Bookmakers are offering free bets to new customers on this year’s Tri Nations rugby.
Either Skybet have got it badly wrong or their rugby union odds compilers are more knowledgeable than the rest concerning Australia’s opening Tri Nations encounter with South Africa at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this Saturday.
The Harrogate-based bookmakers have priced up the Wallabies at 4/6, shorter than the rest, but likewise are on their own in offering 6/5 about a Springboks win (10/11 with Totesport). The Aussies will welcome back forwards Nathan Sharpe and Benn Robinson, as well as influential half-back Will Genia, who all missed last month’s narrow win against Ireland. But the home side are going to have to step up their game if they are to make an impact in the Tri Nations after showing only modest form in the winter so far. A drawn home series against England showed up one or two frailties that their southern hemisphere rivals are capable of exploiting. Teenager James O’Connor is untried on the wing, for example, and he’ll be up against a South African side that will be desperate to get points on the board following back-to-back defeats against the All Blacks in New Zealand.
The defending champions have shuffled the pack following their latest reverse in Wellington and that may be something to do with the fast surface at the Suncorp Stadium which encourages expansive rugby. Ruan Pienaar’s inclusion at scrum-half should see a quicker delivery from set plays and the battle-hardened Springboks look a decent bet to get maximum points from a game they can’t really afford to lose.