• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Favourites to win? Could this be one of the most open World Cups for a long time?

BakkiesBokke

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
271
Country Flag

South Africa

Club or Nation

South Africa

Looking at the current rankings, the top teams are really bunched together.

The All Blacks are going through a rough patch, but I suspect they'll overhaul things after the Rugby Championship, and turn up highly competitive next year. Under Allister Coetzee, the Boks were a disaster before overhauling everything relatively close to a World Cup (more time than the ABs have admittedly). A ship can be turned around quickly in a nation with deep talent like NZ.

I suspect that any of the top 5 could win next year. It feels more open than ever.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
5,315
Country Flag

Scotland

Club or Nation

Georgia

Yeah top 5 is probably a record for genuine contenders. From 1995 to 2015 it always felt like England plus top 3 from SH were genuine contenders (factor in the Pumas semi finals and you could maybe say 5 contenders in those years also, but I think that's a little generous).

So, yeah, dropping Wallabies as credible contenders and adding France and possibly Ireland means this is at least the joint most open one I can remember in the professional era. There is an outside chance Wales or Australia could have a transformation into contenders but I don't think so.

If the Boks had been there in 1991 that would probably also have been 5 genuine contenders (including Scotland who lost semi by 3 points to a side that lost the final by 6 points, before losing third place by just 7 points).

*looks at the truly horrible scorelines for semis onwards in 1991 and can't believe the sport is considered defensively dominant in comparison now*

The advantage for France and the Boks over the others for 2023 is their strength in depth. Heck, the Boks seem to be pretty much ignoring loads of players that made the URC final ahead of all the best players from the no.1 ranked side in the world. That is what is known as an embarrassment of riches even if I don't think the first choice Boks XV is significantly ahead of Ireland or Frances.
 

Le Frére Alpha

Fat Boi
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Messages
16,877
Country Flag

Ireland

Club or Nation

Leinster

France and SA can win it with a few things going wrong for them. Am and Dupont look like the only potential fatal losses.

Ireland need Sexton and Furlong to last, possibly Porter and Henshaw too. Also need to put a lot of mental demons to bed.

NZ need drastic tactical and mental change and for a gameplan to make their lethargic front row work. Tough task.

England need similar to NZ and for a few key players to find form. They probably don't have a 10 for the job though, Farrell is their best bet which isn't exactly a great one.
 

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
Staff member
TRF Legend
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
100,010,932
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Sale

England will win without breaking a sweat

Charlie Ewels putting a RWC winners medal around his neck but sexton never coming close is very on brand for this century
 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,382
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

So, yeah, dropping Wallabies as credible contenders and adding France and possibly Ireland means this is at least the joint most open one I can remember in the professional era. There is an outside chance Wales or Australia could have a transformation into contenders but I don't think so.
The difference isn't so much the number of teams with a "credible chance" of winning. The big difference is that barring a miraculous turnaround in form, New Zealand won't be evens or better to win the whole thing as they (IIRC) have been previously. In a book with no overround, NZ being evens means that the rest of the field only have a 50% chance of winning to share between them. A more even distribution of the probability of winning is pretty much how I would define "most open".
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,250
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

The difference isn't so much the number of teams with a "credible chance" of winning. The big difference is that barring a miraculous turnaround in form, New Zealand won't be evens or better to win the whole thing as they (IIRC) have been previously. In a book with no overround, NZ being evens means that the rest of the field only have a 50% chance of winning to share between them. A more even distribution of the probability of winning is pretty much how I would define "most open".
I'm pretty sure New Zealand aren't usually evens or better to win as you state. I've been gambling since 96 and I don't remember it being that way, except in 2007 I remember at some point the all blacks were paying $1.40 to the dollar (noting because of the margin the bookies make this doesn't actually equate to a 1/1.4 chance of winning; the chance of winning will actually be higher).



But your point remains, whether the all blacks are typically 40 or 60 per cent likely, tightness in terms of "genuine contenders" should be measured by the variability of the odds - by whatever metric you feel is right- eg the number of teams with greater than x per cent chance of winning. And because the all blacks usually have much higher odds than they do this time, the odds left for the rest will be more this time. 99, we might have been favourites but I can't imagine we'd have been over 50 per cent given we had lost 5 in a row to springboks and wallabies the previous year. 95, not so sure but we hadn't been all that dominant in the few years prior - our record against South Africa, france, Australia wasn't great. Before that I dont know because I didn't watch rugby back then.

Edited again below because misunderstood how the reported probabilities should be read- thanks redruth

But note, none of the below account for the bookies margin so actually the probabilities should be less.

Edit: out of interest, just looking back at a couple of pre World Cup articles, , the all blacks were considered 40 per cent likely in 2019 (to be fair that's way more than I expected), and 45 per cent in 2015. 2011 they were 53.. Couldn't find for 2003 but I suspect both england and New Zealand were in the 40s with australia around 10 percent as the third most likely to win.

Edit again: just looking at bookies odds ), and again just using the first source I can find for each World Cup, fifth most likely to win for 2023 has implied probability of 12.5 per cent, compared to 8.3 in 2019, and 9.1 in 2015. Ireland are currently fifth favourite to win 2023 btw.
 
