Rugby Union – World Cup Final, Yokohama Preview Copy

england v south africa rugby

Rugby Union World Cup Final – England v SA

The Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan has been enjoyable. From the opening match when the host nation showed what they are all about by hammering Russia, followers have been treated to thrills and spills. We’ve been truly spoiled and there’s no one that could say otherwise.

From big match upsets to the controversy that attached itself to cancelled matches, including England v France, due to a hurricane that blew through the area in the final round of group matches, we’ve seen it all. Scotland was the poorest of the home nations, eliminated at the earliest opportunity after losing an all or nothing tie with Japan. Ireland came through that pool with the hosts but didn’t last too much longer.

Wales Beaten in the Semi-Finals

Wales were far better. They went to Japan as the number one ranked side in the world and came painfully close to proving why. A World Cup win would have been the icing on the cake for the rugby-loving nation, but it wasn’t to be. They were eventually beaten by South Africa in the semi-finals, dropped into a third-place play-off with New Zealand on Saturday.

France was another major casualty, a team who promised much but will look back on this World Cup as a poor effort that saw the team underperform and let their support down. They were edged out by Wales in the quarter-finals, beaten by a single point. The scoreboard in that match read Wales 20-19 France. It really doesn’t get any closer than that, but the one-point margin didn’t do much to take the sting out of being sent home. It probably made it hurt more, thinking what could have been if they had just got a rub of the green in the final few minutes of that clash.

The All Blacks were ante-post favourites with all major online betting firms and before a ball had been kicked or a tackle made, we saw punters rush to get their cash down on the defending champions. They weren’t much of a price, of course, but that didn’t seem to put too many people off backing them. New Zealand, on paper, looked the quality draw of the tournament and the defending champions eased through their opening games. The jolly was eventually beaten by England in the semi-final. They lost that game by 12 points, the scores showing England 19-7 New Zealand. A tussle that was much more interesting than the bare result would have you believe but we did end with a deserved winner.

England Remain Professional Despite Call-Off

That meant England were in the final and had a real chance of winning their second Rugby World Cup prize. Followers of the early betting will remember they moved between third and second-favourites for the outright prize. England attracted the usual patriotic support from backers and there was more than a few casual backers happy to take a chance on them going all the way. Their squad was crammed with talent when being announced and there was no real reason why they couldn’t win the World Cup in Japan. In fact, many believed the only team that could stop England getting their hands on the trophy was, indeed, England themselves.

The squad remained professional, despite the usual intense media attention. They blew away their first couple of opponents, but the papers and websites back home were quick to pick up on any mistakes. It looked unnecessary as those with a love for the sport, particularly rugby, understood there is nothing to be gained in hitting your peak performance early. Teams planning to go all the way to the finals want to ease their way in, win matches, build confidence and rotate the squad, giving fringe players a chance to prove themselves. England did all of this and plenty more besides.

The squad were even professional enough to take the cancelled match with France on the chin and stick to the plan. They were given an unplanned day off at the end of the group stages but there was no off-field scandal or in-fighting. It was all business. The brief rest allowed the players to relax, recover and turn their attentions to the challenges that awaited them in the knockout rounds of the Rugby World Cup. We saw the benefit of that break almost immediately.

Aussies Hammered in Quarter-Final Horror Show

England’s quarter-final match paired them with Australia on Saturday 19 October and what a contest it was. The nations had just spent the summer squabbling on the cricket fields of Great Britain and they were now about to turn their rivalry to a rugby pitch in Japan. It doesn’t matter the sport involved, when England and Australia get the chance to face off and hurt the other, we’re never disappointed as armchair fans. This match was no different and from the first bell, followers got the intensity they were expecting. No favours were given and none were asked either.

At the final whistle, the match scoreboard read England 40-16 Australia. Even in the wildest dreams of England fans, they couldn’t have imagined sticking the boot in quite as savagely as they did that day. Not only did they win the match and progress to the last four of the competition, but they also left their opponent’s hopes and dreams in tatters, sending them back to the drawing board to discuss exactly what went wrong that day. How did the Aussies lose what looked to be a 50/50 contest so convincingly? What must they do to ensure it never happens again? Is there a way forward for Australian rugby? All questions that must be answered, but that now wasn’t the concern of England.

