Punters who took New Zealand and the over were rewarded when the All Blacks beat the Italians 63 – 3, but the head-to-head on New Zealand was only $1.01.
Makes punting on Winx look like a bargain.
After giving the Kiwis a scare at Twickenham, only to come up a point short, the Brits recovered to beat Australia 37 – 18, an outcome that buoyed Eddie Jones but may have seen the sinking of Michael Cheika as the leader of the Wallabies.
The question on the minds of some is who would be glutton for punishment enough to take the Wallabies following their worst year and a sixth consecutive loss to England at Twickenham.
The Wallabies’ record for a disastrous thankfully concluded 2018 was four wins and nine losses from 13 Tests. It was their worst result since the professional era came along. The only time the national squad fared worse was in 1958, when they won only two from eleven.
Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle may have inadvertently, or deliberately, ramped up the pressure ahead of the Europe tour, claiming that only winning all three Tests north of the Equator was an acceptable outcome.
If this were the NRL, Cheika would be gone and might even have had to pay his own fare back, but with the Wallabies having only four Tests to right the ship before next year’s Rugby World Cup, only a desperate coach would accept the task of getting the Wallabies, which have competent players, to play like a team with a legitimate chance of advancing in the World Cup.
We will save the talk of winning the World Cup for some future point, but feel secure enough to predict that New Zealand, Ireland or England will hoist the World Cup.
There might be some coaching changes coming from the ranks of the subordinates, with the name of forwards coach Simon Raiwalui mentioned prominently. The Wallabies lack of a set-piece attack will be hung on Raiwalui, while the defence, despite some recent marginal improvements, typically collapses in the face of top-class opponents.
Only the most optimistic of the optimists could find solace that Israel Folau’s 80th minute try prevented the winning margin for England from equaling the losing margin against England last year.