The Biggest Comebacks In Rugby History
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History’s best rugby comebacks.
Rugby has top-tier teams all across the world, and fierce rivals in every corner of the planet. Here are some of the most impressive comebacks achieved against the odds on the rugby pitch.
Uruguay Make The Ultimate Comeback Against Chile
Close rivalries between near neighbours abound in rugby, from Australia and New Zealand to Wales and England. The same is true of Chile and Uruguay, and back in 2007, it had been a long old time since Chile had enjoyed the upper hand (five years, in fact). But then they had the perfect start.
Los Cóndores were cruising to a win that would surely wipe away the memories of recent defeats, amassing a surely unassailable 27-0 lead in the first half, but Uruguay (perhaps bolstered by their strong record against Chile) had reserves of mental strength yet untapped. Despite facing a mountain to climb, they scored three tries and three penalties in the second half, but another Chilean goal put them six points ahead with a minute to play. Los Teros gritted their teeth and mounted a final attack, and it worked. Their converted try gave them the win by a single point.
Torment For Tonga When Fiji Finish With A Flourish
The Pacific Nations have a ferocious sense of competition with one another, and Tonga was smarting from a narrow defeat to Samoa when they faced Fiji in 2010. Tonga were out for blood and started hot, scoring within two minutes and racking up a second try 10 minutes later. Both of the next tries were also Tongan, putting them ahead 28-0 with just 25 minutes gone.
Fiji did strike back with a converted try and penalty but by the time the relief of the halftime whistle came they faced a 31-10 deficit. And it was honours even in the first part of the second half, with Fiji and Tonga each scoring a converted try to maintain Tonga’s tasty 21 point advantage. A key moment was the sin-binning of Akameta Fe’ao. It gave Fiji hope, and they took full advantage. Adding to an earlier penalty, Fiji rattled in a trio of converted tries to win 41-38.
Betting on Rugby in the UK & Ireland
Rugby is one of the most popular spectator sports in the British Isles, helped by the persistent top-flight international competition of the Six Nations. Online betting sites have a variety of markets covering rugby beyond the basic win/loss predictions, including handicap markets, first player to score a try, winning margins, betting on first and second half winners, and, of course, title bets for leagues and tournaments.
Sports betting sites also often offer casino games, but it’s important to choose a reliable site. Mr Play Casino is a good pick, as this casino is one of the safest options for Irish players due to being licensed by top-tier gaming authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and the Swedish Gambling Authority. This means players can have fun, confident the site is up to scratch.
South Africa Storm Australia in the Sevens
Rugby has multiple codes, including sevens, which can often produce the most frenetic and exciting moments in the sport. During the 2011 Edinburgh Sevens, the final match saw quite the comeback in favour of South Africa.
Their Australian opposition had had the best of the opening salvos and were 21-7 up at halftime. Almost immediately after the second half began, Henry Vanderglas scored another to put the Aussies 28-7 to the good, and things were looking bleak for the Springboks. A couple of South African tries improved the situation but then Australia scored again all seemed to be for naught.
Then Steven Hunt completed his South African hat trick with a brace of tries, but it was still incredible when the side gathered the restart. This led to S’bura Sithole weaving through the Australian defence to score and win the final for South Africa 36-35.
The All Blacks Break Irish Hearts
The All Blacks (New Zealand’s rugby team, for the uninitiated) are almost always the best team in the world due to the cultural importance of the sport in their country. Most countries have at best a middling record against the team, and many have rarely scored a victory over them. In 2013, the Kiwis were in Dublin and facing an Irish team that had never succeeded in overcoming the mighty All Blacks. Would that match finally reward Irish endeavours?
Things started perfectly for the boys in green, and when they racked up 19 points their illustrious opponents had yet to trouble the scorers. The All Blacks did finally wake up and score a try, yet come the halftime whistle the tourists had seven points but the Irish had 22. The second half was another story, however. A penalty and converted try reduced the arrears to five points, but Ireland had a chance to extend their lead to eight (beyond a converted try) with a penalty. A rare Sexton miss meant the gap stayed as it was with six minutes to go. New Zealand duly scored, to tie, and then converted the try to take yet another victory and inflict another defeat on the Irish.
Australian Resurgence Stuns Argentina
It was the final encounter in the 2018 Rugby Championship when Australia made the long journey to face Argentina. Two tries (both converted) were scored by the Pumas within minutes of the start and while Hooper pegged one back for Australia, the next pair of first-half tries were also scored by the hosts. That, plus a penalty, gave them breathing space of 31-7 at the midway whistle, and a second victory over the Wallabies on the bounce seemed destined.
But the thing about live sport is that turnarounds can and do happen (as this list demonstrates). Relax, and before you know it things can change. It took less than a quarter of an hour of the second half for a trio of unanswered Aussie tries to cut the Argentine lead to a mere three points. This was doubled by a penalty, but Australia were in the ascent, bagging a pair of tries to win by a surprisingly large 45 to 34 Argentine points.
Rugby’s a great sport for comebacks, twists and turns, and unexpected scores. This also makes it great for in-play betting but, just like the teams who started well in this list, do not get carried away and only bet what you can afford to lose.