Rugby League Betting Sites NZ

Discover the excitement of rugby league betting in New Zealand. Whether you're new or experienced, this guide is your go-to for insights and strategies. Compare top sports betting sites for the best rugby league experience. Join us on this exciting journey of wagering and winning!

Best NZ Rugby League Betting Sites (2024)

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Our score: 8/10
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Best Bookies for Betting on Rugby League

Here is a list of some of our favourite online sports bookies that we have come across while combing through online betting sites that offer rugby league fans more options:


#1 888sport

While its welcome offer to newcomers isn’t that magnetic, this bookmaker makes up for it with a fistful of bonuses and promotions. 888sport is the illegitimate child of UK power house William Hill after an American consortium bought the business but let go of the sports-betting arm. 888sport is starting to create pockets of followers with its bet-building options, and its live-betting features. New Zealanders who opt for the accumulator feature can pick up 888sport’s Acca Saver policy that covers against the domino effect from one loss by providing the safety net of a free-bet refund


#2 Bet365

It’s hard to argue with a bookie that lays out a spectrum of online sports markets than any other rival in New Zealand. Defectors from TAB tend to find their happy place here. It’s not difficult to gauge why. New Zealand tends to follow in the footsteps of Australia, no matter whether it’s politics or tourism. Rugby league is no different with bet365’s live-betting and live-streaming capabilities becoming the envy of other bookies. Its mobile interface has an archaic look about it but bet365 has done remarkably well in trying to emulate the footprints of other United Kingdom giants, such as Paddy Power and William Hill. The Quick Bet feature on bet365 makes life easier.


#3 Betway

Don’t let its landing page put you off. Just because betway is creating waves on the global circuit it doesn’t mean it neglects its New Zealand rugby league market. Its cash-out and multi-builder facets add to the lure of the weekly free-bet promotions on top of the sign-up offer to Kiwi newbies.

Rugby League Betting for Kiwis

The roots of rugby league in New Zealand trace back to 1907 when the inaugural 'All Golds' team embarked on a historic tour of Great Britain. The country's role in rugby league's evolution is significant, as New Zealand was among the first international competitors, trailing only England.

Formally established in 1910 despite resistance from Rugby Union, rugby league spread across regions like Auckland, Taranaki, Rotorua, and more. The Auckland Rugby League pioneered regional competition, launching a full season in 1912 at Eden Park. The Auckland Warriors, the first professional club, joined Australia's top-level Rugby League in 1995.

Notably, 1995 marked the inception of the New Zealand Rugby League National Women's team, the Kiwi Ferns. Their remarkable record includes Women's World Cup victories in 2000, 2003, and 2008.

The New Zealand Men's National team, known as the Kiwis, achieved their first Rugby League World Cup triumph in 2008. This timeline showcases the vibrant growth of rugby league in New Zealand, characterized by resilience, progress, and remarkable achievements.

Rugby League vs. Rugby Union: Unveiling the Contrasts

Rugby League and Rugby Union, while sharing origins, have distinct characteristics that set them apart:

Rugby Type Team Size Scoring System Possessions Set Pieces Tackling Rules Duration of Play Gameplay Philophy Scrums Lineouts
Rugby League Teams have 13 players on the field. Substitutions are unlimited and common A try is worth 4 points. Conversions and penalty kicks result in 2 points. Teams have five tackles before possession changes. The play restarts quickly with a play-the-ball after a tackle. Tackles are lower and focus on stopping the player's legs. Shorter matches, typically lasting 80 minutes. Emphasizes speed, simplicity, and high-scoring matches. Scrums are rare, only occurring after knock-ons or forward passes. Both codes have lineouts, but Rugby Union's lineouts involve more players and strategic formations.
Rugby Union Teams comprise 15 players. Substitutions are limited, with replacements allowed for specific positions. A try is worth 5 points. Conversions score 2 points, while penalty kicks or dropped goals count for 3 points. Possession is retained after a tackle, allowing for continuous phases of play. Play restarts with a scrum, lineout, or free-kick. Tackles often target the upper body to contest the ball. Longer matches, usually 80 minutes but can extend due to stoppages. Emphasizes tactics, strategy, and complex game situations. Scrums are more common and are used for restarts after certain infractions. Both codes have lineouts, but Rugby Union's lineouts involve more players and strategic formations.

Rugby League Betting Sites

For New Zealanders looking to bet on rugby league, there are numerous ways to engage. Whether you prefer your living room's comfort or want to bet on the go during breaks or live games, laptops, PCs, and mobile phones offer convenience. A user-friendly interface and live-streaming options are crucial considerations. While odds vary, exploring bookmakers' live-streaming offerings is worthwhile.

