Rugby union is the official No.1 sport in Aotearoa New Zealand. With the All Blacks winning three Rugby World Cup crowns (1987, 2011, 2015), it’s not surprising that Kiwis follow their men’s team like rock band groupies.
Rugby league is the other code, although it is the poorer cousin of union with fewer numbers playing the game. A loyal band of followers enjoys betting on the New Zealand Warriors franchise team competing in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) and the one-time world champion Kiwis national men’s team.
However, when it comes to betting on rugby matches it pays to know the ins and outs of either code rather than banking on the All Blacks or Warriors brand. Talk becomes cheap when passion is the currency. It would be foolish to put too much weight on the ramblings of armchair critics.
For that reason, we advise Kiwis who intend to wager on rugby matches to do their ground work because bookies will. One-eyed fans always talk up their teams amid bookmakers’ forecasts. It’s one thing to cheer for the winners and another to know what constitutes a winning formula.
With the advent of mobile devices and quality internet connections, the urge to have a flutter on rugby matches is ever present. With the 10th edition of the men’s Rugby World Cup to be staged in France from September 8 to October 28 in 2023, the union fans have been debating who will make the playoffs, if not become champions.
That in itself is enough for us to start ushering Kiwi fans to the top rugby union betting sites in the New Zealand cyberspace. Traditionally, the TAB used to be the first port of call for many punters. However, with so many online bookies entering the New Zealand betting market nowadays, TAB faces stiff competition to prevent its regulars from straying.
For starters, many rugby union pundits are already predicting that the All Blacks won’t win the world cup. But that doesn’t mean Kiwi fans should be losers, too. That’s where we come in like beacons to guide you to the online betting sites for the best bang for your kiwi dollars. We have allocated a segment here for rugby league.
We want to recommend to New Zealanders best sites that offer multiple opportunities to maximise their thrills while wagering on rugby matches and competitions, not just within their country but at marquee tournaments around the world. Our goal is to remove guesswork for rugby lovers who don’t understand some of the complex betting options on reputable online sites.
As a precautionary measure, Kiwis who are involved in union administrative roles and associated services should become familiar with the integrity rules & regulations of Rugby New Zealand so as not to trip on anti-corruption and betting prohibitions. Pay specific attention to the passage pertaining to “connected persons” who are prohibited from betting on rugby union globally.
That’s why we believe those who tick those boxes will step safely on to the best online rugby union betting sites. Again, what is best for one wagering Kiwi may not be ideal for another. We’ve done some digging to find a list of bookies that best suit your needs.
When it comes to placing bets on rugby union matches and competitions, New Zealanders will find that the code offers more avenues for wagering on different aspects of the game than many other codes. For example, if you’re happy to place your bet from the comfort of your lounge or your man cave, then a straightforward in-browser device, such as a laptop or PC, will do the trick.
However, those who want to make a killing on their rugby union knowledge during the lunch break from work or while watching a game live from the stadiums around the country can do so with a mobile device such as cell phones. A solid interface experience is important. Does the bookie offer a live-streaming option?
Whether an online betting site offers in-play or cash-out features is equally crucial. 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 Kiwi bettors’ eyes will light up from the handsome bonuses or number of free bets bookies will dangle, especially to entice newcomers.
Here is an alphabetical list of some of the best bookies we came across during our research on rugby union sites before you go shopping for the best odds:
To understand rugby markets requires comprehending what types of wagers bookmakers offer to Kiwis on their online betting platforms. Rugby can be quite a complex game for those who haven’t got a firm grasp on the rules. To recognise why a referee awards a freekick or penalty requires a keen eye for the subtle infringements in lineouts, rucks and mauls, scrums, and head-high tackles.
That’s the sort of understanding New Zealanders will have to master on top of having a passion for the game. Those who enter a bookies’ playground must analyse different betting markets before wagering. Don’t and it could hit you hard in the pocket. Become familiar with the bookmakers’ codes and terminology.
We’re going to break down some of the jargon in the maze of markets in New Zealand’s online betting arena. Whether you’re placing bets via your mobile device or catching the slow-motion replays on television, you’ll find our bullet-point items helpful to make informed decisions.
We advise New Zealanders to take calculated risks when embarking on a betting path that weaves in combinations on a straight win-or-loss outcome. Establish a limit on how much money you’re going to wager. Taking reckless risks can yield richer rewards but if you come out on the wrong side of the ledger excitement can turn to pain.
Here are some of the common rugby markets that bookies offer to Kiwis:
Most reputable bookmakers will dangle attractive odds to New Zealand punters in rugby matches. The odds can be short or long. The former means the overwhelming favourites will offer modest returns for a straight-out winning prediction. The latter tends to pay handsome dividends to those who wager on the underdogs to triumph.
