The Rugby World Cup is reaching the business end of its pool stages, and with plenty to left to play for it gives punters some great leverage looking at the midweek fixtures.
With two teams qualifying from each pool, and the third placed team qualifying automatically for the World Cup in 2019, motivation will not be in short supply – eliminating the scourge of sports betting: the dreaded ‘dead rubber’ fixture.
So let’s take a look at the midweek games and see if we can spot any value:
Canada vs Romania (Tuesday, 16:45)
These two sides were expected to be battling it out for the wooden spoon in Pool D, but the Canadians have impressed with their performances despite succumbing to defeat in all three of their encounters thus far. They’ve rattled in a combined total of 43 points from matches against Ireland, Italy and France, and in DTH Van Der Merwe they boast the tournament’s joint fourth top scorer with three tries.
He will enjoy plenty of opportunities to attack against Romania, who have done themselves no disservice in their two defeats against Ireland (44-10) and France (88-11).
This should be a game of contrasts: Canada’s incisive back play against Romania’s powerful pack, and the result of this should be plenty of points on the board. So the ‘Over 33.5 Match Points’ market looks good value at 4/7.
Fiji vs Uruguay – (Tuesday, 20:00)
The Fijians have delighted everyone with their fearless approach to running rugby – even attempting to run the ball clear from their own try line on occasion – and after three tough old battles with England, Wales and Australia they should finally get their reward for such enterprising play against a game but lacking Uruguay side.
This is Fiji’s last game of the tournament, and they will be desperate to sign off their campaign with a win. Uruguay, having conceded 119 points in two matches, will simply want to keep their margin of defeat to a minimum.
As is often the case in these games, weary legs in the second half facilitate points scoring, and with that in mind we are going to plump for ‘Highest Scoring Half – Second Half’ at 8/11 in this one.
Tuesday’s double pays out at a fraction under 2/1.
South Africa vs USA – (Wednesday, 16:45)
Japan’s victory over South Africa a fortnight ago sent shockwaves through the tournament, and the impact of that win has also knocked on rather nicely to punters as well. This is because the Proteas have yet to mathematically book their spot in the knockout stages, and so will be going all out for victory – with their strongest side – in this Pool B encounter against the plucky but ill-disciplined USA.
The nature of America’s two defeats to Scotland and Samoa suggest that the South Africa backs are going to have plenty of time with ball in hand, and plenty of space to enjoy out wide too.
And so winger Bryan Habana, with two tries to his name in this competition so far and 61 in his international career in total, should prosper. Back him at 4/11 to cross the whitewash at anytime here.
Namibia vs Georgia – (Wednesday, 20:00)
This might strike you as a dead rubber match, but in actual fact you couldn’t be further from the truth. Georgia, after their thrilling opening day victory over Tonga, now have a great chance of finishing third in Pool C – and thus booking their spot at World Cup ’19.
They need a victory here, and assume that the Tongans won’t beat New Zealand, and standing in their way are Namibia, who have done what Namibia have done in all of their World Cup performances to date: put up a valiant effort but ultimately fallen short.
A market we fancy here is the ‘To Win Either Half’, and we are going to say ‘Namibia – No’ at 5/6. This Georgian pack is hard-working and will not rest on their laurels until the job is done.
The Wednesday double pays out at 1.5/1 (a low risk way of building your account balance). The midweek acca pays out at 6/1.