Tony Calvin can hardly believe the price when it comes to South Africa starlet Cheslin Kolbe topping the tryscoring charts at the Rugby World Cup - don't miss his essential tip.
Whenever you look at the secondary markets for the Rugby World Cup – particularly the top tryscorer and points-scorer betting – it is inevitable that you gravitate towards the top teams.
Basically, they are the most likely to play the most matches and therefore get the most opportunities, though I don’t expect to get a bonus for that statement of the obvious.
However, this is particularly true of the top points-scorer line, in which Owen Farrell, Handre Pollard and Beauden Barrett are the obvious front-runners, though I wouldn’t be in a rush to back the New Zealander given his team-mate and current first-choice Kiwi fly-half Richie Mo’unga is often used as a front-line kicker too.
I don’t think you can go far wrong dutching Farrell and Pollard at 4/1 and 9/2 respectively, but it is not in my nature to back at such odds, particularly as the spectre of injury, in a frighteningly brutal collision sport featuring more monsters than a boxful of Munch crisps, is ever-present.
That is also true of the top tryscorer market, clearly, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that South Africa’s Cheslin Kolbe is available at 16/1 to top this line.
Furthermore, I was startled that Kolbe is on offer at 14/1 each-way, seven places, with BoyleSports, Betfair and Paddy Power and that looks a must-have wager.
If the name is new to you then check out the 25-year-old's try-scoring showreel doing the rounds on the internet – Google 'Cheslin Kolbe Tribute - the Hot Stepper' and you’ll find it - and prepare to be rather impressed.
His try for Western Province against the Golden Lions is my favourite, though some of the others aren't too shabby either.
He may be a diminutive 5ft 7in and a lightweight 80kg or so (that is basically just the left side of my body) but this guy has diamonds on the soles of his boots, and he can defend, too.
The former Sevens player has made a big impact in France since joining Toulouse from domestic rugby in 2017, and he has scored five tries in six starts (10 games in total) for South Africa since making his international debut against Australia in September last year.
He is one of only three wingers in the Springbok squad (though two others have played once in that position), he is effective on either flank, and he can also play full-back too, thus giving him another reason to be on the bench when not starting.
If he stays fit and his side do as well as I expect, and he gets game-time in all of the four pool matches, then I dread to think of what this elusive stepper will do to the Namibian and Canadian defences, as well as the Italians.
So hot-step it to take the 14/1 each-way, but if that goes quickly, then take the 16/1 in a place at lesser place terms. In truth, he is a bet at the lowest price in the marketplace at 12/1, too, though he is a general 14s poke.
Obviously, you have to take into account similar players from other teams against poor opposition, and Russia could come in for some serious grief, even in the weak Pool A, but if my reading of the South Africa squad is right – and he doesn’t pick up a knock – then Kolbe will be gracing our screens and the scoreboard a fair amount.
And I’ve seen worse 50/1 chances than for him to be player of the tournament with Betfair. This guy is something special.
I was going to do a bigger piece, but I was keen to get this bet out there before the price goes.
I’ll be back later in the week with some first-round match previews and maybe a look at some other special markets, too, at the same time.
Until then, all Sporting Life rugby punters should be saying hello to our little friend at 14/1 and 16/1.
Posted at 1200 BST on 15/09/19
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