Six Nations odds preview
Cape Town - After four rounds of matches in this year’s Six Nations tournament, we are heading into the final and deciding week.
It is now Wales’ tournament to lose and in many ways it is a pity that the English beat the French last week, as it would have set up a cracking finale!
In order for England to win the Six Nations, Wales will have to get hammered and England will have to win comfortably against Ireland to win on points difference.
However, it is as much about the losers as it is about the winners as Scotland and Italy will be battling it out for the wooden spoon. Expect a lot of passion and pride to be thrown into this one.
A closer look at the Six Nations action ahead of the weekend with Bet.co.za:
Saturday, March 17: (all kick-off's SA time)
Italy v Scotland, Rome - 14:30
Odds: Italy 27/20 and Scotland 6/10
Scotland travel to Rome this weekend after having played some excellent rugby at times but just not being able to turn pressure into points at vital stages has been the main reason why they are winless. They will be expecting this to change as bet.co.za have them as slight favorites to win this encounter.
The Italians, naturally, would disagree and would feel that they may have the upper hand at home. They have not been disgraced this year, it is always hard under new management and a lot of new names but they will have shown this has also bought some more energy to their game. Castrogiovanni will be back for the Italians, with his added inspiration and never give up attitude you will expect his side to come close.
15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Kris Burton, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero
Substitutes: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Lorenzo Cittadini, 18 Joshua Furno, 19 Simone Favaro, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Giulio Toniolatti
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Denton, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford (captain), 1 Allan Jacobsen
Substitutes: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Euan Murray, 18 Alastair Kellock, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Ruaridh Jackson, 22 Jack Cuthbert.
Prediction: Scotland to win by 5 points
Wales v France, Cardiff - 16:45
Odds: Wales 2/5 and France 2/1
Cardiff is set for a cracking match and possibly the most exciting game of the weekend as arguably the two best sides in the tournament take each other on. Wales will be hoping to put aside their heartbreak from their narrow loss to the French in the world cup semifinal by winning their first Six Nations since 2008. The French on the other hand will be looking to bounce back after their below par performance last week against England!
The French have five changes to the side that lost against England on the weekend and you get the feeling that although France are out of the running for any titles, they have a very unsettled side on the selection front. Guys will be playing for their places so they will not need much other motivation to give it everything.
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Michael Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Substitutes: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Luke Charteris, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 James Hook, 22 Scott Williams
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 David Attoub, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux
Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh-Duc, 22 Jean-Marcellin Buttin.
Prediction: Wales to win by 8 points
England v Ireland, London - 19:00
Odds: England 13/20 and Ireland 13/10
Twickenham will play host between these two great rivals of the game! Ireland were fairly fancied before this campaign started but haven’t been all that impressive, albeit their games against Wales and France respectively could have gone either way. England were not given much hope but will be happy with their campaign so far and if they can edge out a win here in the final game of the tournament they will be extremely proud of their achievements as they were not given much chance.
Ireland will come out hard and England should match them! England tend to have this ability to grind their opposition down and then deliver the killer blows. However, since Johnny Wilkinson’s departure their goal kicking has been more erratic and have often forfeited easy points. They will have to take all their opportunities this weekend as Ireland by no means will lie down and surrender.
15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Corbisiero
Substitutes: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Mike Brown
15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy
Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Mike McCarthy, 19 Peter O'Mahony, 20 Tomas O'Leary, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Fergus McFadden
Prediction: Ireland to sneak and upset by 2 points
Visit www.bet.co.za for updated odds ahead of the weekend!