For some bettors, the short odds are enough to feed their flutter. That’s perfectly all right. For others, the kick from picking the underdogs is the ideal fix. Either way, there’s no disputing some Kiwis gravitate towards bookies who offer what they consider to be their best odds. With so many online betting sites in the New Zealand cyberspace, it isn’t easy to decide, so that’s why we’re happy to give you some pointers here.
Our advice is to have a cluster of perhaps three to five preferred online bookmakers. In doing so you’re giving yourself the leeway to wager on different variables. For example, one bookie can have favourable odds on a win/loss/draw prediction, but another may offer attractive odds on a more than 12-point margin victory or a less-than one to boost your windfall.
Put another way, it pays to shop around your five bookmakers for the best odds to spread the placement of your bets. It’s akin to buying bread at your neighbourhood petrol station outlet because you want to save fuel. However, you may be happy to burn some gas to another part of the city on your way to work to buy a loaf because the outlet offers NZ10 cents a litre savings on the next fuel stop at a selected petrol station.
The days of just following the All Blacks is well and truly over. Kiwi fans nowadays also track the progress of their professional players all the way to offshore clubs, as well as those who are talented enough to make the muster of other international teams through lineage or eligibility through residency.
That means the New Zealand betting market has grown tenfold and those Kiwis who relish wagering are wanting more intricate details on where their rugby heroes are plying their trade. Knowledge of a foreign market offers Kiwi bettors the confidence to place bets on teams that field players groomed on New Zealand soil.
For New Zealanders, the basic online betting art is honed from the professional domestic competitions such as the men’s National Provincial Championship (NPC), women’s only top-tier Farah Palmer Cup, and the lower-tier men’s Heartland Championship. That provincial rivalry then flows on to the staging of the Super Rugby Pacific in 2022. This franchise-based international competition involves teams from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands (Fiji and Moana Pasifika). Before that, the competition was known as Super Rugby involving Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa franchise teams. The latter has left for the PRO14 league in Europe — now renamed as the United Rugby Championship (Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa, Wales).
However, with the world cup looming every four years, the NZ fans’ interest in international friendlies tends to reach fever pitch. That also elevates the annual Rugby Championship (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) to a pre-world cup information platform to call the bookies’ bluff. Some of the other key markets that Kiwis follow for online betting include the annual international Six Nations Championship in the Northern Hemisphere as well as the professional competitions in Canada, Japan, and the United States.
Rugby also has a keen following in the women’s world cup as well as the female and male rugby sevens circuit throughout the year. That culminates in a world crown and the quest for a medal at the Summer Olympic Games every four years. That minefield of markets shows why New Zealanders placing bets are partial towards bookies who offer live streaming of key games. Adding graphics and match statistics turn the mobile sites into fountains of knowledge.
To the novice, rugby league and rugby union can look the same at a cursory glance. Even more so nowadays because rugby union plays a pick-and-go type of game from the width of the field because teams invest a lot in their defensive systems. A lineout is usually the first thing that distinguishes union from league.
However, the major difference between the codes is that rugby league has only 13 players on the park during play when compared to the union’s 15. The former allows for five completed tackles before the ball is handed over to the opposition. The latter encourages players to keep the ball alive through rucks, mauls, and speedy lineouts.
Do become familiar with the scoring protocol. A try in rugby league is worth four points. A conversion racks up two points and a dropped goal one. In union, a try equals five points, two for a conversion and three for a penalty kick or dropped goal. This is vital knowledge if you opt to wager on handicap betting.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the annual Australian NRL is rugby league’s marquee competition where it has a cult following that eclipses rugby union. 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 July 2022.
The UK and France are the other rugby league regions where some Kiwi players ply their trade. The English Super League is a top event but for Kiwi fans the annual three-match State of Origin (New South Wales versus Queensland) and the Rugby League World Cup (every four years) heighten interest. League is beginning to thrive in the Pacific Islands with Fiji and Tonga causing upsets on the international stage.
While our top rugby online betting sites recommended above also provide rugby league bells and whistles, we recommend bookmakers from Ladbrokes and William Hill because of their knowledge and statistics on the Super League that should benefit hardcore NZ bettors.
All the odds and betting advice we offer on rugby union is equally applicable to rugby league. Wagering Kiwis must note that bookmakers also offer odds on who is likely to claim league awards such as 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.
Like anything in the world, if you know the subject matter and stay abreast of the latest news, then you’ll prosper. In our tips to wagering Kiwis, we advise them to do thorough research. Here are some key pointers: