Rugby Tips: Best bets for France v New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup

Allez Les Bleus, Allez Les Bleus


The Rugby World Cup is back. A place where legends are born. (None of them Irish).

Everybody remembers where they were when Jonny Wilkinson kicked England to World Cup glory in 2003. Depending on what side of the pond you’re on it was the greatest or worst drop goal you’ve ever seen.

Fast forward 20 years and we’re off to France. England are coming into the tournament without the expectation they usually carry into the showpiece event.

Scotland in Pool B have a tough task with Ireland and South Africa in their group but will be quietly confident of gaining a huge scalp.

Wales have a favourable Pool on paper but have a tough opening day match up against Fiji, who I think have a great chance of getting out of Pool C.

And Ireland, the #1 ranked side in World Rugby come in with a heap of expectation, but as always will lose out in a quarter-final decider, likely against one of the sides in the curtain raiser.

And what a curtain raiser it is. Arguably the best pool stage fixture kicks the tournament off on Friday night as hosts France entertain the All-Blacks.

It’s a game that will be decided by the toss of a coin according to most bookmakers, but I’m going to pick a side as I go through my three best bets for France v New Zealand on Friday night.

France v New Zealand best bets:

France to win by 1-7 points

New Zealand have never lost a pool game at a Rugby World Cup.

So of course, I’m backing them to lose this one. Lose by a small margin.

France, are at home in front of 80,000 people. The atmosphere will be electric, and I think this is the best French side we’ve seen in the past 20 years.

The last time these teams met was back in 2021, in the same venue, where France ran out 40-25 winners. New Zealand have lost five times since then, which is unheard of for a New Zealand side.

They had a great Rugby Championship this year, but were well beaten by South Africa in their final warm up game at Twickenham.

While I do expect New Zealand to grow into the tournament, The French will be out of the blocks quick and might catch the All-Blacks cold.

Antoine Dupont to score a try
For a try scorer I’m looking at France’ scrum-half Antoine Dupont. The best 9 in the world, Dupont has occupied the scrum-half position in each of the last two World Rugby Team of The Year sides.

Dupont is the French creative spark and he can create something out of nothing. The opportunistic 5’ 8 Toulouse man has scored 12 international tries in 12 separate matches. France have won 11 out of those 12 games.

If Dupont were to get injured at any stage of the tournament, it would be a massive dent in ‘Les Bleus’ World Cup ambitions. That’s how big he is to the side.

His turn of pace and skill will cause New Zealand plenty of problems and he’s the man I want in my try-scorer betslip.

If you want a juicier price, he’s 16/1 in the first-try scorer market – which I think is great value in expecting France to be the faster starters!


Half-Time Handicap France -1
I touched upon earlier how I thought the French might be quick out of the blocks and catch New Zealand cold.

New Zealand have been slow starters in their two warm up games finding themselves 17-3 down to Australia at half-time and 14-0 down to South Africa in the opening 40.

Any sluggish start is sure to be punished by France who’ll be out to make a statement early on.

I’m backing France to take a lead into half time.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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