RUGBY guru Russ Petty (@RPetty80) shares his expert opinion on the best bets for Top Tryscoer at the Rugby World Cup.
Rugby World Cup | Top Tryscorer | 18th September – 31st October 2015 | ITV
In previous tournaments, a range of 6-8 tries has landed this market, with joint winners in five of the seven World Cups. In 1987, 1995, 1999 and 2003 the Top Tryscorers played for New Zealand and that is a fair place to start this year.
Favourite Julian Savea at 11/2 (SkyBet) has scored 30 in 35 matches which puts him ninth on the all-time try scoring list for the All Blacks. With a record of eight in five against hosts England he has long been saddled with the ‘next Lomu’ tag and there will be expectation that he can emulate Jonah’s efforts.
There are reasons to ignore ‘The Bus’ at a short price, though. After 27 tries in 27 games, it has been three in eight since (with two coming against USA) and there was an issue with fitness after the Super Rugby campaign. It is far too early to predict a Joe Rokocoko decline (43 tries in 48 games from 2003-07 then three in 20 2008-10) but I’m happy to look elsewhere.
Considering the importance placed in experience for this competition, coach Steve Hansen opting to leave behind Cory Jane and Israel Dagg in favour of rookies Waisake Naholo and Nehe Milner-Skudder is a big clue that the latter two had excellent Super Rugby seasons.
Naholo scored nine in 12 games in Taranaki’s successful ITM Cup campaign and then followed it up with 13 in 18 during the Highlanders title-winning season. On that basis a price of 12/1 (William Hill) is attractive but the concern is that he has been out with a cracked fibula.
While the ‘miracle’ return thanks to traditional medicine makes for a great story, he will reportedly be back for the Georgia match which would mean missing the chance to score a few against Namibia.
Milner-Skudder’s record of four in 15 at Super Rugby level and six in 35 in the ITM Cup isn’t as impressive as Naholo’s but he did score a brace on debut against the Wallabies. He is in great form, playing for a team that will go deep in the competition and should have plenty of opportunities in the pool stage. The 40/1 from July is sadly long gone but at 11/1 (888 Sport) NM-S is still worth a look.
A common trait of previous winners was cashing in against the Tier 2 teams – Chris Ashton and Vincent Clerc scored hat-tricks against Romania and Canada respectively in 2011, Bryan Habana scored four against Samoa in 2007 etc.
Uruguay and Namibia will both be susceptible to leaking a lot of tries this year but identifying who might start against those two isn’t always going to be easy – as teams might opt to rest players against them. Anthony Watson is 33/1 (Ladbrokes) and Joe Tomane 66/1 (Sky Bet) are worth a poke at the prices.
The majority of firms are paying five each-way places
Rugby World Cup – Nehe Milner-Skudder to be Top Tryscorer (11/1 each-way 888 Sport)
Rugby World Cup – Anthony Watson to be Top Tryscorer (33/1 each-way Ladbrokes)
Rugby World Cup – Joe Tomane to be Top Tryscorer (66/1 each-way SkyBet)
Big love to Paddy Power for this attractive Rugby World Cup offer…
It’s simple – Place a £25 bet on any player in the Rugby World Cup Top Tryscorer market and get a £5 free bet every time he scores a try during the tournament. Nice offer, Paddy Power.