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Rugby Union 2018 Six Nations

Discussion in 'Other Sports Betting' started by traeth, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Doc

    Doc Member

    First thoughts:

    Italy don't have the pack they used, and Scotland have stood up better up front through their injuries than expected. Italy will have had a red circle around this one on the calendar and will be up for it for sure - for all the progress they are making, they need some wins to show. Likewise Scotland have a make or break quality about it - they still have to perform away from home in the 6N. Probably leaning towards Italy +17 here, but I want to see team news, weather etc first

    Wales have named their side and they've gone for athleticism over bulk, with Biggar back to control things at 10. France have shown interesting signs of rebirth to me. Much like the Scotland game though, they need to show it away from home against a decent side. Leaning towards France +8 in a high scoring game - weather to be examined etc

    England side and Irish side just announced as I write. Interesting...... Rumours that Kearney and O'Mahoney were injured are on hold after both named. Henderson comes off the bench for Devin Toner - which shows just how far young James Ryan has progressed. Schmidt keeps faith with young guns Carbery and Larmour on the bench. Lots of changes for England - Farrell moves to 10 with a Teo-Joseph midfield and Ford to the bench. Daly overcomes injury concerns (although as with Irish pair, lets wait and see on match day) to keep the same back three. Big changes up front with Sinkler replacing Cole and Hartley (as expected) starting over George. Kruis comes in for Launchbury and the backrow is shaken up with Haskell back in at 7 and Simmonds to eight. Danny Care dropped to the bench and Wigglesworth starts. That suggests to me that Jones is going to take a 'smash em' approach - lots of big beefy ball carries, and less ball players, with a half-back pairing (and midfield) much more suited to a less subtle, tempo-controlling game. I'll stick my neck out and say he's made the wrong call here. Irelands back three are strong in the air and on kick defence and won't be particularly discommoded by a kicking focus. 9-13 are all good defenders for Ireland and Aki will relish a rehash of his Connacht-Leinster clashes with Teo (where he generally had the upper hand). Sinckler adds to Englands carrying game, but his discipline is as bad as Coles and his scrummaging is significantly worse. With two high quality front rows, Ireland will really go for it here I think - and it is rare that a pack that dominates the scrummage is outmuscled elsewhere. Ireland's position is unusual - there is history but no title at stake. They'll have huge motivation to prepare and having spoiled Englands grand slam dreams 3 times in the 6N, they'll be wary of complacency. Englands big weaknesses to date have been the breakdown and discipline. I suspect they've added three more in their effort to ramp up the physicality - midfield defensive organisation, midfield distribution and scrum. By contrast, Ireland have been strong in scrum, breakdown and discipline, have had really clever power plays to unpick defences (e.g. Stockdales try against Scotland from the scrum) and have kept the ball extremely well. Where they have shown vulnerability is when teams can quickly move the ball wide in loose play. I'm increasingly (and somewhat worryingly!) calmly confident about this. I'll try to take a more Anglo-positive slant in my thoughts later and see if I'm being over-optimistic.... Ireland +1 looking good, with only Englands excellent Twickenham record being a cause for concern - they've won 40/46 6 Nations games. Although 3 of those have been to Ireland - most recently in 2010......hmmmmm
    slick likes this.
  2. Doc

    Doc Member

    ok.further thoughts.
    I've gone through the team selections, and considered the weather etc.
    I think Scotland will really go for it. I'm still not 100% convinced by them, but they are improving for sure. As are Italy, but I think they (correctly) are focussing more on process improvement rather than outcome based improvement, I can see this one being very high scoring, as Italy are (uncharactericstically) comfortable in open play and Scotland have that as their default mode. Ultimately I think there will be a bigger blowback from Scotlands performance against Ireland than Italy's against Wales. Changing my mind to Scotland -17, but not overly confident.

    Sticking with France +8. Both teams are playing for pride, but the win and performance are more the issue for Wales than the margin. Pretty comfortable with this one.

    Finding it hard to find any reason to change my mind on the Ireland game, other than that home record, and the 'rat in a corner' syndrome - both of which are significant. So too of course is the motivation to win a grand slam. Sticking with Ireland +1, and putting my ballacks out the window by saying I won't be surprised with a decent size (7+ points) win for Ireland
  3. slick

    slick Administrator

    Good luck Doc and nice analysis, I've watched most of the games and have to say due to the mixed results since day one I wouldn't have a clue who to pick this weekend.

    I think Italy will put up a good fight as they always do but come unstuck the longer the game goes on, Scotland are -16.5 on Bet365 which i think will be very near the knuckle but expect Scotland to edge it.

    I'm going to go with Wales Doc @ -8, as you say both are playing for pride and France will be buoyant after getting one over on England but I have a feeling the Welsh at home will be looking to go out on a high, whereas France's victory over England will have satisfied them.

    As for England v Ireland, you may as well toss a coin, England don't look well conditioned to me, they are starting games well enough but seem to be struggling once they get past the 20 min mark.
    Twickenham and pride should come into play for England. With Ireland already crowned champions will they really go out of their way to pull up any trees?
    I'll go for England @ -1
  4. Doc

    Doc Member

    Understand your thinking there Slick. My thoughts/response would be:

    Even though France haven't gone for their beefiest possible pack, they can play a decent power game, especially through Basteraud. Wales have gone for pace and athleticism through the team, but I can see them being out-muscled at set piece and on the gainline. With home advantage I still expect them to get home, but I think France can make it close.

