Time to get excited. I hope you have all got involved with our tournament bets, and are looking forward to the weekend as much as I Am. We have 3 great fixtures to look forward to, with a couple of little plays on the side of our multiple bet.
Wales vs Italy 1/2/20 2:15 ko
We start in Cardiff, with an expectant Welsh crowd, and I expect to be hostile and vocal in the Principality. Off the back of a successful World Cup they will be hoping their nation can build and keep moving forward. That means that nothing less than a demolition of Italy at the weekend can be considered a success, and I am inclined to agree. On paper, the Welsh are taking the Italians very seriously with a very strong side chosen, With George North filling in at 13 they have power and pace all over their back line, backed up by a very dynamic pack who can give them go forward ball all afternoon. They may well look rusty for the first 20 minutes whilst the Italians put up a bit of a front, but it wont take long to start breaking them down and this could be a riot and enjoyable day for the Welsh. The Italians on the other hand do not look strong to me at all, and I fear for them this tournament as they look a level or two below these other sides at the moment
Wales -24 handicap evs Will Hill, Betfair, betfred. most other major bookies 10/11 – WON
George North to score 2 or more tries 9/1 best price with Betfair, others shorter – Lost (1 try, 1 disallowed)
Ireland vs Scotland 1/2/20 4:45 ko
2nd stop is the Aviva stadium, not a happy hunting ground for the Scots in recent years, and I feel it will be the same again this weekend. Yes Adam Hastings is a fine 10 in his own right, but he is not the caliber of Finn Russell. They will really miss him at the weekend. I have heard a lot of people saying that the only way Scotland can win this game is to play a structured game and use their kicking game a lot. I couldn’t disagree more. If it turns into a kicking war for possession and Territory, there are few better combinations in the world than Murray and Sexton at the moment. Scotland need it unstructured and free flowing, attacking from all over the park. Ireland will strangle the life out of them chipping away on the scoreboard getting themselves a healthy lead and then running away with the match int he last 20 minutes. They also have a new sensation at no. 8 who could really step up and be a long term fixture to build their team around for years to come in Caelan Doris.
Ireland -13 handicap EVS Betfair, most other major bookies 10/11 – Lost
Anytime tryscorer Stuart Hogg 4/1 best price with Betfair, others shorter – Lost (dropped the ball over the line)
France vs England 2/2/20 3:00 ko
Le Crunch, and it really will be this time round. I genuinely believe that whoever wins this match wins the tournament and possibly the Grand Slam. France have an electric looking back line, full of youth and oozing class, they also have a freak of a player at 13 in Vakatawa, who has the ability to beat players in a phone box and score from anywhere, England will have to be at their best just to stop him, let alone the other 14 players. England themselves looked very solid and have picked a team to win ball at the breakdown, but they look very light to me on the ball carrying front, so may struggle to get enough go forward ball to release their wide backs. I am in the France camp in an explosive atmosphere inside the Stade de France on Sunday. It is going to take a big performance from the English to try and force a result here
France +4 handicap EVS Will Hill, Bet365, Betfred, Betway, most other major bookies 10/11 – WON
Virimi Vakatawa anytime tryscorer 3/1 best price with Betfair, others shorter – Lost
Play the doubles and treble this weekend on the handicaps. Also the tryscorer bets as singles