Two weeks has passed since Wales and England did battle on that fateful day in Cardiff. The visitors were superb in the first half but Warren Gatland’s men roared back to snatch a huge Six Nations victory – much to the delight of the home crowd.
Ireland made hard work of it against Italy, labouring to a 26-16 victory in Rome. Some way below their brilliant best once again, Joe Schmidt’s side left it late but managed to secure a bonus point success. Italy will take lots of positive from that defeat though…
As many predicted, Scotland failed to cope under pressure at the Stade de France. I backed the visitors to keep this close based on France’s struggles at Twickenham but Les Bleus were menacing from start to finish. Further improvement could be on the cards this weekend.
But that’s enough reminiscing for now – it is time to look at the fourth round of the 2019 Six Nations tournament. Scroll down for my best rugby betting tips this weekend; will Wales fall short at Murrayfield or will Scotland crumble once again?
Scotland vs WALES (2:15pm)
Scotland don’t have the strength in depth to compete at this level. Injuries are expected but losing four key players at the same time is rough.
Finn Russell will return but Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Chris Harris have been ruled out. This one could get ugly for the hosts.
Wales were excellent value for that victory over England and Gatland’s men are in control of their Six Nations destiny.
A win here will give Wales a chance to secure the Grand Slam on home soil – the visitors cannot afford to lose focus ahead of this weekend’s contest though.
Gatland himself has stated that his side have forgotten how to lose and winning does come naturally to Wales these days.
4/7 for a Welsh win, given their recent form and Scotland’s injury woes, is a solid price to get your treble off to the perfect start.
TIP: Wales to win @ 4/7
England vs ITALY (4:45pm)
England came under scrutiny for their tactics in the second half against Wales – and rightly so.
As good as Wales were, England almost encouraged their opponents to attack and that is a very dangerous game to play. In the end, Eddie Jones’ side paid the ultimate price.
Italy’s run of Six Nations matches without a win goes on but Conor O’Shea will be proud of his side this year.
Excellent for long periods against Wales and Ireland, Italy have stepped up in 2019 and they have helped to improve the standard of the competition.
With that in mind, I’m going with Italy at +31.5 on the handicap. The selection has landed in six of the last eight meetings between the two sides and I’m expecting England to cruise to victory rather than going hell for leather.
It will be comfortable but it won’t be a riot.
TIP: Italy (+31.5 points) to win @ EVS
Ireland vs FRANCE (3pm)
A win here will keep Ireland in the hunt and Schmidt’s men will be targeting a bonus point success.
Ireland have failed to inspire confidence in recent months but this is the ideal chance to send out a statement of intent ahead of that huge game in Cardiff next weekend.
France have always been a pillar of inconsistency but the quality of their performances in 2019 has been shocking.
That win over Scotland two weeks ago was much more like it and I fancy France to give Ireland a stern examination on Sunday afternoon. This could be a good contest.
Take Les Bleus with +15.5 points on the handicap. Ireland haven’t been anywhere near their best this year and France can capitalise on that.
8/11 is a decent price for the visitors, also still quite low on confidence, to keep this one respectable at the Aviva Stadium.
TIP: France (+15.5 points) to win @ 8/11
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*