    Re the Ireland game, wounded pride and home advantage are big factors and I'm trying not to downplay them. Winning a grand slam rather than a championship is massive though - it is what defines great teams. The history shows they come up only about every three years, and Ireland have only ever won 2. The Martin Johnson team that won the world cup (perhaps the best rugby side I've ever seen - certainly in the discussion) only won one Slam. The 'legendary' teams like the Welsh of the 70s (3 Slams), England of early 90s (Carling, Guscott, Moore etc) won 3. The France of the late 90's/early 2000s won 4. This Ireland team has achieved a lot, but a Slam (to go with the other wins etc) would really establish the credentials of this team. Guys like Sexton and Murray (probably the best Irish players ever in their positions) don't even have a triple crown to their names and in Sextons case are coming to the end of their careers. Excellent players like Healy, Toner, Earls likewise - they may not get another chance. Kearney and Best have a chance to going a rare club of players who've won more than 1. If England bring their A game, then this could be an absolute belter!
  5. traeth

    traeth Moderator

    Some good points in your analysis doc

    It's the morning of final weekend and I'm going for three home wins

    Scotland away are a different animal to Scotland home , Finn Russell can be man of the match or he can be useless , I can see Italy targetting him early in the game. A " surprise " Italy win. Italy +17 is my safety net!

    England win against Italy was good but since then we have not seen much from them.
    Ireland have played well in all their matches but I see England neutralising them.
    I can't remember any side going to Twickers to win the slam and being succesful , they foiled our attempt in the 90s.

    I think our team selection has been negative , we have gone from 10 scarlets starting in the first match to 5 today , we in Wales thought the scarlets way was the way forward. France are improving but I cannot see them winning away. Overcoming the 8 point cap is difficult though
  6. Doc

    Doc Member

    Feeling a bit :beer this morning, as you might imagine. Delighted with the result, and happy with my predictions on both Ireland and Wales games, which unfolded as I expected.
    Went the wrong way on the Italy game - I was watching it in the background trying to get other stuff done, so not sure how bad Scotland were or how good Italy were - it felt like more of the latter and less of the former. I know I have 'Scotland issues' (hey, what can I say - I grew up in an era where we couldn't buy a win against them, and they always seemed to have some little bastard nine who got jammy tries against us :cold) and I've been trying to be more fair to Scotland and where they are in their development. It is looking increasingly like they're now a team that are just a little more difficult than previous to beat at home, but still fold a cheap deckchair when on the road.

    Tough place for England now - some of their go-to players look burnt out. They miss Vunipola badly and can't seem to buy any decent breakdown forwards. Ben Youngs is also proving a bigger loss than anticipated - if Wigglesworth is the answer, then the question must be a little scary! For all the hype around Farrell he is increasingly showing that he isn't a top level 10 - he just doesn't have the ice in the veins. He's solid on a good day, and a very polished 12. He does miss too many tackles though and without a stronger 10 inside him, that channel is going to keep attracting attention. For all the guff about his place-kicking too, he showed he is fallible - he is at a similar level to the likes of Sexton, Biggar etc (i.e. very good, but not excellent) - and distance behind Halfpenny and the French lads.

    The summer tours are going to be really interesting. I had temporarily forgotten that Rassie Erasmus is now the man in charge in SA, and summer tour to there for England will be a lot tougher than expected a year ago. The traditional English and SA games are quite similar - which is why England on form, have often done a lot better against them than New Zealand, but the flip side is also true - if the Saffers get some momentum (and I expect that with Rassie at the helm), then they can make life very tough.

    Wales play SA in the US, followed by two tests in Argentina. They'll need at least 2 wins to cement a sense of progress. Scotland play US, Canada and Argentina - so it will be hard to tell if they've made any improvement. France's three tests in New Zealand could be fascinating - I really like a lot of the developments in the French game, but as they showed yesterday they have weaknesses at 10 and in terms of turning pressure into points. I can't see them winning a test, but if they can be competitive in at least 2 tests they could be a real handful in next years six nations.

    Ireland go to Australia - the only SH country where they've ever won a test series. Schmidt has a really interesting decision to make - does he continue to be bold in his selections, building depth, or does he seek to extend Irelands run of victories and really build confidence going into next year's world cup.

    A word too on young James Ryan in the second row for Ireland yesterday. Just turned 21, he has a grand slam winners medal, has beaten NZ and made a WC final (at U20 level), and has never lost a pro game of rugby! With Leinster 7/4 favourites in Europe and 10/11 in the league - he could conceivably extend that to a perfect season and a haul of medals! Easy game, eh?
  7. Doc

    Doc Member

    one last little tidbit of news. Spain are currently playing Belgium, in Brussels, with a win qualifying them for the World Cup (in Irelands group), while a loss sends them into a play off with Portugal (the winner would probably have to beat Samoa or Canada) to qualify. Spain were sitting pretty this morning, 6 wins from 7, sitting 3 points behind Romania but with a game in hand, and playing bottom team Belgium who are 1/7. As I type, Belgium are 15-0 up with 30 mins to play, so as things stand, a rather surprised Romania will be avoiding all the above and back facing Ireland in the world cup group stages for the 4th time.

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