Tri-Nations Betting

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The very first international Rugby Union competition between Australia and New Zealand took place in other in 1903, leading to the establishment of the Bledisloe Cup in 1931. By that time, a side representing South Africa had toured both nations sporadically. Although no formal competition was in place, all three countries were eager to establish a tournament similar to that of the northern hemisphere’s Home Nations (now known as the Six Nations Championship).

It was not until 1987, however, with the creation of the Rugby World Cup, that three nations began to seriously entertain the possibility of holding their own ongoing annual contest. It would take nearly decade and the fall of apartheid in South Africa for the dream to become reality, but in 1996 the first Tri Nations Series was inaugurated and the southern hemisphere at last had its Rugby Union championship.

The tournament is organized under the auspices of SANZAR, an acronym for “South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby.” It is a consortium formed especially for that purpose by the rugby governing bodies of the three nations: the Australian Rugby Union, the New Zealand Rugby Union and the South African Rugby Union. The national sides are nicknamed the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks, respectively.

From the beginning, the format used for the competition was straightforward. The three teams played each other twice on a home-away basis. Four points were awarded for a win, two points for a draw and no points for a loss. The team collecting the most points was declared the winner.

In the first ten editions of the Tri Nations Series, New Zealand proved dominant, winning six titles to two apiece for Australia and South Africa. The contest grew so much in popularity that networks insisted on televising the matches, and SANZAR took a decision to expand the format in 2006. Now, each team plays the other three times, with two home fixtures against one team and only one home fixture against the other.

This change caused the competition to move its opening round up from late July to early July, with the concluding round played in September. The schedule fits in with the completion of the year’s Super 14 competition, which involves players from the three countries. In Rugby World Cup years, however, such as 2007 and 2011, the series has reverted to a double round-robin.

Since 2006, New Zealand has continued to lord over the tournament, winning in all but 2009, when South Africa succeeded, and 2011, which belonged to Australia. Regarding all-time records, the New Zealand side has claimed 50 wins against 22 loses and no draws. Australia are 29-42-1 and South Africa are 28-43-1. The three teams have dominated international rankings for several years, leading many to believe the Tri Nations is the toughest competition in international rugby.

Owing to New Zealand’s dominance, ante post wagering on the Tri Nations final outcome is of less interest to bettors than opportunities to take a stake in the individual matches. Of special attention is the annual Bledisloe Cup game, as well as the Freedom Cup contested between New Zealand and South Africa, and the Mandela Challenge Plate between Australia and South Africa.

Spread betting with a points handicap allows for bettors to take the underdog with some confidence. There is also wagering on the first try scorer, last try scorer and top scorer, to name just a few of the match-by-match possibilities. Additional markets, including those for in-running or live betting, are available, as are accumulators for even greater payouts.

Because the competition among bookmakers is strong, it is relatively easy to find excellent deals for Tri Nations betting. Apart from differences in odds that can be discovered, look for lots of Free Bets offered to new customers, plus promo cash, bonuses and rebates offered as incentives for first-time customers.

Bettors should note that Argentina has been invited to enter its Pumas in the tournament beginning in 2012, assuming certain conditions of eligibility are met. That means the Tri Nations will most likely become the Four Nations, so look for that new name on bookmaking lists in the months ahead.

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