Ireland Should Continue Their Unbeaten Six Nations Streak
Joe Schmidt’s tenure in charge of Ireland hasn’t always been plain sailing but the Kiwi appears to be finally reaping the rewards of his hard work on the training ground. He wasn’t happy with the manner in which his side conceded three tries during the closing 25 minutes against Italy, but they have been working hard to cut out individual errors ahead of this crucial game against Wales.
Ireland pressurised their opponents at the Aviva Stadium and led 42-0 prior to the Italian fightback. It won’t be easy against Wales, who play a far more expansive style, which involves passing and offloading quickly. Betfair have installed Ireland as the 1/4 favourites for this clash with the handicap market (-9) available at 10/11. Wales were only narrowly beaten by England at Twickenham and will be feeling confident about getting something from the game following a 16-16 draw here in 2016. That stalemate was the only occasion where Ireland have dropped points at home since Schmidt took over and he will be determined to keep that run going when the two sides meet on February 24.
Scotland Aim to Make it Tough at Murrayfield
Unbeaten England travel north to face Scotland at Murrayfield and it’s unlikely to be a stroll in the park for Eddie Jones’ side. James Haskell and Joe Marler return to the squad for this tie after missing England’s opening two victories through suspension. Scottish fans will not want to look at the head-to-head stats between these two sides with England completely dominating in recent years, a run which includes a 15-9 victory on their last visit here in 2016.
Scotland slipped up against Wales in their opener but bounced back with a 32-26 victory over France last time out and there is plenty of belief in the squad. They can be backed at 11/4 with Betway to end their winless streak against England and potentially move to within a point of their opponents.