As the international rugby season wound to a close with the Wales v South Africa test last week I saw an interesting poll on Twitter.
The Boks were trailing the welsh 21-3 and the question was asked “What will you be doing at 17h30?” with the options being, “Watching the Springboks” or “Watching the Blitzbokke” with the Blitzbokke playing in the Dubai 7’s final against New Zealand.
The votes were going overwhelmingly in the Blitzboks favour, a sign of how well they are playing and also how “gatvol” South Africans are with the management and performance of the 15 man team.
The interest in 7’s rugby goes deeper than just your average fan though and I have been amazed at the growth in 7’s rugby betting over the years. We have a number of punters in the Goodforthegame forum that will not miss a game and chief amongst those is the man I consider to be the doyen of 7’s betting, Sean Nicholas or as he is known on the forum, RuggaBugga.
RuggaBugga was on fine form in Dubai and cannot wait for the Cape Town 7’s to start and has already snapped up some of the early value on offer from those bookmakers who were brave enough to price up the 1st round of matches early.
Nicholas who was known to travel to Port Elizabeth back in the day so that he could watch the teams warm up and take an early view on team selections, prefers to punt from his couch these days and will be firmly entrenched on it from Saturday with his online bookmaker accounts on hand.
I had the opportunity to ask him just what it is about Rugby 7’s betting that gets punters so excited? He responded as follows, “45 matches in a weekend and the bookies are not as sharp as they are in the 15 man game so that means more opportunities for cracking punts. Teams are getting a lot closer to each other with the weak teams improving and an upset is always on the cards. It also takes just 14 minutes to collect your loot”
I am heading to PE on holiday his week but will certainly follow the Cape Town 7’s and as this is my final article for 2017, I wish you all of the best for the festive season.
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This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 7th of December 2017.