Last edited:

GoTheNaki

First XV
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
1,029
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

Isn't this a World Cup where 2 of the 4 following won't be in the semis: France, Ireland, South Africa, or New Zealand. I think it'll be a NH win next year.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
5,315
Country Flag

Scotland

Club or Nation

Georgia

On reflection, I'd actually say 2023 is less open than 1999.


Aus won it, but France, NZ and SA were nailed on contenders. England weren't without hope the Pumas were pretty handy also. So a minimum of 5, possibly 6 genuine challengers.
 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,382
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

I'm pretty sure New Zealand aren't usually evens or better to win as you state. I've been gambling since 96 and I don't remember it being that way, except in 2007 I remember at some point the all blacks were paying $1.40 to the dollar (noting because of the margin the bookies make this doesn't actually equate to a 1/1.4 chance of winning; the chance of winning will actually be higher).
The term is implied probability. I chose evens because it makes the maths easy and implies a 50% chance. It turns out, New Zealand weren't as nailed on as I thought they were last time (presumably coming off the back of a Rugby Championship loss), according to the first article I found (https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/rugby-world-cup-2019-best-odds-and-tips), they were 6/4 pre-tournament, which would imply a probability of 40%. The figures may have been wrong, but the point stands that New Zealand being that short of a price doesn't leave much to spread around the remaining contenders and that chances of winning are currently more evenly spread.

The lay prices on Smarkets are pretty close to 100%, if I have some free time and am bored enough later, I'll knock a pie chart together of things as they stand currently and maybe compare it to the previous time out.
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,250
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

The term is implied probability. I chose evens because it makes the maths easy and implies a 50% chance. It turns out, New Zealand weren't as nailed on as I thought they were last time (presumably coming off the back of a Rugby Championship loss), according to the first article I found (https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/rugby-world-cup-2019-best-odds-and-tips), they were 6/4 pre-tournament, which would imply a probability of 40%. The figures may have been wrong, but the point stands that New Zealand being that short of a price doesn't leave much to spread around the remaining contenders and that chances of winning are currently more evenly spread.

The lay prices on Smarkets are pretty close to 100%, if I have some free time and am bored enough later, I'll knock a pie chart together of things as they stand currently and maybe compare it to the previous time out.
Oh, I didn't understand the odds - they don't do it that way in NZ - we just have return per dollar. So 6/4 means 4 / (6+4), I get it now. Except that still doesn't include the margin for the bookies.

So
2019 40 per cent
2015 45
2011 53
Without accounting for margins.

I'm going to re edit my other post
 
Last edited:

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,250
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

actually just found a source that had third fourth and fifth favourites at 17 per cent, with the favourites at 29. But they still add up to more than a hundred. So they must include a margin for the bookies. So the implied probability for the all blacks for the last World Cup would have been less than 40 per cent actually.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

International
TRF Legend
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
5,315
Country Flag

Scotland

Club or Nation

Georgia

The term is implied probability. I chose evens because it makes the maths easy and implies a 50% chance. It turns out, New Zealand weren't as nailed on as I thought they were last time (presumably coming off the back of a Rugby Championship loss), according to the first article I found (https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/rugby-world-cup-2019-best-odds-and-tips), they were 6/4 pre-tournament, which would imply a probability of 40%. The figures may have been wrong, but the point stands that New Zealand being that short of a price doesn't leave much to spread around the remaining contenders and that chances of winning are currently more evenly spread.

The lay prices on Smarkets are pretty close to 100%, if I have some free time and am bored enough later, I'll knock a pie chart together of things as they stand currently and maybe compare it to the previous time out.
We have some hot pie chart action already at

 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,382
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

Oh, I didn't understand the odds - they don't do it that way in NZ - we just have return per dollar. So 6/4 means 4 / (6+4), I get it now. Except that still doesn't include the margin for the bookies.
I can work with fractional odds because they're the way you usually see prices quoted over here, but decimal odds make a whole lot more sense and are easier to think in. The really mad thing is the way the Americans express odds.
On reflection, I'd actually say 2023 is less open than 1999.


Aus won it, but France, NZ and SA were nailed on contenders. England weren't without hope the Pumas were pretty handy also. So a minimum of 5, possibly 6 genuine challengers.
Are you polarising this with the benefit of hindsight? I don't remember anyone other than a few of the French team giving them a hope against New Zealand, having enjoyed a kind draw to reach that point off the back of a wooden spoon in the last ever five nations. South Africa's team was also pretty so-so having only managed one tri-nations win (by a single point) on their way to a wooden spoon that year and represented the start of a slide that saw quite a few pretty torrid years for South African rugby. I can't imagine that the markets were too bullish about their chances going into the tournament.

We have some hot pie chart action already at

Thanks, that saves me a job that I really couldn't be bothered with tonight.
 

Umaga's Witness

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
2,250
Country Flag

New Zealand

Club or Nation

Hurricanes

Right now, sky bet says NZ 7/2, taking this as 2/9 probability and adding all the way down to Japan to get 118 per cent total, so dividing 2/9 by 1.18 gives 19 per cent. Probably the lowest odds NZ have ever had at any point for a World Cup.

