Sports gambling often relies on the form book for successful results, but not always as history has repeatedly demonstrated in the rugby world cup. This year’s tournament starts in New Zealand this weekend, and two weeks ago most observers would have installed the all blacks as favourites once again, even though they have repeatedly failed to live up to their billing since their win in the very first world cup. New Zealand have made a habit of playing like world champions in every four year period between world cups, and this year has been no different, until they lost their last warm up game to Australia. Sports fans gambling on rugby will now be wondering whether history is about to repeat itself for the home country, and whether they will fail yet again at the final hurdle. Rugby gambling fans in Ireland will also be a little concerned by Ireland’s results in the warm up games, which following the complete demolition of England in the final game of the six nations earlier this year, can only be described as disappointing. Ireland start their campaign with what should be a relatively easy opening match against the USA on Sunday, but then have to face Australia in their second game in what should be the Group C decider. Sports fans gambling on rugby in the pool matches, and looking for a good outside bet should look no further than the pacific islanders in the form of Samoa and Fiji, who both face Wales and South Africa in Group D. Both of these sides are capable of an upset, as they have shown in previous tournaments, and Wales will have to be at their best to progress from this group. Argentina have also got a good record in the world cup, and may make gambling on Scotland or indeed England a bit risky in Group B. Beyond that, there should not be any great surprises in the group stages, but as we all know gambling on sport can always throw up a surprise result on the day.