What we leaned in the penultimate round of the RBS 6 Nations
Ireland will not win the grand slam but are still in contention for a second successive title, despite the most humbling defeat of the Joe Schmidt era. The champions were out-thought as well as out-fought, and this defeat ended a record-equalling run of 10 straight victories. Despite all the possession they won, they did not work out a way of bringing the dangerous Tommy Bowe into the game and struggled to create space as they were suffocated by a strong defence. Wales did to them what Ireland did to England, taking them on at their strongest points and disarming them. Wales were prepared in a way Ireland were not. A sports betting expert saw that they set out not to lose at the Millennium Stadium, but this weekend against Scotland it will all be about winning, if they want to keep the dream alive.
England have scored 11 tries in four games, more than anyone else in the championship and more than their title rivals Ireland and Wales combined. Three more against France and they will equal last year’s tally of 14, which England have bettered only once since 2005. While they are not yet taking enough of their opportunities and it is pretty obvious that England need to be calmer when the chances do materialise and stay patient when they are not. This must not happen against France, and a professional betting pick will have England winning the 6 Nations in the World Cup year, which always is a good omen.
A top rugby tipster knows that Wales will have to at least match their biggest Six Nations victory against Italy in Rome (38-8 in 2005) to put themselves in contention for a third championship title in four years. Three narrow victories after the opening day defeat by England have taken them to third in the table on points difference, which is markedly inferior to that of Ireland and the leaders England. Wales will be without their two first-choice props, Samson Lee and Gethin Jenkins, and contact work in training this week will be kept to a minimum as bruises fade.
Two of the Six Nations’ Kiwi coaches enter the final weekend chasing the title, but the third, Vern Cotter, still has a part to play in its destiny. A top rugby tipster knows he’s in a position to ruin Schmidt’s attempt at a consecutive title with Ireland and even if they may be friends they’re ferociously competitive. Scotland have a wooden spoon to avoid so you can bet they will play their hearts out.
A top rugby expert says France have to avoid allowing England to dominate for the first 30 minutes as even if they do not really care for the Six Nations they are building for a good World Cup and would need a convincing win to take with them into September’s competition. Against France, Italy were horrible. There were 20 minutes of adequacy from the forwards and 60 minutes, of a proud team coming apart, unravelling, falling to bits. Against Wales, the Azzurri face a massive task, and according to the best rugby predictions, they will have to put on a show even bigger than in their last gasp victory against Scotland.