The Rugby League Four Nations tournament is a fast-paced and hotly contested battle between the best nations in the world of rugby league. While not as many countries play league compared to rugby union, it is growing in popularity, and the Four Nations tournament gives fans a chance to watch the best of the action.
Here we bring you some of the information about the tournament itself as well as details that will help you when betting on it. This will include details of some of the most popular betting markets – such as the outright winner market in the Four Nations – and some strategies to employ when placing your bets. First, let’s take a brief look at the tournament itself.
The Four Nations tournament, which takes place every two years, has been around only since 2009, but its forerunner, the Tri-Nations, was first contested back in 1999. The original tournament was contested between the three best rugby league nations in the world: Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
When the Four Nations came into being, however, instead of Great Britain, it was England who competed against the two powerhouses from the southern hemisphere. And the fourth side? It alternates from tournament to tournament between a southern and northern hemisphere side who has qualified through a regional tournament. It is worth mentioning that, prior to the 2016 tournament, none of the fourth sides has ever made the final, but the smaller rugby league nations are slowly starting to close the gap on the main contenders.
Since the Four Nations tournament started, Australia and New Zealand have each won it twice. Australia also won three of the four Tri-Nations tournaments that preceded it, with New Zealand taking the other.
The competition takes on the “round robin” format, with each side playing each of the other sides once. Teams are awarded two points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a defeat. The top two sides then meet in the final, with points for and against used to decide between sides who are level.
Looking at the main betting markets that punters can choose from for the Four Nations, the most popular must be the outright winner market. This is simply a bet on which of the four teams will win the tournament. To give you an idea of the betting odds, you just need to check out our odds comparison tool which compares the prices from the best bookies in the business so you don’t have to. Generally speaking, Australia go into the tournament as outright winner favourites, followed by New Zealand, then England, then whoever the fourth side happens to be.
Many bookies will also take bets on which sides will make it to the final. Australia are often priced at prohibitively short odds in this market, but you might find some value if you think whichever fourth side is competing (Scotland in 2016) could sneak through to the final.
Most of the other betting markets for the Four Nations are found on the individual matches. Examples include match winner, first tryscorer, half time/full time, total points scored, winning margin and handicap markets. In other words, many of the same betting markets as you would find in big rugby union matches such as those of the Six Nations tournament.
Whatever you choose to bet on though, remember to make good use of our odds comparison tool to maximise your value and profits!