Scots to push champions all the way

Ireland don’t have long to put their humbling defeat to the English behind them as they prepare to face Scotland at Murrayfield in Week 2 of the 2019 Six Nations.

Irish must crack fortress Murrayfield

Head coach Joe Schmidt and his players would not have seen that kind of England performance coming at the Aviva Stadium last week and they need to put right what went wrong in the 20-32 reverse against Eddie Jones’ men.

Scotland got the job done in their encounter with Italy and take five points into Saturday’s clash at Murrayfield.

The home of Scottish rugby has been a tough place for teams to go in recent years, with Ireland being the last Six Nations team to win there in 2016.

England, France, the Irish, Wales and Australia have all suffered defeats in Edinburgh in recent visits, with Saturday’s visitors suffering a 27-22 loss on their last trip to ‘Auld Reekie’.

Ireland have not turned into a bad team overnight and a response is likely this weekend. However, it could be a close affair at Murrayfield and Scotland with +6.5 on the FT handicap are good value at 1.87.

Wales building nicely for England clash

Wales somehow managed to pull off a victory in Paris in their last outing and suddenly Warren Gatland’s side look like a real force to be reckoned with in this Six Nations.

The Welsh were gifted 14 points at the Stade de France by a very generous French side but the men in red still had to work hard to force those errors and came out the right side of the 24-19 scoreline.

Italy look like they have gone backwards in recent months and with injuries mounting up, it’s hard to see them causing an upset after a 33-20 defeat in Scotland, with more than half of their points coming in the final 10 minutes.

Wales, who after their trip to Rome on Saturday host England in Cardiff, are unlikely to take their foot off the gas as Scotland did and it’s certainly plausible to see them come out on the right side of the -20.5 FT handicap at 1.99.