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Can Ireland ruin Wales' Grand Slam party? Get Super Saturday Six Nations tips

Ben Darvill 14 Mar 2019

Can Italy impart a huge loss on a misfiring France, will Wales secure a Grand Slam by beating Ireland in Cardiff, and will England be given the chance to win the championship with a win over Scotland? Read on for our best bets for Super Saturday in the Six Nations. 

Italy vs France (Saturday, 12:30 GMT)

For Italy, this Six Nations campaign will end with the wooden spoon, but it has actually been quite a promising season for the side, with performances that have put pressure on their opposition across February and March. A 33-20 loss to Scotland in the opening round of fixtures was disappointing, but this was because they hammered the Scottish try line in the closing stages as they scored three unanswered second-half tries, but this was not enough as they were let down by their poor showing in the first-half. This was followed by hard-graft performances as they lost 26-15 to Wales, while they were beaten 26-16 by Ireland as Italy did display that they can put in big performances to worry the best teams. However, this was somewhat undone by their 57-14 loss to England at Twickenham, although it should be noted that the Italians went through the phases well and kept ball in hand, with two tries a good showing. While the loss was a heavy one, England are very good at home and have looked like the best-performing team in the championship so far, and so Italy will likely not take this healthy loss to heart. Now, they take on a French side that they will feel are entirely beatable.

France arrive for their final game of the championship with just a single win and some very poor performances across their four matches. Their opening game of the tournament saw them 16-0 up at half-time against Wales as they completely dominated the match. They came out looking to close the game out but individual errors plagued their second-half as they lost all of their momentum, with Wales scoring three tries in the second-half to claim a huge win and consign France to yet another massively damaging loss. This was then followed by a massive 44-8 loss to England at Twickenham as France were completely outplayed and made to look very ordinary. Their next game did see them get back to winning ways as they beat Scotland 27-10 in a decent performance, but they then allowed this momentum to disappear as they lost 26-14 to Ireland in a showing in which they were dominated territory-wise as Ireland did not ever look like they would lose the match. Now, they face a massive game, as if they are to lose this one then they will have just one win in five this year, while losing to Italy will perhaps show that France are even further away from the top than first thought. 

In this one, we are backing Italy with a +12 point handicap. The home side may have been hammered by England in their last game, but so were France when they went to Twickenham. Importantly, Italy lost to Scotland by 13 points in their away match, while they lost to Wales and Ireland but 11 and 10 points respectively, with their performances at home very strong. With France not looking too good going forward and at the back, we think that backing the Italians with a handicap is the right way to bet on this one. 

As far as anytime try scorers go, we think backing Yoan Huget is the right option here. Huget has gone over from three tries this year and is the joint-second highest scorer this season. With his bustling runs and powerful frame we think he will worry the Italian defence in what is a huge game for both sides. 

Wales vs Ireland (Saturday, 14:45 GMT)

Well here we are, after four games for each side in the Six Nations, Wales have a chance of a Grand Slam winning campaign, while Ireland can still win the championship, and they will relish the chance to end Wales’ winning run and deny them a Grand Slam just one year after they themselves had secured it. This one could be an incredible game, with so much on the line for both sides.

For Wales this year, they have not hit the heights that their potential and talent suggests they can, but this has not stopped them from winning games as they have just rumbled on with four victories in a row. Their opening match displayed their ability to stay in a game as they went into the break 16-0 down after the French came out swinging, while Wales were very poor. However, three tries due to French mistakes and Welsh opportunism in the second-half saw Warren Gatland’s men maintain their unbeaten run and start the championship off with a win. This was then followed by a 26-15 win over Italy that was hardly convincing, but they once again got the job done with a mismatched Welsh team that had one eye on England in the next round. This huge clash with England saw the Welsh struggle in the first-half before they rallied with two tries including an incredible juggling score from Josh Adams to end England’s Grand Slam hopes and take another huge step towards securing it themselves. Last weekend saw Wales once again struggle, but they were able to beat Scotland 18-11 at Murrayfield as the Scots were beaten by their own inability to do the simple things well, with Wales continuing to win games. 