Whether a sportsbook offers live betting or cash-out features is equally important to factor in, depending on how serious a gambler you are. That is pertaining to placing bets while the game is underway or having the option to bail out if the team you’re wagering on isn’t going as well as you had envisaged. No doubt, some New Zealand gamblers’ eyes will light up from the generous bonuses or the number of free bets bookmakers will dangle, especially to beckon newbies through their virtual iGaming playground.

Because the NRL is in Australia’s backyard, it isn’t surprising that a rash of bookies from across the ditch have been beginning to pitch to New Zealanders. Some of the bookmakers have British origins but have been registered mostly in the Northern Territory for authenticity and credibility. What New Zealanders will appreciate is that the Australia Government had banned sign-up bonuses or newcomer incentives from May 2019, so many bookmakers operating via Australia cannot extend those perks to Kiwis either. Most of them accept kiwi dollars.

The Different Rugby League Betting Markets

Here are some examples of rugby league betting markets Kiwis are likely to encounter when scouring online sportsbooks:

  • Championship/Season Bets

    Who will claim the NRL minor premiership title (Giltinan Trophy for top-of-the-table finish before playoffs) and will the same outfit go on to etch its name on the Provan-Summons Trophy? Such outright wagers on which team is likely to claim the season-ending competition titles fall in this category. We can tell you that only half a dozen or so teams have claimed both the crowns in more than two decades. The Warriors (2002) are among the minor premiership winners who have stumbled on the way to clinching grand-final glory. This challenge will appeal to newbies.

  • Building Bet Bundles

    Some sportsbooks provide bet-building modules to thread several aspects of a game, or different games, into a mix-and-match bundle. Our advice is, especially to the rookie bettors, to be wary of a spike in risks, owing to keeping tabs on numerous elements. Factor in longer odds and life becomes complicated. Bookies always come up with novel ways to keep Kiwis interested.

  • Extra-Time Betting

    Just like rugby union, stalemates in rugby league are a rarity. That’s why sportsbooks offer fantastic odds for those who are brave enough to predict what the outcome is likely to be should the game go past the 80-minute full-time hooter. Teams tend to have dropped-kick specialists who rehearse for this one-point margin.

  • Futures Market Betting

    This tends to entail end-of-season — often excluding the grand final playoffs phase — predictors. Which players will walk away with medals, top try scorer bragging rights, and most line-breaking runs or highest tackle count, to name a few. Note that includes bookmakers offering odds on the Dally M Medal (NRL), Lance Todd Trophy (Carnegie Challenge Cup), Steve Prescott Man of Steel (English Super League), and the Wally Lewis Medal (NRL). If you bet early in the season, keep a tab on the odds of an individual contender because it can mutate after each round.

  • Handicap Betting

    Nothing encapsulates rugby league wagering better than the gargantuan odds of the favourites thumping the underdogs. This also is known as line or point-spread betting. The head-to-head odds are spread out. Akin to golf handicapping, bookies offer the underdogs a points buffer of beating or losing by a narrow margin. For example, if the Penrith Panthers are a 10.5 favourites to beat the Warriors and you place a handicap bet on the latter, then should the Kiwi franchise win or lose under the 10.5-point margin, you’ll come away richer.

  • Halftime Betting

    New Zealand gamblers can predict the variables, such as score line and the margin.

  • Individual Player Betting

    If ho-hum wagering bores New Zealanders, then they will welcome the engagement individual betting offers. Which player from the home and visiting sides will score the opening points of a match? That can come from a kick between the sticks or a try. Unlike rugby union, props and hookers have just as good a chance to dive over the try line as fleet-footed wingers and nuggety halfbacks. Bookies can offer odds on a player scoring a brace or hat trick of tries. Predicting which team will have the first yellow (10-minute sin bin) or a finger to the side line for an early shower is fair game. However, rugby league doesn’t have red cards in the NRL and an early-shower call from the ref is rare.

  • Margin Betting

    This is a Kiwi beginner’s delight. Simply select which team will win by opting for 1-12 or 13+ gulf at the final whistle of a match. Some sportsbooks allow for picking teams that’ll make the playoffs.

  • Outright Betting

    In the NRL it’s picking the winner of a match. In the UK and France, it’s referred to as the 80-minute betting.

  • Over/Under Betting

    Also known as “totals betting”, this has the appeal of outright betting. The over/under betting dumbs it down to a simple equation of how many points both teams will register at the final whistle. If the bookie opens betting on a 30.5 threshold, you can opt for exceeding that ceiling or staying below it to collect wins. Selecting a fraction can ward off rival gamblers wanting a slice of the winnings. Some bookmakers also offer odds on the total number of tries scored in a match.

