Oppose Habana for South Africa try at Rugby World Cup


Now that England have overcome their opening Rugby World Cup obstacle with a shaky performance against Fiji, the attention now turns to a couple of other nations that have some support for tournament victory.

Ireland and South Africa are among the teams in action on day two of the competition. Here are some best bets from the four fixtures taking place:

Ireland v Canada

With 1/1000 to get their World Cup campaign underway with a victory against Canada, it makes sense to look into the markets for the winning margin in search of better value.

Canada, who have eight players set to make their World Cup debuts, are not entirely hopeless, but will probably end up propping up Pool D.

Their main issue is at set pieces and with Jonny Sexton dictating the game, expect Canada to have problems in the line out and in the scrum. Meanwhile, their desire to throw the ball around may also bring avoidable troubles.

Best bet – Ireland by 41-45 points @ 6/1

France v Italy

The French may have beaten Italy 29-0 in Rome during this year’s Six Nations, but it is hard to expect a repeat of that comfortable success at Twickenham.

Poor goal kicking and decision making from Italy didn’t help that day, while neither did the sight of the influential Sergio Parisse limping off injured.

Italy pushed Wales close in their final warm up as France were stumbling past Scotland. Philippe Saint-Andre has also decided to partner Alexandre Dumoulin with Mathieu Bastareaud for the first time at centre and they may take time to get on the same wavelength.

Best bet – Italy (+18) at 1/1

South Africa v Japan

Of the lowest tier sides competing at the World Cup, Japan are among the more capable, especially with Aussie coach Eddie Jones at the helm. They have recently beaten both Uruguay and Georgia, while sticking within 11 points of Fiji and Tonga.

It’s four consecutive defeats for South Africa against Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, but this should obviously prove much easier.

Bryan Habana will be the logical bet for tries, but centre Jesse Kriel has gone over twice across his four career South Africa Tests and the 21-year-old’s pace should prove a problem too much for Japan.

Best bet – Jesse Kriel to score a try in the 80 minutes @ 1/2

Tonga v Georgia

The most interesting feature of this Pool C contest will be the inclusion of Vasil Lobzhanidze at scrum half for Georgia as he becomes the youngest player in World Cup history at 18 years and 340 days.

As for a try scorer, Lobzhanidze’s scrum-half opponent Sonatane Takulua has gone over the whitewash five times in as many international appearances and will have experience of English conditions having signed for the Newcastle Falcons in January.

Best bet – Sonatane Takulua to score a try in the 80 minutes @ 11/4

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.