What the odds are saying for the semis following the weekend’s drama
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It’s fair to say that the weekend provided some real drama on the rugby pitch. And now just four remain…
Both the world number one ranked team Ireland, and hosts France are out of the competition, with England, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand all set to battle it out for a spot in the final.
It’s been quite the journey for the semi-finalists. England hadn’t found their form going into the tournament, while New Zealand suffered their first-ever Group Stage defeat in a World Cup.
South Africa have looked strong, while nobody really expected Argentina to still be in the competition at this stage. We’ve already seen shocks, so there’s no reason that couldn’t continue on Friday and Saturday, with it perhaps more of a game of 777 roulette than a case in which you can take an educated prediction on who will walk out at the Stade de France on October 28.
The bookies are having their say though, and here’s the outlay as the tournament hits its penultimate phase…
Semi Final Outcomes
It’s perhaps no surprise that the All Blacks are heavy favourites to take the victory against Argentina. They’re priced at 1/12 and, provided nothing out of the ordinary happens, you’d expect New Zealand to be the first team into the final.
Most bookmakers have Argentina at around 9/1 for the win, but they weren’t expected to beat Wales either. It would be a monumental effort to overcome the All Blacks though, who have been pretty imperious at points so far this tournament.
The England versus South Africa fixture poses more pondering when it comes to the result. England have looked pretty assured throughout the tournament, and the underdogs tag going into this one could suit Steve Borthwick’s side.
The South Africans were among the pre-tournament favourites and victory over France has only cemented that further. They are heavy favourites for the semi final against England, with most bookies pricing them at around the 1/6 mark. England are 9/2, but may be a good outside bet, particularly given the experience they have in the team.
The Final Outcome
South Africa and New Zealand have been the two best teams in the competition and it would perhaps be a fitting end to a great tournament seeing the two sides in the Final. The bookies have got it close between the two for outright winner going into the semis, with South Africa just edging it at 10/11, despite them having a tougher fixture to come before.
New Zealand are priced at 11/10, while both England and Argentina are huge outsiders at 14/1 and 35/1 respectively.
As far as the bookies are concerned, the final two are almost nailed on, but from there it could well be a final for the ages. And with just two weeks to go, we really don’t have to wait very long…