Six Nations Preview: France v Scotland… and Wales’ title hopes
Super Saturday was indeed super – and France’s EPIC win over Wales would have been one of the most thrilling climaxes to a Six Nations campaign in the competition’s history.
A final flurry from the 14 men of France prevented the Welsh Grand Slam, but we won’t know if it’s denied them the title until Friday night – when Les Blues welcome the Scots to Paris for their re-arranged fixture.
It’s not straightforward – so here’s a little explanation of what France need to do for the title, our predictions and a few of our best bets.
Six Nations permutations
France haven’t won the Six Nations since 2010 and it’s now very much in their hands after Brice Dulin’s last-gasp try in Paris last weekend. But there’s work to do if they’re to leapfrog the current leaders – that’s why they’re 13/10 to claim the crown.
What do Wales want?
Wales have 20 points and top the standings; France are third with 15. So a Scotland win or a draw in the French capital will see Wales regain the Six Nations crown, after England took it off their hands last year. A Scotland loss could do it too – if they prevent France from scoring four tries.
What do France want?
A four-try bonus point victory – and an emphatic one that sees them defeat Scotland by 21 points or more. Nothing less will do. Wales have a +61 points difference, 20 better off than France.
And mirroring the points tallies, Wales have scored 20 tries and France have 15. Let’s tell you why that’s relevant…
What do we all want?
A SHARED CROWN! It’s not happened since the Five Nations in 1988 and it is possible, although it’s going to take a freak result for it do so. The Six Nations title will be shared between France and Wales if… France score exactly five tries and win by exactly 20 points. Got that? Good.
Oh, and who shared that crown in ’88? You guessed it… France and Wales.
Six Nations Shouts
First scoring play: France Penalty (21/4)
France will be on the front foot from the start and although they’ll be desperate for an early try, a Scotland mistake and three points in the bag wouldn’t go amiss. This looks good value.
Highest scoring half: First Half (10/11)
Along those lines, the hosts will want to make life as easy as possible. If France can start strong and build a comfortable first-half lead, the second 40 will be a case of getting the job done and shutting up shop.
Handicap: Scotland +18.5 (7/10)
Ultimately, we’re predicting a valiant effort from France – but the stubborn Scots will do just enough to hand Wales the title. At 11/20, Wales are a short price to be crowned Champions and this seems a good alternative.