- Two-time defending Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand are -1000 to win Group B at the 2019 RWC in Japan
- Second-choice South Africa (+550) beat the All Blacks last year in New Zealand
- But New Zealand is 28-0 all-time in Rugby World Cup pool play
New Zealand in the group stages at the Rugby World Cup is one of those certainties in life that you know will never change, like death and taxes.
The mighty All Blacks have never lost a match in pool play since the RWC was born in 1987. Not only are they 28-0, they’ve outscored the opposition by an average of 60-11.
At the 2019 edition (which starts on Sep. 20th in Japan), oddsmakers don’t see that changing. Housed in Group B with South Africa, Italy, Canada, and Namibia, the current Rugby World Cup odds make the All Blacks an overwhelming -1000 favorite to top the group.
2019 Rugby World Cup Odds
|Team||2019 Rugby World Cup Group B Odds|
*Odds taken on 07/15/19.
The top two teams advance to the knockout stage of the tournament.
The All Blacks are riding a 14-game RWC winning streak heading into this year’s tournament. The last time they lost was to France in the quarterfinals in 2007.
Like the Russian teams that dominated international hockey for decades, New Zealand seems to have built a factory that churns out world-class rugby players. As one player leaves the stage, another of equal ability seamlessly steps in and the side rarely takes a misstep.
Factoring in knockout-stage matches, the All Blacks are 44-6 all-time in tournament play, with a record three RWC titles.
There will be a number of intriguing group-stage matches but perhaps none more so than the September 21st Group B opener at Yokohama’s International Stadium between South Africa and New Zealand.
Five of the eight previous RWC titles are housed in this group. The South Africans won in 1995 and 1999, downing New Zealand in both tournaments. They gave the All Blacks their toughest match four years ago, falling 20-18 in the semifinals.
South Africa beat the All Blacks 36-34 last year in Wellington, New Zealand.
If you’re inclined to wager on this group, a small stipend on South Africa at +550 might pay off handsomely.
Italian rugby appears to be in a state of regression. For a time, the Italians gave a good accounting of themselves. New Zealand only beat Italy 31-21 at the 1991 RWC.
Lately, though, the scores are more lopsided. At the 1998 RWC, the All Blacks toppled Italy 100-3. And the Italians have gone 0-20 in the past five Six Nations tournaments.
Another nation whose level of rugby has regressed, the Canadians nearly didn’t qualify for the RWC, which would’ve been a first.
REACTION | “It’s a big step and good preparation for us”
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) June 18, 2019
Canada won an international repechage in France to gain the final spot in the tournament.
The Namibians are playing their sixth straight RWC. They’ve appeared in 19 matches. Namibia is 0-19.
Namibia is 2-6 in international play against the teams in their group, twice beating Italy in 1991.
Group B Prediction
- New Zealand
- South Africa
SBD’s 2019 Rugby World Cup Coverage
- Group A: Rugby World Cup Group A Odds Favor Ireland to Finish First at -400
- Group B: Favorite New Zealand Has -1000 Odds to Win Group B
- Group C: 2019 Rugby World Cup Group C Odds Give France and Argentina a Fighting Chance to Beat England
- Group D: Wales Narrowly Favored Over Australia in Group D Odds at 2019 World Cup