Tue, Feb 27, 2:18am by Staff Writer
A sensational performance from Scotland has ensured that tournament favourites England will not lift the Grand Slam. Even a win overall looks highly unlikely as England struggled to cope with the speed and intensity of the Scots. The result has left the path open for Ireland to claim a famous Grand Slam at Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day.
Ireland are now in pole position courtesy of Scotland’s win but face a potentially tricky game against them in the next Round as well as that final game against England before they can be crowned Six Nations champions.
Their 37-27 win over Wales this weekend in Dublin came on the back of a week focused on injuries that would keep certain players out of the match. Yet it was the XV that took to the field that are making the headlines. They ran in five tries to move to $1.30 to win the tournament. Whilst they are now the only team capable of a Grand Slam at $2.75 with no Grand Slam at $1.40.
England have dropped to $4.33 to win a third consecutive Six Nations for the first time ever. All hope is not lost after the mauling in Edinburgh but there will be lots of questions asked in camp in the lead up to their next matches against France and Ireland.
Scottish rugby celebrates a win over England like no other nation, the Auld Enemy brings about plenty of feeling north of the border. They may only stand at $15 to win the tournament but that will matter very little to fans, who have the knowledge that they beat England for the first time in 10 years.
Despite the return of several key players, Wales were unable to stop the Irish juggernaut. Having now lost two out of three games so far, it is difficult to see them posing a challenge for the title. Although with Italy and France at home, they should win their next matches. All they need is a major collapse from the three sides above them. They stand at $151.
France banished any worries of the dreaded wooden spoon this week as they battled past a valiant Italian side. Raw physicality got the French over the line as they put the loss to Scotland behind them and took Italy on up front. They are well off the pace at $501.
As for Italy it will likely be the wooden spoon and the return of calls for promotion and relegation into the Six Nations. Their performances will always be scrutinised by those calling for Georgia to be given a chance at the top table in Europe. A solitary win over Wales or Scotland in their remaining games would be a massive boost to them.
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