Doing the same process for the article from last time with the 6/4 odd, with the percentages adding to 109 in that case, .4/1.09 gives 37 percent.
 

Al Bangor

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
4,054
Country Flag

United States

Club or Nation

Old Mission

England will win without breaking a sweat

Charlie Ewels putting a RWC winners medal around his neck but sexton never coming close is very on brand for this century
1660895330262
 

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
13,083
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Are you polarising this with the benefit of hindsight? I don't remember anyone other than a few of the French team giving them a hope against New Zealand, having enjoyed a kind draw to reach that point off the back of a wooden spoon in the last ever five nations. South Africa's team was also pretty so-so having only managed one tri-nations win (by a single point) on their way to a wooden spoon that year and represented the start of a slide that saw quite a few pretty torrid years for South African rugby. I can't imagine that the markets were too bullish about their chances going into the tournament.
That was back in true classic France days though where they'd be brilliant one game and shite the next. Modern day France do it all in one game so it averages out a bit better.

Looking at oddschecker I'm amazed frankly shocked even that NZ are being given almost twice the chance of SA/Eng. Really should be France as clear favourites (may adjust if they fail at AIs) then SA followed by teams with issues Eng/NZ/Ire.

Eng only really get a high rating because they've to seriously **** up to not make the semi.
 

TRF_stormer2010

Moderator
TRF Legend
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
8,843
Country Flag

South Africa

Club or Nation

Stormers

Indeed very open. My 2 cents:

Ireland are along with France the form sides and right up there BUT both will need to be mentally strong. I almost feel like the French would be more of a threat outside of home as that if anything just adds to the expectation. Ireland have to buckle their trend of underperforming at RWCs. The end of year tours will be interesting that's sure.

That said, Ireland aren't the only ones with RWC trends to buckle. SA need to be able to back up a RWC win whereas our ***les have been 12 years apart. I feel its a blessing in disguise that we aren't going in as favorites even if we are going in as defending champions. Our biggest asset is that our play style is proven to be effective in knock out rugby and we should be able to get the juices flowing which is when we play our best rugby. England I feel might also look to be out of form but I'll back them to be formidable in the RWC for the same reasons I'd back SA and I'd back both ahead of Ireland even if the form books say no.

Another reason I'd back England to go far, but counter-intuitively this might count against them for the actual ***le, is that they have a relatively easy draw going into the Semi's whereas only two of France, Ireland, NZ and SA will make the semi's which is crazy and those sides will go into the semi's having gone through a monumental QF whichever sides that might be. So here for that fact alone Aus and Wales have a huge leg up for going deep and then I suppose anything can happen on the day. The draw just further opens up the field.

NZ will be competitive. Its as simple as that they have so much talent in key positions.
 

RedruthRFC

First XV
TRF Legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,382
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

England

Good assessment. I would say that physical fitness is as important for Ireland as mental fitness. Injuries in key positions would see their chances of winning tank pretty rapidly. Sort of some miraculous breakthroughs, they're going to be trusting to luck (and the bubble wrap they put on Sexton) in this regard.

The point about England is interesting. Up until now I thought that the effect of being on the right half of the draw was overrated, but on reflection, the effect of playing two finals before the actual final is significant. I'm not saying that England would have won the last final if they had qualified for it by slowly bludgeoning Wales to death instead of producing a generational performance against New Zealand, but it's at least a factor in the way the final played out IMO.
 

OllyM97

Academy Player
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
77
Looking at the draw I’ve got the QFs as being:
France (Winner A) v Ireland (2nd B)
South Africa (Winner B) v New Zealand (2nd A)
Australia (Winner C) v Argentina (2nd D)
England (Winner D) v Wales (2nd C)

I think the semis will be
France v England
South Africa v Australia

I’ve still got the Springboks reaching the final and I think they’ll meet France. In which case I would back the Boks to win because I think they would handle the occasion better.
 

ncurd

Hall of Fame
TRF Legend
Joined
Feb 7, 2015
Messages
13,083
Country Flag

England

Club or Nation

Bath

Looking at the draw I’ve got the QFs as being:
France (Winner A) v Ireland (2nd B)
South Africa (Winner B) v New Zealand (2nd A)
Australia (Winner C) v Argentina (2nd D)
England (Winner D) v Wales (2nd C)

I think the semis will be
France v England
South Africa v Australia

I’ve still got the Springboks reaching the final and I think they’ll meet France. In which case I would back the Boks to win because I think they would handle the occasion better.
With a Grand Slam under their belt I think the last issues with France's temperament are put to one side. The only realy issues they have to deal with are is if they peaking too soon and will DuPont play in every knockout game. Frankly if he and they make the final temperament isn't the issue. Its whether anyone can find a way keeping DuPont quiet for 80mins.

SA v Fra is going to be fascinating in the Autumn Internationals because grinding out a win really isn't a tactic against this France side but if anyone can do it it's them.
 

Latest posts

Top