Most Notable Upsets And Underdog Victories In Rugby Betting History

Rugby, a sport renowned for its ferocity and skill, has a rich history of games where the underdog rose victorious. These extraordinary instances made their way into rugby folklore, although they also profoundly impacted the world of rugby betting.

England Vs. Australia In The 2003 Rugby World Cup

When England defeated the tournament’s favorites and hosts, Australia, in the 2003 championship match, they became the first and only side from the northern hemisphere to win the Rugby World Cup. 

Despite having a strong team under the leadership of Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson, Australia had the home advantage and a track record of defeating England in games of significance. Both sides scored one try each and traded penalties throughout the final, which was tense and close.

Wilkinson hit a drop goal with a few seconds remaining to give England the victory after extra time. The final score was 20 – 17. 

South Africa Vs. Japan In The 2015 Rugby World Cup

Japan’s victory over two-time world champions South Africa in the tournament’s opening match. Many consider it the biggest upset in rugby history. 

Japan ranked 13th globally at the time and had not won a World Cup game since 1991. On the other hand, South Africa ranked first and won the competition in 1995 and 2007. 

Karne Hesketh’s last-minute try allowed Japan to secure a stunning win that shocked the rugby community. The final score was 34 – 32. 

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New Zealand Vs. France In The 1999 Rugby World Cup

It’s no secret that New Zealand is a dominant force in rugby. The 1999 Rugby World Cup was no different when they featured a team consisting of Christian Tullen, Andrew Mehrtens, Johna Lomu, and Tana Umaga. They were the fan-favorites of the tournament.

When they led 24-10 early in the second half of their semi-final match against France, it appeared as though they would easily advance to the final. However, the All Blacks were in for a shock when France mounted an incredible recovery, scoring four tries in only 13 minutes to clinch their spot in the championship game. The final score was 43 – 31. 

New Zealand Vs. Argentina In The 2020 Tri Nations Tournament

In the Tri-Nations Cup in 2020, Argentina defeated New Zealand for the first time in history. Due to the pandemic, the Pumas had been without a test match for over a year and had to undergo a rigorous quarantine period in Australia before the competition. 

On the other hand, fans anticipated New Zealand to dominate after just defeating Australia to win the Bledisloe Cup. However, Argentina put on an impressive display of skill and made great use of kicking. 

Fly-half Nicolás Sánchez performed exceptionally well, scoring all the points for his with a conversion, six penalties, and a try. The final score was 15 – 25.


Rugby betting at Ladbrokes Australia or other sporstbooks is as entertaining as it is uncertain. While the favorites may carry the weight of expectation, the underdogs can have enough vigor to overpower even the toughest opponents. When you place your next bet, remember that underdogs also have a bark and a bite. 

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