Six Nations Preview by James

Published On March 14, 2014 | By admin | James, Star Spreads

There’s only one round of matches left in one of the most captivating Six Nations championships in recent memory, and heading into this weekend’s action, as many three teams could still put their name on the trophy.

Ireland are in pole position, needing only a win in Paris to almost certainly secure the crown. By virtue of their dominant victories over Italy, Scotland and Wales, Ireland hold a hefty advantage in points differential column meaning that England would have to beat Italy by at least 50 points more than Ireland’s winning margin in Paris, in order to prevent the Boys in Green making it a St. Patrick’s weekend to remember.

That said, as well as Ireland have played this spring, getting a victory in Paris will be no easy task. France may be the longest shot for the Six Nations crown – they’d need to beat Ireland by at least 29 points more than England win by – they still have something to play for and Ireland’s previous record in these match-ups is hardly inspiring.

It can’t be forgotten either that win or loss, this tomorrow will be Brian O’Driscoll’s final game in the green jersey. The standing ovation he received last week was a true testament to the effect that he has had on the game here in Ireland and though he skills have been in decline for a couple of years now, his leadership, more than anything, will be missed in the Irish dressing room come World Cup time next year. Perhaps we’ll have a repeat of that magical Parisian afternoon in 2000 to cap a fine career? One can only hope!

Betting wise, I have to admit that England seem to present what little bit of value might be there this weekend at 11/10 to win the championship. Italy have fallen off significantly this year after an impressive campaign last spring and I expect England to capitalize on that ruthlessly just as Ireland did last week.

Scotland showed some heart last weekend in Murrayfield and put up a real fight against the French but I think Wales are just a more talented team and despite their poor form I think they’ll take care of the Scots this weekend. The Welsh have been a massive disappointment this year but they still possess some quality players, especially in the backs and if the markets read too much into this recent dip, they could present some nice value come the Autumn.

All in all, it promises to be a fascinating weekend of rugby action, and one which given the lack of international competition for most of the year ought to be savored. Hopefully come Saturday evening, we in Dublin will be kicking off the weekend’s festivities a little Ireland!

  • Any spread prices quoted are indicative and as always prices are subject to fluctuation.
  • Please note the opinion, views and forecasts above are of the author and not of Star Spreads.

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