Six Nations | Ireland to wrap up Grand Slam over limp England

Despite Ireland sowing up the championship last weekend, there are still three games to go as we enter the final round of the 2018 Six Nations.

With little to play for, it should mean that the shackles are off and we get some really entertaining rugby.

Here is our rugby union tipster’s best bets for the final weekend’s fixtures.

 

Italy v Scotland

Italy’s position at the bottom of the table was confirmed when Wales handed them their 16th straight Six Nations defeat.

They were comfortably beaten 38-14 and while in truth they were never in the contest, they kept up the fight for the whole 80 minutes.

They are 6/1 with Grosvenorsport.com to finish the tournament on a high.

Scotland’s players were brought back to reality by the Irish in Dublin.

A frenetic encounter was fantastic viewing for the neutral, but there was a clear gulf in class between the two sides with Ireland running out comfortable winners by 20 points.

Gregor Townsend’s men are the heavily fancied favourites for this one at 1/10.

The Scots are clearly an improving team and as their odds suggest, they should win this one comfortably.

With little pressure on either side, I fancy this one to turn into a bit of a points-fest especially in the second half.

I think we’ll see plenty of expansive play where attack will very much be to the fore. The 3/4 that the second half is the highest scoring looks a solid bet in this one.

 

England v Ireland

England’s promising start to 2018 has turned into a bit of a nightmare with consecutive defeats to Scotland and France.

Many expected Eddie Jones’ men to bounce back from their humbling defeat to Scotland in round three, but once again there was little to shout about, and they were bulldozed by the gargantuan French pack.

England are 19/20 to get back to winning ways on Saturday.

Ireland made it four wins from four with another impressive display against the resurgent Scotland in Dublin last weekend.

They have already been confirmed as this year’s champions and are now seeking their first Grand Slam since 2009.

Joe Schmidt’s men are 10/11 to make it five from five at Twickenham.

The confidence of these two sides couldn’t be further apart.

Ireland look full of life and their expansive and entertaining brand of rugby is a joy to watch. In stark contrast, England looked lethargic and lacking in ideas against France.

Jones has dropped George Ford and moved Owen Farrell to 10 which should breathe more life into England’s limp attack but Ireland are riding the crest of a wave of the moment and I don’t see that changing here.

Ireland have only beaten England twice in the Six Nations since 2011, but I think they’ll have too much for the English, and Ireland -2.5 at 23/20 with Grosvenorsport.com appeals.

 

Wales v France

A much-changed Wales put a spirited Italy side to bed in Cardiff. Warren Gatland’s men ran in five tries as they beat the Italians 38-14.

That win catapulted Gatland’s men to second in the table and the reintroduction of George North clearly made a significant difference.

They are 3/10 to make it three wins from three at home in this year’s championship.

France once again proved they are virtually impossible to predict when they saw off England in a scrappy affair in Paris.

They were much better at the breakdown than the English and despite their best efforts to let their opponents back in, they held on for a second consecutive win.

The French are 13/5 to round off their campaign with another win.

This looks like a matchup between the pacey Welsh backs and the hefty French forwards.

Wales have been very quick starters recently, surging to a 14-point lead in the opening minutes in their last three home games.

However, the tide seems to be turning for the French who look to be finally getting their act together after an extended spell in the wilderness.

I fancy them to slow the Welsh down, and they are 27/25 on the +6.5 handicap which looks more than fair.