It was a match won by the sure kicking of the England team as the try count ended at one each. Tuilagi notched England’s sole try and that was cancelled out by Savea. Farrell converted for the winners and Mo’unga for Oz. It came down to penalties in the match and Ford won it by kicking over no less than four. That was enough to separate the teams in a tactical affair.

South Africa v Japan

Japan Eliminated by South Africa

Across the divide and South Africa have been allowed to go about their work without hassle from the mainstream media. When backers were looking for a respectable rugby union site to bet on the World Cup they always found South Africa near the head of the list, always within the top five places with all major firms. Some traders made the mistake of offering a generous price about SA while others fully respected the quality of the team and preferred to keep their offers modest.

Punters were made to work to get the value on South Africa winning the World Cup but those who managed it are now sitting on a golden ticket. They can see the bet through to the end and hope their pick beats England in the final or they cash now cash out for a healthy profit. South Africa finished their group campaign with a crushing 66-7 win over Canada, as was expected, and they made light work of the host nation Japan in the quarter-final.

The locals went in with confidence, having just beaten Scotland in the biggest game in history for Japanese rugby. They were bullish about their chances of repeating the feat against a superpower of the sport, but they didn’t get close. South Africa ran over the top of Japan that day, recording a 26-3 win, sending out a message to the rest of the competition in the process. It was at that point the doubters started believing South Africa were a team serious about making an impact and talented enough to lay claim to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

SA Beat Wales in a Thriller

With the hosts knocked out with ease, attentions turned to Wales in the semi-finals and what a match that was. Both teams had confidence on side and the match was priced as a genuine 50/50 before kick-off. The final score reflected just how closely matched the teams were. At the whistle it was South Africa that snuck through, winning 19-16 against a Welsh side who hadn’t felt the sting of defeat for quite some time.

That set up the final we have now. England v South Africa on Saturday 2 November with an advertised 09:00 GMT start time. An early rise for UK followers but a match well worth getting up out of bed on the weekend for. This fixture has all the ingredients of a memorable final and we have two teams who fully deserve their shot at glory. The match will be shown live on ITV and a bumper audience is expected, made up of rugby diehards and casual followers filling time until the horse racing and football bets starts later that day.

Looking for a rugby union site to bet on? You’ll be spoiled for choice as there’s no lack of firms offering attractive offers on the match. Spice up your interest and have your say on which team will win the World Cup or play one of the specials. There’s winning margin, first try scorer, half time/full time, win to nil, anytime try scorer, last try scorer, total points and plenty more besides. There is a market to suit all types of bettors and if you’re seeking a rugby union site to bet on you should look towards the likes of 10bet, Ladbrokes, William Hill, 888sport or bet365 as these firms seem to be particularly generous in their odds.

England Hot Favourites in the Betting

Now you have chosen a rugby union site to bet on, it’s now time to decide the market for you. England is strong favourites for the win at a market best price of 8/15 with Betfair. That’s tight, but it’s better than the 4/9 available with most other firms. Prefer South Africa to spring a surprise? Put your money where your mouth is and support the underdogs at 2/1 with Ladbrokes. The draw can’t be easily ignored at 25/1 through Betfair.

Those looking to push their luck a little further can pick a side to win and back them on the handicap. There’s not much room to move here but England -5 points is even money with Betfair or you can support South Africa +5 points at 11/10 – top price at William Hill. The handicap draw, which would be England winning the match by exactly five points, has been chalked up as an 18/1 play at William Hill.

gabriel hall

About Gabriel Hall

Gabe is a seasoned content writer with a focus on sports betting. He's penned hundreds of sportsbook evaluations, betting tip pieces, and 'How-To' guides to assist bettors with their tactics, among other things. Gabe loves football, but he also enjoys cricket, tennis, golf, rugby, and the NBA, NFL, and MLB.