Union betting is extremely popular in South Africa with 4 of the country’s best domestic teams in the Southern Hemisphere’s premier provincial Rugby competition, Super Rugby, and a national team that is twice a Rugby World Cup Winner.

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Our BettingTop10 guide is dedicated to providing South African bettors with all the Rugby Betting tips and advice they need to win more from their Rugby Betting.

Everything you need to know on Rugby Betting is explained including information on odds and what they mean, the best sportsbooks at which to bet, live in-play options, free bet bonuses, mobile apps, national and internationals games and more. We even have winning tips and strategies that you can use to maximise your Rugby Betting winnings.

Rugby Betting South Africa Odds Examined

When it comes to Rugby Betting, you’ll need to know about odds and how they work. There are two common formats that are used and both of these are explained in detail below. Understanding the odds will help you calculate how much you can win as well as telling you how much you need to wager.

  • Fractional Odds: These are displayed in fractions such as 2/1, 3/2, 4/1, etc. The first number is the amount you will win and the second number is the amount you have to wager to get that amount. For example, with odds of 2/1 you win 2 ZAR for every 1 ZAR you wager. You also get your stake returned so in this example you would win 3 ZAR.
  • Decimal Odds: These are written in decimals and calculating your winnings is a little different. Odds are displayed as 2.00, 3.00, etc. To calculate how much you’ll win with your rugby betting you multiply the amount of your stake by the decimal figure. For example, if your stake is 1 ZAR at odds of 2.00 your winning amount will be 1×2 plus your stake which is a total of 3 ZAR.

Types of Rugby Bets

There are lots of different bets that you can place when it comes to rugby betting. We have listed the most popular below.

  • Grand Final winner predictions
  • Super Rugby Betting odds/predictions
  • Super Rugby Final Betting Odds
  • Betting for Rugby World Cup
  • Rugby Betting South Africa National Team
  • Outright match winner
  • 80 minutes handicap
  • Match results
  • Both teams to get 16 or 24 points
  • Away team win
  • Half-time winner
  • First try scorer
  • Anytime try scorer
  • Hat trick
  • First point scorer
  • Score at half time
  • Double result
  • Home team to win
  • Second half result
  • Last try scorer
  • First scoring play

Future betting is also popular and with this you can use your knowledge and skill to predict the winner before the start of the tournament. Season points is another favourite with bettors and with this bet you predict how many points your preferred team will score during the entire season;

  • Super Rugby Betting odds/predictions
  • Super Rugby Final Betting Odds

Season points is another Rugby Betting Predictions favourite and with this bet you predict how many points your preferred team will score during the entire season.

Rugby Betting Tips for Beginners

Rugby Betting in South Africa is made easier using an online sportsbook. Online betting is safe and secure and there are mobile betting apps available that allow you to place bets on the go. If you want to get started, below you will find our top tips for beginners.

  1. Know the game and the players. This is really important. There may be some luck involved, but if you want to win with your wagers it is important to understand the games, the rules, and how the players are performing.
  2. For rugby union, it is recommended that you look at the big competitions and international tournaments such as the Super Rugby Betting odds/predictions, Super Rugby Final Betting Odds, the Tri Nations and the Rugby World Cup. The odds are always higher and more in your favour for these larger tournaments.
  3. Make sure that the sportsbook you choose offers a range of markets and covers all the matches and events you want to bet on. You can use our expert reviews to help you choose where to sign up for an account. All the sites we recommend are fully licensed and regulated and they have excellent bonus and promotional offers too.
  4. Stay up to date with all the rugby news and read the statistics. Make sure you know about any player injuries or changes to the teams. Keep an eye on recent performances too and how the teams are faring overall in the tournament. All this will help you when deciding who to place your money on.

How to Bet on Rugby – Rules

Rugby is a game that is played with two teams. There is a maximum of 15 players in a team and up to 7 substitutes are allowed.  Games last 80 minutes and are divided into two 40 minute halves with up to 10 minutes for a half-time break. There are 6 match officials which includes a referee and two touch judges.

