A very enjoyable weekend of rugby last weekend. Our tournament bets got off to the best start with France defeating England, and we got a double up with our multiple bet, with only Scotland proving to be very worthy opponents against the Irish. We came very close to adding our try scorer bets to our winnings, with Hogg advised at 4/1 anytime try scorer dropping the ball over the line, and North to score 2 tries, bagging himself one and having a 2nd disallowed. Onwards to this weekend though, we have 2 very very competitive games on paper, one of which I think we will see an upset. Then the third game of the weekend we should see a comfortable win for the French.
Ireland vs Wales 8/2/20 2:15 ko
This is one of my favorite fixtures in the International calendar. It is always very competitive and played with great intensity. Ireland, although only scraped a win past Scotland last week, showed a mental toughness to come through the game with a win, which at the end of the day was the most important thing to them. Scotland had their chances and forced a lot of pressure onto the Irish, but for the most part they held firm and played a great defensive game. Wales on the other hand have basically had an extra week to prepare over the other 4 nations. Italy were a sub standard opposition last weekend as expected. It was a great chance for the Welsh to play through some of their combinations and try a few things. At times they looked very sharp and others they seemed to lose their way. The introduction of Nick Tompkins into the midfield helped them a lot, with him in there they looked a lot more dangerous. Ireland this weekend should get a similar result to last weekend, with home advantage playing a big part for them. They welcome Rob Henshaw back into the midfield, who looked really hungry when he came on last week, and he can maybe be that spark that gets them on the front foot again this weekend, backed up by Murray and Sexton controlling the game and playing it all in the right areas of the Aviva
Ireland -3 handicap EVS betfair/PP, others mainly 10/11 – Lost
Anytime Try scorer Robbie Henshaw 7/1 best Price, with Ladbrokes – Lost
Scotland vs England 8/2/20 4:45 ko
What a stonking match this could be. England almost humiliated in France, never in it, completely outplayed, and flattered on the final scoreboard by 2 moments of brilliance from Jonny May. Scotland, walked away from the Aviva wondering what could have been, endless pressure, unable to turn it into points. I would normally expect a backlash from England this weekend, but there is something that is stopping me thinking that. They don’t look at all like the side that made a World Cup final 4 months ago. Jones has rung the changes hoping for a response, but I don’t see one coming. Scotland will sniff blood. They have a chance to hang onto the Calcutta cup for the 3rd year in a row, I am not sure they are going to give it up. They really impressed me in defeat last week and continued to give it everything for the full 80 minutes. Adam Hastings more than filled the boots of Finn Russell and controlled the game well. The Scottish back row is scary, their ball carrying and breakdown work is immense. I think Scotland in a very hostile Murrayfield will win. But we can steal a few points on the handicap for assurance
Scotland +7 handicap EVS bET365/Boyle sports/sky bet, others mainly 10/11 – Lost (drew on Hcap)
France vs Italy 9/2/20 3:00 ko
The highs of Paris last weekend were special scenes, I have not seen the Stade De France bounce like that in a long time. All of a sudden the whole nation seems to be behind their team again. That was a performance to be proud of. They will be more keen than ever to back that up with a clinical display against the Italians this weekend. They have been guilty in the past of showing brilliance one week and then not turning up the next. That will not happen this week, Having a man like Shaun Edards behind the scenes, he does not allow complacency to slip in. Italy last week were poor, i cannot see a change this week or at all in the near future. They are not good enough at the moment. As long as France are patient, play their patterns and are clinical when the chances come, Italy could be on the end of 50+ points.
France -26 handicap 10/11 across all major bookies – Lost
Anthony Bouthier to score 2 or more tries 17/1 best price with Betfair – Lost
Play the try scorer bets as singles, and then play the handicap bets as doubles and a treble this weekend