European Champions Cup 2017

Saracens not expected to Brexit It would be folly to back against the Sarries, especially given this tournament has been retained three times in the four years prior to their triumph last season. They are the favourites and with good reason, free from any weaknesses, currently leading the way domestically even without Owen Farrell. The XV they dispatched in the final last season, Racing 92, have of course been in the news for the wrong reasons recently, and given the extraordinary nature of the allegations, nobody can possibly know how it will affect them. Their domestic form has been poor too, losing half their matches including a tanking from Clermont last month. Elsewhere in France, Toulon remain in transition, although... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

England v Wales – March 2016

Jones to Find it’s the Welsh at Home With Ireland rebuilding after the loss of some giants, and France being a little bit French, England vs Wales will surely be the 6 Nations decider (an England win could even see them go and clinch a grand Slam.) And with the match at Twickenham, many would suspect England should fancy their chances. And yet and yet and yet. It wasn’t just at the World Cup when Wales upset the middle-class apple cart, but also once before in the previous two meetings. And that will all play on the mind of the English. This entire week’s build up will be about Chris Robshaw, that decision to kick, and that dreadful screw-up of... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

6 Nations Championship 2016

Keeping up with the Jones The arrival of Eddie Jones has at least convinced the bookmakers, with England clear favourites for this year’s title. Only the cocksure Aussie would fancy England at the sort of prices being quoted, and that is why we have to look at the Welsh. Warren Gatland’s side were the only Home Nation not to disgrace themselves at the World Cup, and that was with a side knackered with injuries. Betfair offer 3.8, and given the Welsh have not only won the title, but also the Grand Slam in the last two post-World Cup editions. What of the Irish – back-to-back champions, but nobody seems to fancy them for an historic three-in-a-row. With Paul O’Connell no... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Rugby World Cup Final 2015

Face2Face Richie McCaw against David Pocock A tournament that has lasted for weeks, and pits two mighty rugby union nations against t’other, ultimately boils down to two players. The breakdown in union is vital – it is the one real chance for a turnover, especially as lineouts and scrums these professional days tend to go to plan. And that is why McCaw and Pocock are such valuable players – the two best players in the best two back rows in the business go head to head on Saturday afternoon. Whoever comes out on top, is likely to be lifting the World Cup two hours later. Whilst we all knew about McCaw heading into the tournament, it has been Pocock who... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Flashback: Rugby World Cup Final 1995 – South Africa vs New Zealand

It is unlikely there will be too many films made about the effect the 2015 Rugby World Cup had on England as a nation, not unless there is a sudden late spurt of severe rioting as a consequence of our shambolic performance. Yet the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup was the balm that healed the rainbow nation, that ironically given that title, made colour all but insignificant in South Africa. Mandela in his green jersey, Francois Pienaar lifting the trophy and the black Chester Williams starring on the wing. The reality as ever, is somewhat different from the movie. According to the New Zealanders, a lady called Suzy had poisoned the All Blacks water supply. Even during the... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals 2015

Super Saturday France vs New Zealand It has been a distinctly underwhelming start from New Zealand, doing enough in most games without over-exciting anybody. Having failed to hit the betting handicaps in any of their group matches, money is beginning to follow Australia, mesmerizing against England, and resilient against the Welsh. This is their first true test however, perhaps because of the memory of 2007, and the same stage – a quarter final in Cardiff, than because of any comparison between the France of eight years ago and the modern iteration. Richie McCaw should finally be ready to rumble, and Steve Hansen has openly admitted that, “in a lot of pool play we’re not contesting rucks but putting teams under... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, October 16th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

RWC 2015 – England vs Wales

Coming Forth to Carry us Home Cast your minds back to London 2012 – a while ago for the regular drinkers amongst us, but take a moment if you must. Whilst the abiding reflections is of two weeks of unrefined hoopla and national exhilaration, that is because we only tend to remember the end of things. The first few days were marked by media outrage over traffic, fury at empty seats in the sponsor sections of events, and depression at our failure to win a gold medal early on. Of course, all this faded into the background once the gold came, and the national anthem was being played so frequently, even Jeremy Corbyn may have found time to hum along.... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Rugby World Cup 2015

It’s very much a case of swing low but prices high, as the Rugby World Cup arrives on English soil and if you fancy popping along, and happen to have £315 for a single ticket, then Twickenham awaits you for England v Wales on 26th September. More importantly you could of course watch it on the television for free (well, obviously there’s a license fee, but you get the idea) and have a bet on who will win. Make sure that bet is on New Zealand mind. Frankly, that England are second favourites for this tournament is a sign of the times. Stuart Lancaster has left out the player most capable of winning games out of nowhere in Danny Cipriani... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

European Rugby Champions Cup Final 2015 – Toulon vs Clermont

Fan of Rugby? Fan of empty seats? This is for you… Whilst football supporters are often caricatured as insular, EDL-supporting yobs, the rugby supporter by contrast is a sophisticate, at ease in Paris or Rome, sipping wine like a connoisseur, and more likely to be reading poetry than throwing a chair in a busy village square. So what explains the prospect of a half-empty Twickenham this Saturday, when Toulon, the megastars of European rugby, and the exhilarating Clermont meet in the European Rugby Champions Cup Final – a title that fills more space, than its crowd will fill seats. After all, if it was Bayern-Barca at Wembley in a Champions League final, it would sell out in ten minutes. Perhaps... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)

Six Nations Championships 2015

Lancaster’s Dress Rehearsal Fiercely competitive every year, but with a Northern Hemisphere World Cup just months away, this year’s competition takes on a once-in-a-decade sense of importance. The World Cup is being held in England, so the laser focus will be on Stuart Lancaster’s men – weak in the Autumn internationals, but nothing that a Grand Slam wouldn’t solve. They head into the tournament as favourites at around 3 on Betfair, a price that we suggest is a definite lay. For starters the World Rugby rankings suggest Ireland are a better side (3rd in the world, a place above England.) The Red Rose must also travel to the two big contenders – Wales and Ireland – with home advantage having... Continue reading...

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
(Posted in: Articles, Betting, Oggsblog, Rugby)
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