Points are scored in different ways. There are 5 points awarded for a try, 2 points for a conversion, 3 points for a penalty goal, and 3 points for a drop goal. There are a number of fouls that can be made. These include obstructing opponents, punching, trampling, kicking or tripping players, tackling too early or too late.

There is an offside rule too which is similar to that of soccer. Rugby players always throw the ball backwards and this is because throwing forward is not permitted. The game starts with a coin toss and the winner gets to choose whether to kick off or which direction they want to play in during the first half.

The team with the most points at full-time wins the game. If the scores are equal it’s a draw. If a winner must be named, for example in a Cup competition, extra time will be played.

Annual Events and Tournaments

Rugby is extremely popular and the Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby and the local Currie Cup bring in huge numbers of bettors every year. The South African national rugby team is one of the strongest in the world and has been ranked in the top six since the world rugby rankings began and have twice won the Rugby World Cup (1995 & 2007).

Let’s examine the most popular and best tournaments for Rugby Betting.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby is the leading domestic Rugby tournament in the Southern Hemisphere, and many (particularly those of us here in South Africa) will argue that Super Rugby is the best and highest quality Rugby tournament played throughout the world today. The competition involves teams from South Africa, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Building on the various Southern Hemisphere competitions that date back to the South Pacific Championship played as long ago as 1986, Super Rugby began as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from South Africa. Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.

Super Rugby betting odds / predictions are available each week on matches throughout the season which runs February to July each year (note, the Super Rugby season is usually shortened each year in a Rugby World cup year depending when and where the Rugby World Cup is set).

Super rugby final betting odds are available every week of the season as futures bets, and are the odds are updated each week as the results of week’s round of Super Rugby matches becomes known.

Super Rugby History

In 1986, Queensland and New South Wales played against 3 New Zealand teams and Fiji. Played for 5 years as the ‘Super 6’, South Africa re-entered the Rugby world in 1992 and the tournament was expanded into the Super 10 that ran from 1993 to 1995 when the sport became professional.

In 1996, SANZAR was formed and the Super 12 was created, a professional competition and the world’s first official ‘international domestic’ tournament featuring the strongest teams – which would become franchises – across New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

Teams and formats have come and gone in the years since as the tournament grew to 18 teams in 2016 as teams from Japan and Argentina joined Super Rugby to expand the tournament to include 18 teams. From 2020, the team from Japan, the Sunwolves, will be eliminated from the Super Rugby competition.

Across the Southern Hemisphere, (not only in South Africa) Super Rugby betting odds / predictions and Super rugby final betting odds usually offer the best odds and most betted on of all types of Rugby Betting.

South African Super Rugby Teams

BullsBulls – based in Pretoria, representing the Gauteng region, the Bulls are the only South African team to have ever won the Super Rugby title (2007, 2009 & 2010) and are regularly at the top of the Super Rugby Final betting odds for the South African teams.


LionsLions – based in Johannesburg, also representing the Gauteng region, the Lions have made and subsequently lost three Super Rugby finals, all to New Zealand opponents (losing to the Hurricanes in 2016 and the Crusaders in 2017 & 2018).

Super Rugby StormersStormers – based in Cape Town, representing the Western Province, the Stormers once made the Super Rugby Final, losing to the Bulls in 2010 and have lost semi-finals in 2011 and 2012.

Super Rugby SharksSharks – based in Durban, representing KwaZulu-Natal Province. Providing a heartbreak for fans of Super Rugby Final Betting, the Sharks have lost 4 Super Rugby Finals, the last time to the Waikato Chiefs of New Zealand, 37-6 back in 2012.

The Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Tri-Nations)

The Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Tri-Nations before the introduction of Argentina) is the second most important international tournament played by South Africa’s national team.

Played between the Wallabies, All Blacks, Springboks and Argentina, the tournament usually takes place between July and August.

