2009 Tri-Nations Tipping and Betting Guide

The Tri-Nations may be a tired old format in need of a massive overhaul but it's our tired old format and for that reason it's worth betting on. So with nothing else to watch on TV over winter, The Rolling Maul presents its 2009 Tri-Nations Tipping and Betting Guide:

Australia

Easy wins over Six Nations also-rans Italy and France means that the Wallabies enter the Tri-Nations with no form whatsoever. Last year's tour of the Northern Hemisphere was so long ago as to be meaningless and the Super 14 was a different game with different rules so is also no help.

But in a three-horse race anything could happen. It has before and will again. That's not to say you should flog a dead horse. It's dead. Maybe a bit smelly. And are there moving things in there? Gross.

Anyway, clearly the Rolling Maul is totally clueless, but if the betting agencies have Australia as the least likely to win then that's where you should put your money. What would they know anyway? Their odds don't reflect reality but just who they want you to bet on. They're profit making organisations after all. Not charities.

Player to watch out for: FIRST DRAFT Lote Tuquiri - Because he's playing club Rugby for West Harbour and has bright red boots so looking out for him will take no effort whatsoever.

SECOND DRAFT Lote Tuquiri - Because if you know where he is then you're more of an investigative journelist that any investigative journalist in this town, none of whom have had the guts to say what really went on.
Current odds: $3.25 - Put the house on them. Well maybe not your house, but a house.
Prediction: 3rd

New Zealand

The All Blacks haven't just limped to a couple of ugly wins and one very ugly loss but they've been on crutches. Indeed no Rugby team has played this ugly yet come out almost on top but ultimately nowhere since this year's Waratahs.

And if that wasn't bad enough now the Kiwi media are criticising the Blacks for not singing the national anthem with enough gusto. No wonder all their best players are retiring to more lucrative cash cows in Japan or Europe. A one-team town is bad enough but a one sport nation is a nightmare.

Lay off them. If The Rolling Maul supported a team that had a haka it wouldn't give a stuff about the anthem. Play the Bananas in Pyjamas theme as an anthem if you want something that's

a) sung in one language that the entire nation knows;

b) is easy to remember; and

c) doesn't lend itself to an ethical dilemma for atheists contemplating being pressured to sing a song that mentions god.

Player to watch out for: Dan Carter - Carter has spent the season on an entirely overpaid injury Tour de South of France when he could have been hardening himself up playing Super 14. He's supposed to be back for the All Blacks by the start of the Tri-Nations but with no form, no training, and a wallet the weight of a sheep caught in a South Island thunderstorm weighing him down then even if he does come back expect him to be slow, soft and flabby.
Current odds: $2.65 - You'd be mad.
Prediction: 3rd

South Africa

It's never really made of lot of sense to The Rolling Maul the whole concept of a Lions Tour. They tour once ever four years alternately to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand where they play three tests and a host of mid week games that give the locals the chance to belt a poor Brit (and Irishman) just trying to enjoy a holiday down under.

They haven't won a test series for 12 years yet they supposedly showcase the best of a whole bunch of players who can't stand each other and particularly can't stand the English (so at least some of the players are united).

So South Africa have just beaten a disjointed ununified hotchpotch of Northern European strugglers who are lucky not to lose to provincial teams every Wednesday. Woop dee doo. Relevance to Tri-Nations - nil.

Player to watch out for: Bryan Habana - He's just very fast and wears a skivvy under his jersey. Think of him as the Wiggle that was adopted out because he wouldn't shut up and the other kids wouldn't talk to him and now he's come looking for his parents but they're trying to pretend that they never actually adopted him out in the first place.
Current odds: $2.35 - The favourite never wins the Tri-Nations. Or maybe it's the other way round. Either way it's not worth the effort.
Predicition: 3rd.

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