Historically, bookmakers have normally found Rugby a very hard sport to beat ..
This may be because 15 men, who are committed/fit etc, can fairly easily balance the effects of a team member under-performing.
The World Cup is a long competition, and to win, more than anything else, u need a v strong squad - not just a great starting 15. Players get injured - tired - etc .. so, countries with depth, will overcome.
As injuries can be such a factor - its a theory, that once a team has 'won' its first/second match, it will ease off - either physically or mentally, in the last 10 mins.
Maybe becos of this, in the last World Cup, all 8 underdogs 'on handicap' managed to win their games .. for example, if Japan were 40 points underdog, they managed to lose by less than 40.
So far, of the 8 games played .. 6 underdogs, managed to win on handicap - and its noticeable, the gap between the historically great rugby nations, and the also-rans, is narrowing.
So far, I havent been that impressed by any team, thou I have little doubt, if New Zealand manage to keep 15 players on the field, they will go v close to winning. At 2.24, it cant be a bet.
I have a little on Ireland at 12/1 .. and have laid S.Africa for maximum. The coach looks nervous, and rightly so - his head looks bang on the chopping block, after Japan at 300/1+, managed a well deserved win.