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Six Nations: England look to hold edge over Wales

Wed, Feb 8, 9:45am by Staff Writer

The 2017 Six Nations kicked off with a bang last weekend as a shock win for Scotland over Ireland threw the tournament wide open. England struggled to dispatch France in a tense affair at Twickenham, meaning the two tournament favourites did not have the high flying starts many pundits were predicting.

Although the English will be pleased that they at least came away with victory. A routine win for Wales in Rome set them up perfectly to take on England in Round 2.

Italy v Ireland, Sunday February 12, 1:25am AEDT

Expectations were piled high for Ireland in this year’s Six Nations after an impressive November Internationals victory over the All Blacks.

Yet their defeat to Scotland will have dented any progress that they have made as a squad. This weekend, however, they face Italy and will undoubtedly bounce back to winning ways ahead of sterner tests later in the tournament. Ireland are clear favourites with William Hill at $1.04 compared to Italy at $11.00.

The large odds on the Italians are merited due to their Six Nations record but it must be taken into account that they beat the Springboks at the end of 2016 and are much improved under Connor O’Shea.

Bet of the Match: Ireland to Win by 13+ points at $1.33

Wales v England, Sunday February 12, 3:50am AEDT

Wales against England in Cardiff is just one of many reasons why the Six Nations is arguably the best rugby tournament on the planet. The atmosphere and rivalry is as intense on the field as off it. England head into this as favourites after a 15-match winning streak but their form in the Welsh capital is not so great.

Despite this William Hill have them priced at $1.43 to win. Injuries continue to affect England’s preparations with George Kruis ruled out this week. While Wales stand at $2.80 and are looking to be a threat once again as star fullback Leigh Halfpenny comes back into form. His boot alone could be what separates these two sides.

Bet of the Match: England to Win by 1-12 points at $2.30

France v Scotland, Monday February 13, 2:00am AEDT

Scotland upset the odds in the opening Round and will be looking to continue in the same vein of form when they travel to Paris. The French can feel hard done by with their loss at Twickenham as they outplayed their hosts for most of the match. In particular, Loius Picamoles appeared to be back to his best and will make a huge impact against Scotland.

He and his teammates must subdue an electric backline that Scotland now possess if they are to be worthy of their favourites tag with William Hill priced at $1.40. The Scots’ recent form in the Six Nations has been inconsistent to say the least and they will have to change that and maintain some form if they are to overturn odds of $2.95.

Bet of the Match: France to Win by 1-12 points at $2.50

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