BestOfBets previews the final weekend of the Six Nations action, as Ireland chase a Triple Crown and Grand Slam against under-seige England, with France looking to keep the pressure on in Paris.
Scotland vs Italy, Saturday 11 March @ 12.30pm
Scotland can surely sign off a very respectable Six Nations performance if they – as they should – cruise past Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday lunchtime. They aren’t a great price, 1/9 with many bookmakers, but as part of a treble on the final weekend of the tournament, Gregor Townsend’s side should be bankers.
Three victories and two defeats would mark a solid return for the Scots, although they may still rue their performance against France, where chances of an unlikely championship win since 1999 (the last ever Five Nations) slipped away again. A place in the last eight of the World Cup later this year should be a minimum requirement, given their impressive form.
France vs Wales, Saturday 11 March @ 2.45pm
While Wales will just be thankful they beat Italy last week to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, France will be giving their all and holding out for a miracle on Saturday. Les Bleus made key mistakes in their all-action clash with Ireland earlier in the tournament and that defeat may end up costing them the championship.
In Antoine Dupont, France have the player of the 2023 Six Nations – and arguably the best player in world rugby right now. But they will end this tournament potless unlike England can conjour up a miracle in Dublin. Expect the French to fulfil their side of the bargain by beating Wales in Paris – they are overwhelming favourites to do so, at 1/25. A bonus point win will put some pressure on the Irish.
Ireland vs England, Saturday 11 March @ 5pm
A title procession at the Aviva Stadium, or can England poop the Ireland party by producing some kind of response to their drubbing by France last week? The former seems far likelier, given the respective form of the two teams. Ireland have been inspired all tournament; England looked shellshocked and shattered at Twickenham last time out.
The bookies, just like at the Cheltenham races this week, are backing the Irish and with good reason. Andy Farrell’s side are 1/8 to complate a sensational Grand Slam and Triple Crown. It’s not often England are made such huge underdogs for any Six Nations game, but they’re way out at 6/1 for this one. The price is alluring but there’s not much going in the favour of Steve Borthwick’s men.