The Blues’ 48-21 humiliation at the hands of the Sunwolves is officially the biggest Super Rugby upset this century. I thought it was, and now the bookies have confirmed it!
Data collected in New Zealand has uncovered odds on every Super Rugby game since 2000, and the Blues’ humbling in Japan ranks as the most unexpected at the bookmakers.
“We were probably favourites going into that game,” lamented Blues coach Tana Umaga – phenomenally understating the near-certainty that punters and bookies alike had in a Blues victory.
Of the 1783 Super Rugby games played since 2000, the Sunwolves became the first team at 15-1 odds to win. By averaging out the odds from 49 bookmakers, the Sunwolves were 15.52 to 1 to beat the Blues, and those odds even seemed unappealing.
Umaga is quoted as calling the Sunwolves’ defence “relentless” after the match, their recent form didn’t show any reasons for concern. Filo Tiatia’s side were coming off a 94-7 hammering at the hands of the Lions, and a 52-15 defeat to the Stormers, and more of the same looked possible as they fell into an early 21-7 deficit. Then, the Sunwolves piled on 41 unanswered points…yes, that’s right, 41 unanswered points.
The Sunwolves recorded their highest ever points total, biggest margin of victory, and undoubtedly the greatest win in the team’s history.
As Umaga stated after the match “We can’t take anything for granted in this competition.
I can certainly agree with that.