6 Nations Preview: Great Scots, Welsh roar, England reeling
Who saw that coming? A brilliant opening weekend saw Scotland win in England, Wales take down Ireland and Italy… lose heavily. France were emphatic winners and they now head the 6 Nations betting market – but more twists and turns surely await us.
After a 38-year wait to beat their fierce rivals, Scotland got the job done to clinch the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham with a hard-fought 11-6 victory. Wales took advantage of a 14-man Ireland to record a 21-16 triumph, and now the two teams meet at Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon. Who will maintain that perfect start?
Scotland v Wales
Scotland are the favourites to make it two out of two, on home soil and buoyant after that historical win. In Round 1, the Scots had:
- 58% territory
- 62% possession
- 100% line-out success
The possession stat is notable – no nation has had more in the past two editions of the 6 Nations, so this could be a test of Wales’ defensive resolve. Duhan van der Merwe now has four tries in five starts for Scotland and could be a good bet to cross the try line. He’s 8/1 to score the first try.
Wales have been hit by injury with four players out and are sweating on the fitness of star player George North. Young winger Louis-Rees Zammit could therefore be the Dragons’ main hope – he touched down against Ireland and is 6/5 to do so again, and 8/1 to score first or last.
England v Italy
England should be able to bounce back from that shock defeat when the Italians come to town. After being restricted to a couple of successful kicks last week, Eddie Jones’ side will be looking to win and win big. The hosts are huge odds-on favourites, and therefore it’s worth exploring other markets – an England try to be the first scoring play at 6/4 looks promising.
There were high hopes that Eddie Jones would use this opportunity to give England’s promising youngsters a chance to shine. But the head coach wants to get back on track and is sticking with what he knows. Jonny May is at the top of the first try scorer betting, and 5/1 doesn’t seem like bad value to get the ball rolling
Ireland v France
Sunday’s match is arguably the game of the week. Despite Ireland’s opening-day loss, they’ll still fancy their chances of lifting the title – but they can’t afford to lose this game too. France were dominant against Italy and inspired by the marvellous Antoine Dupont, who we flagged up last week at 8/1 to notch his second successive 6 Nations Player of the Tournament honour. He’s 5/2 now (sorry!) and the Irish will have to be on song to stop him.
The boot of Johnny Sexton and the talent of Conor Murray at half-back will always provide a threat but can the aging half-back pairing do the damage for Andy Farrell’s side?
Our 6 Nations shouts:
- England to win and over 55.5 points (5/6)
- Scotland to win by 1-12 points (7/5)
- France to win by 1-12 points (13/10)
Let us know what you think on our social media pages. And enjoy the 6 Nations weekend!