Ireland vs Scotland: Dark Blues to defend handicap in Dublin
Ireland vs Scotland Match Preview and Predictions
Ireland can take a massive step towards a third Six Nations title in five years by defeating Scotland in Dublin on Saturday, but the visitors have aspirations of their own.
Gregor Townsend's side bounced back in style from their drubbing by Wales on the opening weekend to defeat France and England on their home patch
Scotland's sensational 25-13 victory over the Auld Enemy means they are 12/1 to win the title for the first time since 1999, but to do that they will have to overcome a poor record away from home.
Scotland have managed just two wins outside Edinburgh and Rome in the 18 years since the tournament was expanded to six teams, their last coming at Croke Park in 2010.
Townsend said: "There are a few things we have done to address our away form. We've discussed it as a group, with the leadership group, with individuals as well - we've had one-on-one meetings with everybody in the squad to talk about away games."
Scotland have made just one change to the side that beat England so convincingly, with Edinburgh wing Blair Kinghorn coming in for the injured Tommy Seymour.
Ireland are expected to welcome back two of their Lions for Saturday with Tadh Furlong and Iain Henderson set to resume training this week.
BREAKING | Gregor Townsend has made one change to the starting Scotland team for this Saturday's NatWest 6 Nations Test against Ireland in Dublin.-- Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 7, 2018
➡️ Tommy Seymour misses out with a back injury so Blair Kinghorn earns his first start on the wing. Lee Jones joins the bench. pic.twitter.com/xQtoTQ0Hy1
Match-up history and facts
Scotland ended a run of three successive defeats by Ireland with a 27-22 victory at Murrayfield in last season's Six Nations, but their recent record in Dublin suggests another defeat looms for the Dark Blues.
Since 2012, Ireland have won by 18, 22 and 10 points, additionally running out 28-22 winners in a 2015 Rugby World Cup warm-up.
Ireland, as the world's third-ranked team, are understandably red-hot favourites at 1/4 to win Saturday's encounter having lost just once at the Aviva Stadium in their last 13 games. However, the signs are Scotland can do well at the weekend .
Scotland can take huge confidence from defeating a full-strength Australia team in Sydney during the summer, a point not lost on Townsend who said: "We're all aware we've got a poor record in the Six Nations away from home, but some of these players have done very well away from home for Scotland - in recent times a win in Australia - and have done very well away from home with their clubs."
The performance against England suggests Scotland can defend a 9.5pt handicap at 9/10 with Ireland set to win by between 1-7 points at 27/10.
Ireland vs Scotland Betting Tips
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