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Chapter 4: Things to consider

Rugby union has a variety of factors that can influence the outcome of a game, and your bets. Its important to have a good understanding of these before having a bet on rugby union

Assess the core of the spine

The spine of the team in rugby union is made up of the ‘Hooker’, ‘Number 8’, ‘Scrum Half’, ‘Fly half’ and ‘Full back’. These positions can be vital for many rugby union teams, hence why coaches build entire teams around them.

They’re typically the key decision makers and tacticians for the team and will drive their teammates forward. A good set of players in the core positions can give one team a huge advantage so many teams opt to build their spine out of players from the same nation, to ensure they can gel and communicate effectively.

See which team you believe has the strongest spine and think about what advantage this will cause them to have.

The referees

The referee plays a big role in most sports, and that is especially true for Rugby.  There is a big difference between the way northern hemisphere referees officiate a game, versus a southern hemisphere referee.

Due to the different styles of play within the regions, referees tend to have slightly different views on certain aspects of the games.

For example, northern hemisphere referees typically allow the slowing of the ball from rucks, whilst punishing diving off your feet very strictly.

Whereas southern hemisphere referees allow quicker, but potentially more dangerous ball playing methods.

This is good information to have, but how is it going to impact your bet? Always look at how each team plays, and if it suits that referee’s style of officiating.

If a team likes to slow play down, then a northern hemisphere referee will benefit them. Oppositely, if they want to hit their opponents quicky, then they’ll be hoping for a southern hemisphere referee.

Small factors like this can make a big impact on the way certain teams play.

Consider The Sin Bin

When a player receives a yellow card in rugby union they are sent to the ‘sin bin’. Similar to hockey, that player can no longer participate for the next 10 minutes of the match.

Naturally, missing a player for a significant period of time can cause one team to gain an advantage.

This can also present bettors with a good source of information. How many points does a team typically concede when they go a player down? Compare that to the average winning distance of their games and see how much of an impact the yellow card might have.

This will vary from team to team,

Impact of the weather on rugby union games

While this might sound like a feeble excuse when discussing factors that determine the outcome of a sporting match, the weather can have a big impact on rugby union.

Dry conditions make it significantly easier to control and distribute the ball. In the wet there will typically be an increase in handling errors, causing the clock to run down faster and result in fewer scoring opportunities.

The climate will also impact certain team’s playstyle, favouring some and disadvantaging others. For example, quick and agile players will thrive in warmer conditions with more solid footing.

Whereas teams who tend to brute force a way to victory will find comfort in the wet, knowing it will disrupt their opponent’s speed.

The wind will also cause problems for teams, as it makes it exceedingly difficult to kick the ball any meaningful distance.

Often described as being like having an extra man, the wind can strengthen the offence and defence of one team, whilst simultaneously weakening both for their opponents.

When choosing your betting market, look at the weather forecast. It’s not a guaranteed rule, but the climate can play a big factor in the outcome of a match.

The Key Takeaway

Rugby union is a far more complex and intricate sport than many typically give it credit for. There are many small factors that can make a big impact on a match.

While the betting market is developing slowly, it can potentially offer great value for bettors now. This guide offered an insight into some of the key factors bettors can use to their advantage when betting on rugby union, however, there is more you could familiarise yourself with before diving straight in. Take a look at the guides below to help further improve your betting knowledge.


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