Top-Of-The-Pops Rugby League Events

Here are the rugby league marquee events through the eyes of New Zealand rugby league gamblers:

  • NRL: In the Southern Hemisphere, the annual Australian NRL is rugby league’s marquee competition where it has a cult following that eclipses rugby union in the host nation. The Warriors play their home games in New Zealand and away on Aussie soil. However, due to the global pandemic the NZ franchise team had been based in Australia from 2020 through to June 2022. In its first match back in July, the Warriors had played to a packed-out Mt Smart Stadium on the same night the All Blacks had hosted Ireland at Eden Park. The NRL comprises 16 teams playing 24 round-robin, home-and-away matches each during a season, The top eight make the playoffs for the semifinals, preliminary final, and the grand final over four weeks.
  • State of Origin: Again, this is the ornament on the humming NRL car bonnet. Branded as the “Mate against Mate, State against State” event, the three-match series between New South Wales (Cockroaches) and Queensland (Cane Toads) is the interlude during the NRL season that pauses to allow players from different franchises to represent their birth regions. The bone-rattling, tummy-lurching affair draws up to 80,000 fans at the stadium, never mind the millions of global TV viewers who place bets.
  • Rugby League World Cup (RLWC): It is staged every four years, but the Australia (Kangaroos), England, and New Zealand (Kiwis) three-way tussle will come under some pressure in England in late 2022. That’s because the Fiji Bati and Tonga had registered upset wins in the previous RLWC. Tonga had stunned the world in 2019 after beating the Kangaroos 16-12 and New Zealand in 2017. Fiji had rolled the Kiwis 4-2 in the 2017 world cup in Wellington. Watch that space you patriotic Kiwi bettors.
  • Super League: This is the Northern Hemisphere’s answer in England to the NRL in the Southern Hemisphere. The 12-team competition comprises predominantly outfits from north of England as well as the Catalans Dragons from France. Leeds Rhinos are the flagship side in the Super League with eight crowns to date. After 29 clashes, the table toppers walk away with the League Leaders Shield. British sportsbooks, such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, offer “ante-post” and in-play features on the Old Trafford centrepiece following the playoffs. With more Kiwi professionals playing in Europe nowadays, the interest in betting in the Super League is piquing.
  • Challenge Cup: You have to be a hardcore Kiwi rugby league tragic to bet in this domestic English knockout competition, but you can never say never when it comes to New Zealanders wanting a sports gambling fix. It’s a competition that opens the door to amateur teams to compete in the opening round. Semi-professional sides enter in the next three rounds before the Super League’s bottom-four and top-eight sides enter in the fifth and sixth rounds. The last eight, semifinals follow with the final staged at soccer football’s Wembley Stadium. In some respects, this is English rugby league’s version of the FA Cup soccer football knockout event.

Rugby League Tips & Strategies

When it comes to gambling, we want to impress on New Zealand bettors that knowledge is the key that unlocks the secret to wagering. It isn’t some hard-and-fast formula to become rich. Online sports betting is, after all about risk and reward. Those who have their finger on the pulse of rugby league won’t have to feel their way around a dark room to find the light switch. In our tips and strategies, we recommend going through information and statistics with a fine tooth comb. Bookmakers will do that.

Here are some key pointers:

  • Climate: Does the heavy, underfoot conditions at Mt Smart Stadium favour the Warriors more than the Brisbane Broncos? How will the Kiwis fare in the quarterfinal at the MKM Stadium, Hull, if they win pool C to progress on Saturday, November 5, 2022?
  • Head rules, not heart: No matter how much you like the Warriors or your hometown players, study the bookies’ odds and the sides’ head-to-head record.
  • Historical factors: Favourites tend to have a psychological advantage over the underdogs on account of titles won. Bookies disclose such details. The Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm have the wood, respectively, in the NRL. The Leeds Rhinos have that tag in the Super League.
  • Starting 13: It pays to check if the player makers of a team are available or out due to injury or some other reason. An inexperienced injection or a rookie/replacement coach can also upset the rhythm of a dominant team. Stacey Jones had become the interim Warriors coach after Nathan Brown stepped down in June 2022. Will that work?
  • Tactics: Some teams spread the ball out wide to rely on their pivotal players to kick them into a front-foot position before resorting to gang tackles. Others bank on their burly forwards to grind down the opposition with mounting back-to-back, five-count tackles. What teams have the art of dragging referees into their corner during battle?
  • Wagering mark: Determine what your betting limit is and stick to it, especially if you’re combining bets or engaging in in-play.


Ijeoma Esther is an iGaming content writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the New Zealand mobile casino industry. While initially diving into online casino gaming as a hobby, she soon found herself immersed in the enthralling world of mobile slot and live casino games.Through the years, she discovered that writing about her favorite pokies was just as fun as playing them.