Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Rugby Tips: Your best bets for this Saturday in the Six Nations championship

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Saturday
2:15pm – Italy v Scotland

Handicap: Scotland -11
Scotland to score 2 tries in each half

4:45pm – England v Ireland


Bundee
Aki to Score a Try and Ireland to Win

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Italy v Scotland
Six Nations match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
TV: ITV1, Saturday, 2:15pm

Handicap: Scotland -11

What a week, round three could’ve been for Italy. They had the French on the ropes, but they couldn’t convert when they needed to. It’ll have left a very sour taste in their mouth. Once again, they’re staring down the barrel of a last-placed finish. Another opportunity presents itself this weekend as the Scots come to town, but what was once the perennial wooden spoon match-up is now a chance for Scotland to crush the Azzurri.

Scotland under Gregor Townsend are the new kids on the block. They’ve improved leaps and bounds, and only for the length of the Murrayfield grass could have been on a crash course for a grand slam showdown with Ireland. Italy haven’t won in Rome in 11 years, and that won’t be updated on Saturday. Scotland will win here and should have enough firepower to cover the handicap. Take the Scots -11. 

Scotland to score 2 tries in each half

Scotland have shown enough attacking promise in this tournament to trouble any defence. They’ve scored 73 points in three games and will look to add to that tally and some as they are chasing their best Six Nations finish ever.

Now they face the lowly Italian’s who have conceded 73 points and give up tries at will. Their poor discipline and lack of attacking quality will put them under serious pressure. Scotland will be chasing that bonus point from the off. This bet will be in great shape if the Scots can get some success early, as the Italians waver late in games. Two tries in each half for Scotland is the bet.

 

 

England v Ireland
Six Nations match at Twickenham, London
TV: ITV1, Saturday, 4:15pm

Handicap: Ireland -12

It’s not often Ireland head into Twickenham as two-try favourites, but it’s as much of a testament to Ireland’s superiority as it is to England’s incredibly poor form and monotonous style of play. In what was once a clash Irish fans looked at it more in hope than expectance, this matchup has a totally different feel to it. Ireland are in total control of the Six Nations, and a bonus point win can seal a successive crown at the home of the old enemy. Expect Ireland to push for those tries early and often.

Ireland’s expansive play style will have caused English defence coach and former Munster man, Felix Jones, to have had many sleepless nights this week. How will Jones look to stop the Irish juggernaut? As the old saying goes, attack is the best form of defence, and I just don’t see England causing Ireland problems going forward. The best analogy I read this week was RTE’s Conor Neville description of watching England play as ‘like watching a man unroll a length of carpet with his toe for an hour’.

You’ll see plenty of examples on Saturday as English scrum-half Alex Mitchell will roll the ball eight feet behind the ruck, kick it up in the air and look to get some field position off the high ball. There’ll be as much hope and expectancy going into those kicks as Irish fans had heading to London in the late 90s/early 00s.

How is that going to be enough to trouble Ireland? Simple answer  – it won’t.

They’ll need to expand their play, and do they have the players to do that? No, they don’t. I’m expecting Ireland to win and win well. They’re streets ahead of England in all facets. They could play this game at any hour, in any venue, but it wouldn’t make a difference. Ireland will win on Saturday, and they’ll cover the two-try handicap. Take Ireland -12. 

Bundee Aki to Score a Try and Ireland to Win

If you want extra value in this game, this looks like the bet. There can be little debate about who Ireland’s best player over the last six months has been. That man is Bundee Aki.

The Connacht centre had an exceptional World Cup campaign and immediately backed that up with his performances so far in this tournament. It’s hard to find a more popular player in this Ireland team, and he scores big tries in the biggest games.

After being denied a score against the Welsh via a TMO decision, he’ll be hungry to get back amongst the try-scoring ranks this Saturday. Ireland should cruise to victory, so this is an enhanced anytime-try scorer bet. Take Aki as your man and Ireland to win.

Saturday
2:15pm – Italy v Scotland

Handicap: Scotland -11
Scotland to score 2 tries in each half

4:45pm – England v Ireland

Handicap: Ireland -12
Bundee Aki to Score a Try and Ireland to Win

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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