In the high scoring, rough and tumble world of rugby (both union and league), the unpredictability of the game is as inevitable as the bruises on the player's backs. Perhaps the most exciting sport on the planet, rugby is a hair raising mash of tactical human chess and raw brute force. Luckily for us, we get to watch this organised chaos from the comfort of our homes and can even enjoy rugby betting through our phones and laptops.
Rugby betting: Tip 1
Bet on what you know
While some fans of rugby may know everything there is to know about both games, as well as the ins and outs of every team and the potential of every player, most fans do not have the time (or the money for all the sports channels! ) For many, they'll have their preferred rugby game, either union or league and will follow one team, probably their home city or town. They may know a little about other sides, but one side is probably their area of expertise which will also influence their rugby betting.
If you want to make the best rugby betting bets, go with what you know. This does not mean you can only ever bet on one team, but you're likely to make wise rugby betting decisions on a team you know well. Instead of picking a first try from several guys you've only seen in a few games, it makes more sense to make a pick from some players you've seen dozens of times.
All that time spent at home or in the pub enjoying those games is experience. You're becoming more informed so you can make a well thought through rugby betting decision. Maybe you do know a little about other teams and like a bit of variety in your rugby betting bets, or perhaps you're rugby betting on accumulator and need to pick through several games: in that case, it's a good idea to make your riskiest bets with what you know best and go for lower rugby odds where you're less experienced. Now, by all means, if you are a rugby mastermind then go right ahead and bet on whatever you wish, but for mere rugby mortals, it's smart to keep it close to home.
Rugby betting: A brief history of rugby
Legend has it that rugby came to be in 1823. When William Webb Ellis “with fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time at rugby school, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game.”
It's an interesting story and one that is so widely believed that a bronze statue of a young boy running with a rugby ball stands opposite the Webb Ellis museum as a tribute to the event. It cost £40,000 and subscribed beneath the plaque reads: ‘THE LOCAL BOY WHO INSPIRED THE GAME OF RUGBY FOOTBALL ON THE CLOSE AT RUGBY SCHOOL IN 1823rd SCULPTOR: GRAHAM IBBSEON 1997″. Which is not bad, considering nobody has ever been able to verify whether anything about the story is actually true.
Writing the rules
We do know however that it what not until 1845 that any rules for rugby were actually written. They were quite fittingly written at rugby school, by the then football captain Isaac Gregory Smith and three senior players, Walter Waddington Shirley, Frederick Leigh Hutchins and William Delafield Arnold. The game which would come to be known as rugby union was then known as rugby football. Perhaps most importantly, they helped develop the offside rule, which was a core requirement in the 1871.
Rugby betting: The iconic ball
The school turned out to be the ideal venue for the formation of the game: local shoemaker William Gilbert supplied balls to the school. He is famous for replacing the innards of the ball with rubber, instead of the then used pigs bladder and thus created the vital oval shape needed for seeking a unique game. Despite not patenting the idea, Gilbert's name lives on in rugby balls all across the world.
The rules later evolved to provide the game with fixed player numbers (previously the amount of players was completely open, with dozens of players able to join in) and fixed positions. The tackle was introduced in 1874, changing the game forever and paving the way for the ferocious competition we see today on the pitch.
Rugby betting: Tip 2
Bet with your head, not your heart
While we strongly recommend you bet on a side you know, do not let your love for a team get in the way of reason. You've got to be honest with yourself with your rugby betting. You may love your team, but if they're a lower end side coming up against the reigning league champions, betting on all out victory with your favourite player to try first will not do the side any good, and it will not do your wallet any good either.
Of course, if you just want to put a cheeky bet down for fun without really expecting a return, then go right ahead. Rugby betting should always be about having fun. However, if you're looking for your best shot at getting a return on your bet, it's best to look at things in an objective, calculated way. Even if you think your side does have a good shot at winning, you still need to keep a level head and bet for a sensible winning margin.
Rugby betting: Going international
The sport went international for the first time in 1871 and the Rugby Football Union was formed. The first international match was between England and Scotland. The encounter paved the way for other unions and allowed the game to go global.
In 1885, referees were finally brought in as an official and necessary component for all games. The “two umpire and referee” may not quite reach the level of scrutiny of the modern game's teams of match officials. However, it was a great leap forward from the anarchic days of the early 1800s.
Adding up the points
Originally, rugby games had dozens of players. The games could also last for long with little to no score being kept. This changed in 1886 when a proper points system was introduced. 1 point was originally given to a try, moving up point by point until it reached 5 points in 1992. Conversations generally were given two points, while penalty goals and drop goals were given three points each.
Rugby betting: League and Union
Rugby split in two in 1895, becoming Rugby Union and Rugby League. Many a pub brawl has been fought over which version is superior. These passions were no less fiery over 100 years ago. By this point, rugby had become a hugely popular sport, especially through the north of England.
The split occurred due to a disagreement between clubs. The disagreement was on whether to remain an amateur sport. Unions worried about how moving to a professional level would affect how the game what organised. On August 29th 1895, 22 northern clubs split off and formed the Northern Rugby Union, later renamed Rugby League. Today, rugby league betting is among the most popular rugby betting markets online.
Rugby however remained a needlessly brutal affair. It was not until 1968 when replacements were finally introduced. This eliminated the need for players to risk their health by continuing to play injured. Mike Gibson was the first official replacement player in a match against South Africa. He replaced an injured Barry John, who had broken his collar bone.
Rugby entered the modern age on 22nd May, 1987. The first Rugby World Cup took place in New Zealand and Australia, featuring 16 international sides. The first ever trophy went to the All Blacks. Team captain David Kirk having the honour of being the first man to ever hold the legendary trophy aloft. The rugby World Cup is now one of the most prestigious events in all of sports.
Rugby betting Tip 3
Take everything into account
Betting on a sport like rugby should be viewed just like betting on horse racing. However, with rugby betting you actually have a few advantages. You are probably a fan of your team. Having an intimate understanding of their ability that you are unlikely to have of a horse.
Do not let this be your guiding light when making your rugby betting decision though. Just like horse racing, you need to pour over all the variables. This includes all the numbers to ensure that you have everything at your disposal to make smart rugby betting bets. You need to take into account the current and historical form of the teams. Part of this is taking into consideration different styles of play.
A team might seem like the obvious winner. However, they may come across a team with a style that causes them unique problems. This can elevate their opponents to a higher threat than their usual performance might indicate. This therefore comes in handy when deciding which rugby betting bets to make. Two defensive teams with kick strategies will probably have a game that is low in tries. That's something you need to think about if your rugby betting is based on margins.
The odds of rugby are therefore somewhat short priced in comparison to football. This is due to the high scoring nature of the game, which can leave some games very one sided. Take advantage of handicap rugby betting to ensure you get decent rugby odds.
Top sports betting sites like bet365 also offer great rugby odds. They also offer a variety of international rugby betting markets including rugby league betting. For more information, read our in-depth bet365 review.
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