Sometimes in World Cup years, the four teams compete in a four-round tournament – shorter than normal. However, most years each team plays each other on a home-and-way basis proving plenty of quality rugby betting opportunities for online bettors at great odds.

The Rugby World Cup

Held every 4 years, the most important tournament held between national teams, is the Rugby World Cup. Playing for the William Webb Ellis Trophy, the Rugby World Cup has been held eight times, with New Zealand each winning it three times, and South Africa and Australia twice each. The other winner was England in 2003. Rugby World Cups are notorious in providing plenty of upsets and great odds for online bettors in betting for the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby World Cup Winners List

Event Year Winner Runner-Up Score
8 2015 New Zealand Australia 34-17
7 2011 New Zealand France 8-7
6 2007 South Africa England 15-6
5 2003 England Australia 20-17
4 1999 Australia France 35-12
3 1995 South Africa New Zealand 15-12
2 1991 Australia England 12-6
1 1987 New Zealand France 29-9

Other Rugby Events and Tournaments

  • Currie Cup: This is an annual premier domestic rugby union and the number of teams taking part differs each season. The Currie Cup trophy is awarded to the champions of the top tier. It is played from June to October each year. It features team representing entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces.
  • Rhino Cup: This is the annual competition for first division rugby league teams. The competition features 4 teams.
  • Protea Cup: This is the annual competition for the second division and consists of 8 teams.
  • Western Province Rugby League: This competition is for the third division and consists of 8 teams.
  • Varsity Cup: This is an annual tournament held between university club sides.
  • SARU Gold Cup: This is for non-university sides and includes teams from Namibia and Zimbabwe. 20 teams qualify each year and the tournament is played the same as the Rugby World Cup. Teams are divided into four pools of five teams with each team playing two home games and two away games.
  • Youth Competitions: There are several youth competitions that are held annually. There are the Under-21 and Under-19 provincial championships. There’s also the Under-18 competition for high schools and Under-13 competition for primary schools.

International Rugby Competitions

  • Rugby World Cup: Played every 4 years for the Webb Ellis Cup.
  • Rugby Championship: This was formally known as the Tri Nations. It is held annually by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
  • Africa Cup: Annual tournament involving African nations. The competition has several levels and has promotion and relegation.

In-Play Live Betting

In-play betting is very popular and it allows you to place your bets as the game plays out. The great thing about this is that the odds change all the time depending on what is happening in the game and you can get some great profitable bets.

There are hundreds of different markets that you can bet on too including next try, next team to score, half time score, etc. If you like to place your bets while the action is taking place then in-play betting is perfect. Some sites even have live streaming as well so you can watch the action unfold.

You can also place bets on your mobile so you never have to miss an exciting moment or a chance to cash in on your bets.

BettingTop10 Rugby Betting Strategy

You’ll find rugby games and competitions to bet on all year round and that means you always have the chance to win extra cash from your bets. Our BettingTop10 experts have created a strategy that you can use to help you get more from your betting.

  1. Competition Rules: The first thing you need to do is make sure that you understand and know the game rules. Know the rules for the different competitions too as these can change between different rugby competitions, and can make a big difference to the outcome of your bets.
  2. Handicap Markets: If handicap bets, are offered be sure to take advantage of them. Remember some matches offer different points totals for a converted try, penalty, or drop goal, making a big difference in your positive betting outcomes.
  3. Follow the Team Form: Make sure you know the team form. Check the current and historical performances and head to head match-ups before making your betting choices.
  4. Consider playing styles: Be aware of the type of game the team plays. Are they defensive or forward playing? Knowing this will give you an advantage when choosing which team to bet on and points and handicap betting.
  5. If you are planning to bet on the first score market, we advise waiting until the coin toss so you know which team will be kicking off. This will help you make your decision.
  6. Some teams play harder and stronger in the second half and use the first half to tire out their opponents. Use in-play betting to help make better betting decisions.