Six Nations 2019: Brutal England to pass French exam in 5/1 acca
The opening weekend proved to be a thrilling one as both a spectacle and for our Six Nations betting tips as we enjoyed a clean sweep from the three matches.
On Friday, Wales got us off to a nervy start with a stunning comeback victory in France at evens, before Italy rallied with three consolation tries to defend a 24.5 points handicap at 19/20 against Scotland.
England's impressive victory in Ireland meant they covered the +8.5 points handicap with ease for a 6.4/1 treble and left us to rue not tipping them to win at much bigger Six Nations odds.
- Ireland -5.5 pts to beat Scotland 17/20
- Wales -21.5 pts to beat Italy 9/10
- England -12.5 pts to beat France 9/10
[All odds correct at time of publication]
Six Nations fixtures
Scotland vs Ireland (Sat)
Ireland were bullied into submission by rampant England last weekend, but they should have an easier time of it in the first of Saturday's 6 Nations fixtures against a Scotland team that took their foot off the gas against Italy.
Joe Schmidt admitted the defending champions were battered in every area during the 32-20 defeat in Dublin, saying: "That is a reality check about the physicality that will be required to be successful in this World Cup year.
"Head Coach Joe Schmidt is an incredibly intelligent coach so we expect a big showing from them, and not just because they lost that game."-- Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 4, 2019
Blair explains Scotland's plans are unchanged despite the weekend's uncharacteristic Irish defeat.
➡️ https://t.co/MhEffo7RDw pic.twitter.com/ZnCJRXRkQ6
"England collectively delivered a simmering physical intensity. It was a suffocating place to be out there. It's a challenge to all our confidence.
"I think we were physically bettered. I don't think I've seen a game where our opponents got so many physical, dominant tackles, where our opponents have carried physically in the manner that they did.''
To make matters worse, Ireland will be without number eight CJ Stander, lock Devin Toner and centre Garry Ringrose, although wing Keith Earls trained on Tuesday ahead of the trip to Edinburgh where Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend must ensure improvements are made in defence.
Scotland were cruising at 33-3 up thanks to Blair Kinghorn's hat-trick, but three tries in the final 10 minutes gave the score an air of respectability for the visitors.
#GuinnessSixNations-- Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 4, 2019
Peter O'Mahony on how Ireland are 'hurting' from the result but will refocus for the game against Scotland.#TeamOfUs #ShoulderToShoulder https://t.co/enYpR8maen pic.twitter.com/y5V37Grd2a
Ireland have won four of the last five Six Nations matches against Scotland with winning margins ranging from 10-30 points and they are not the second best team in the world for nothing.
We expect a big reaction from Ireland at the weekend so take Six Nations odds of 17/20 on them overcoming a 5.5 points handicap.
Italy vs Wales (Sat)
Wales overcame a 16-0 half-time deficit to defeat France in Paris on Friday night but the feeling remains that they got away with it.
George North capitalised on two monumental second-half blunders, the first from Yoann Huget who failed to gather a rolling kick and a long-range interception touchdown in the final 10 minutes gave Wales a lead they would not relinquish.
📹 Coach catch-up: We speak to Neil Jenkins in Nice as the squad prepare to face Italy in Rome on Saturday... pic.twitter.com/V4DxfhIkUE-- Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 4, 2019
Wales have won the last 11 Six Nations contests against Italy, the last two by 24 and 26 points, and they are just 1/16 to make it 12 in a row in the Six Nations 2019.
They also face the Italians with the prospect of winning their 11th successive Test which would match their best ever run set between 1907-10.
The result is probably beyond doubt but Warren Gatland revealed the "ideal scenario would be to involve the other players who weren't involved against France, whether they start or are on the bench".
The Kiwi believes "patience" will be the key, but even with new players in the team we're siding with the visitors to overcome a 21.5 points handicap at 9/10.
Scotland are not at full strength but managed to take a 30-point lead against the Italians, who have lost by more than 22 points in their last two matches against Wales.
Italy were poor against Scotland save for the final 10 minutes and expect them to suffer a much heavier defeat in Rome.
England vs France (Sun)
England are 8/11 favourites in the Six Nations odds to win the championship for the third time in four years following their brutal win at the Aviva Stadium.
They are also just 1/6 to avenge last season's 22-16 defeat in the penultimate match, a major factor in England finishing in fifth place.
Those who only watched the first half of France's curtain-raiser against Wales would have been stunned to find out they had lost, such was their dominance in those opening 40 minutes, and let's not forget it was two terrible mistakes which cost them the game.
France have won three of their last seven matches against England - two of which were warm-up matches for the 2015 World Cup when Stuart Lancaster fielded a very strong side - so they have no reason to feel overawed.
Only once have England won by more than 10 points during that period and they will also be without key lock Maro Itoje for the France and Wales games after he sustained medial ligament damage during the win in Dublin.
That said, France are nowhere near as good as Ireland and if they repeat the basic errors wich cost them so heavily against Wales they are in for a long afternoon.
MY STORY ✍@Sladey_10 explains what it's like to balance Type 1 Diabetes with a career as a professional sportsman.-- England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 4, 2019
Watch the full video here: https://t.co/DnRrHR0i6w #MondayMotivation 👊 pic.twitter.com/NS2HoUJF9P
After the win against Ireland, England head coach Eddie Jones delivered a stark warning for France when he said: "The intensity at which we played pleased me most. When you play Ireland at home you know it's going to be a physical game and we prepared for that.
"We knew we had to win that battle to win the game. Some games are immensely physical, some are more tactical. We probably shaded them a bit in that area.
"The only thing I know is that the next game will be better. We are a team that's still going. We're nowhere near our best. We're looking forward to playing better than that - and we will.''
Back on home soil after winning by 12 points in Ireland, odds of 9/10 to overcome a 12.5 points handicap look impossible to resist in the last of our Six Nations betting tips.
Six Nations Saver - Get your stake refunded as a Free Bet up to £10 if your team loses by five points or fewer - available on all 2019 Six Nations matches. Terms apply.