Resident professional gambler,Trevor Oakland, breaks down the ever popular top try scorer market ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
The Rugby World Cup kicks off this Friday with the curtain raiser between a resurgent Fiji and the under pressure hosts, England. Luckily, Pundit Arena’s Trevor Oakland is here to dissect the top try scorer market to help our legion of rugby mad fans earn some cash before a ball is kicked.
Things To Consider
To profit in this market, you must look at a player’s pool opposition, and also consider his chances of starting against the inevitable cannon fodder team. If a player is in the starting line-up against the group whipping boys it gives him the opportunity to get a jump on the opposition in the quest to be the top dog in this market.
Of course, the tournament longevity of his side also helps in a player’s quest to win this prestigious title.
New Zealand players have held sway in this market, with seven players either taking the title outright, or sharing it with a fellow Kiwi for that year. However, the last two RWCs have resulted in top honours going to players outside NZ.
Last time out it was shared between Vincent Clerc (France) and Chris Ashton (England). Whilst in 2007, Brian Habana was the outright winner, when he equalled Jonah Lomu’s record of eight tournament tries.
Making hay against the minnow in your group can have a big effect on the chances of a player topping the table. Just ask New Zealander, Marc Ellis, who back in 1995 racked up a massive SIX tries against Japan. Though he only managed to add one more try to his tally, it was enough for him to share the title with fellow Kiwi, Lomu (that man again!).
Later in life, Ellis was found guilty of buying ecstasy in a drugs sting. He then topped that by detonating over 500kg of explosives on Rangitoto island in an attempt to create the illusion of a volcanic eruption, for some sort of marketing ploy.
Not quite the explosive nature we are looking for in this year’s tournament!
1. Julian Savea – New Zealand
Savea has an incredible strike rate, scoring 30 international tries in just 35 matches, 32 as a starter. He will definitely get plenty of game time and is quite rightly at the head of the market at around 5/1 best price.
2. Nehe Milner-Skudder – New Zealand
The new kid on the block. His odds have crashed since his inclusion in the All Black’s squad, but with only two caps to his name, the 10/1 odds look a little short. The value is definitely gone here.
An explosive player with an incredible step, Milner-Skudder was previously available at 20/1. Sadly, 10/1 just doesn’t contain enough value.
3. Ben Smith – New Zealand
The versatile Smith, who can play out on the wing or full back, has notched 17 tries from 41 internationals, 32 as starter. He seems to pop up when needed, and knows how to turn half a chance into five points. He can currently be found at odds of 16/1, and looks to be worth a bet.
4. Jonny May – England
The left-winger played himself into a starting slot during England’s warm up games, so we know he is a man in form. Relatively inexperienced at international level, but has all the credentials to make an impact here.
May has five tries from just nine home internationals, and is quick as lightning.
This writer can see him playing in most England games, but the key will be their game against Uruguay, as it will for all players in his group. At top odds of 40/1 he represents a great each/way bet.
5. Willie le Roux – South Africa
WLR seems to have found his form again, after not being at his best for the last couple of seasons. Like Smith, he can play on the wing or, his more favored fullback position where he is much more of a threat.
Le roux’s odds of 20/1 best price seem about right for the South African.
6. Israel Folau – Australia
A dynamic fullback for Australia, Folau will be key to the Wallabies’ chances of lifting the trophy outright. Having scored 18 tries in 33 starts, there’s no doubt that he is a contender.
Hail Mary Pick
Leone Nakarawa – Fiji
Fiji’s lock forward carries the ball like it is a lemon in his giant hands, and for a number 5 he has the speed to surprise defences. He notched up a couple of braces in the recent Pacific Nations Tournament, and with Paddy Power generously offering a fiver for each try a player scores in the event, he looks like a shot to nothing bet.
This writer can see him scoring a few in this tournament, even if he may seem unlikely to gain top honours. Never say never, his odds are extremely tempting.
Main Man: Johnny May at 40/1
Next Best: Ben Smith at 16/1
Outsider: Leone Nakawara at 200/1
All of the above selections should be taken each/way, with most firms offering ¼ odds first five. Good luck with the betting and only gamble what you can afford to!