Visitors Ireland arrive with their hopes of securing a second Grand Slam in a row lying in tatters after their opening day loss to England. The English left with a bonus point securing 32-20 win over the side at the Aviva Stadium as Eddie Jones’ men battered their opponents. The less said about the game for Ireland the better, with the side just not at the races on the day. Next, they had to face up to a tough trip to Murrayfield to take on Scotland, but they passed the test as they won 22-13 to get back to winning ways against a Scottish side that struggled to ever really get going. Next, they themselves struggled as they battled to a 26-16 win over Italy to continue their apparent troubles as they have not really been able to open up in attack and score a lot of points. Their last game was perhaps their best performance of the campaign as they dominated France for large swathes of the game. Their territorial domination saw France constantly defending their own line, with Ireland’s line out and rolling maul pushing France backwards. Now, they face a huge test at the Principality Stadium, and they will need to put in their best performance of the 2019 Six Nations if they are to win this one. 

For this game, we are genuinely torn. The pressure on Wales will be massive, with Gatland’s men the favourites to win at the Principality in this one and to secure a Grand Slam. For Ireland, this one will be a huge chance for them to ruin Wales’ party in the Welsh capital, and they will be desperate to ensure that Wales do not secure a Grand Slam just a year after they had done it. With this in mind, we think Ireland will arrive relishing the chance to be seen as the underdogs, and we are backing them at good value at 5/4, although it will be very close as Wales have found that habit of winning games anyway possible this year. As far as anytime scorers go, we think Josh Adams will once again be on the scoresheet. Adams went over yet again against Scotland as he burned his man on the outside with a step and turn of pace to show that he is a winger that should not be taken lightly. This was his third try of the campaign, and we think he will get a chance to go over again and potentially set up an incredibly exciting clash. 

England vs Scotland (Saturday, 17:00 GMT)

England still hold hopes of winning the championship this year after three very good performances in four means they are just a single point behind Wales at the top of the table. A fantastic opening weekend saw England stake their claim for a Grand Slam as they downed reigning-Grand Slam champions Ireland in Dublin in a 32-20 win as they dominated their opponents in a shock triumph. Next, England obliterated France 44-8 at Twickenham to see them move into round three of the tournament in great form as the favourites to beat Wales, something they ultimately failed to do. A strong first-half showing saw them leading at half-time but a switch in momentum due to the ineffectiveness of their kicking game and the roar from the Welsh crowd saw Josh Adams go over for a try that killed England off in the game and consigned them to their first defeat. However, they were able to immediately hit back with a big 57-14 win over an improving Italy as they now look ahead to welcoming Scotland to Twickenham for their final match. Eddie Jones’ men will be hoping that Ireland can pull off a win in Wales which would see England definitely win the championship if they can pick up a bonus point win over Scotland, something they will be confident of doing.

Scotland arrive after generating far more questions than answers in this season’s Six Nations as they have failed to inspire in another poor campaign for the side. A strong opening 60 minutes against Italy was followed by them letting the Italians run in three tries with no reply before they were outplayed by a far better organised Ireland side at Murrayfield. A very disappointing 27-10 loss to a misfiring and entirely beatable France compounded a poor start to the year, while they were then beaten by Wales in Scotland 18-11. What was most disappointing about last week’s loss was the fact the Scottish had the chances to punish a stuttering Welsh side, but their inability to do the simplest things right cost them, with handling error, misplaced passes and poor decisions a highlight of their 80 minutes. Now, they face an England side in fantastic form at home, and their fans will worry that this could be a heavy loss. 

Here, we are backing England with a -16 point handicap as they look on a different level to Scotland right now. The Scottish will come hopeful of a big upset, but we think that if England can get points early, Scottish heads will drop as Jones’ men look to do all they can to secure a big win. The last match between the two may have ended in a 25-13 win for Scotland as they deservedly claimed victory, but England we poor that day and, when playing in Scotland, it is never easy as everything seemed to click for the home side on that day. Prior to that loss, England had not been beaten by the Scots in 10 matches, while their last trip to Twickenham saw Scotland hammered 61-21 by their rivals in a contest that displayed all of England’s attacking talents, whilst highlighting Scotland’s deficiencies, and we think it could be a similar story this Saturday for the side. For the final match of the competition we are backing Jonny May to once again get on the scoresheet as he continues to impress with ball in hand. May has scored five tries in this Six Nations’ campaign, with the speedster striking fear into the hearts of the opposition. This move back to May comes after we backed Joe Cokanasiga to score anytime against Italy, but he failed to do so as he did everything but go over the line in a man of the match performance.

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