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Ireland to sign off on a high: Talking points ahead of Saturday's Six Nations clash

At home to Scotland, Andy Farrell’s men can make it four wins from five this year to put the pressure on Grand Slam-chasing France.

IT’S THE FINAL weekend of the 2022 Six Nations and Ireland remain in the hunt for the championship heading into their last remaining fixture. 

To preview Saturday’s clash with the Scots in Dublin, Ciaran Kennedy has picked out his key talking points with the latest prices from William Hill…

Ireland to sign off on a high

jamison-gibson-park-and-jonny-gray Ireland scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park uses the boot against Scotland last year. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The destination of the Six Nations title remains firmly in France’s hands, with Les Bleus hosting England in Saturday’s late game, following Ireland’s home clash with Scotland in Dublin. For Andy Farrell’s side, it represents a chance to sign off for the championship on a high, regardless of what happens in Paris later that evening.

Triple Crowns are not easily won, and securing some silverware would represent a very positive achievement for Farrell’s squad, particularly when you consider some of the concerns around the development of the team during last year’s tournament.

Saturday’s win in England was not the prettiest or most convincing performance, but should provide Ireland with some good momentum as they prepare to face a Scotland side who often find it tough in Dublin – their last win on Irish soil came in Croke Park back in 2010.

Even with James Ryan and Andrew Porter missing from the Irish pack, Farrell’s side should have too much quality for the Scots, who have enjoyed another mixed campaign. 

William Hill odds: Ireland to win by 6-10 points @ 6/1

Bringing the intent

irelands-james-lowe-scores-a-try James Lowe scoring a try against England. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Having paid the price for a slow start against France, Ireland have brought more intent in the opening minutes of their subsequent outings against Italy and England – Joey Carbery registering Ireland’s opening try after just three minutes against the Azzurri before James Lowe raced over with five minutes on the clock in Twickenham.

You can be sure Ireland will look to do the same against Scotland as they try to take control of the contest early on and stamp their authority against a leaky Scottish defence – no team has scored more points in this championship that Ireland (142), while only Italy (160) have conceded more than Scotland (95).

With that in mind, expect Ireland to come flying out of the traps as they try to secure the Triple Crown, while knowing a bonus-point win would leave them in the best position possible ahead of Le Crunch.

William Hill odds: Ireland to score first team try @ 4/11

Grand Slam upset

london-england-13th-march-2021-rugby-union-guinness-six-nations-championship-england-v-france-twickenham-2021-13032021-matthieu-jalibert-of-france-creditpaul-hardingalamy-live-news France face England on Saturday evening. Source: Alamy Stock Photo

Should Ireland beat Scotland and England win in France, the Six Nations title will be heading the way of Andy Farrell’s side. So, could England do Ireland a rare favour and upset the odds in Paris?

While the head says no, you can never say never in the Six Nations, and while France look well-placed to complete the clean sweep and claim the Grand Slam, England will be determined to deliver a big performance after losing to Ireland to Twickenham.

It will be a big ask, with England’s backline looking limited so far, although their pack certainly has the capacity to frustrate and make life difficult for the French.

While France have played some outstanding rugby in the championship, this will be a new experience for their young squad – a Grand Slam title on the line in front of a packed Stade de France.

Fabien Galthié’s side appear to have the temperament for the big occasion, but doubts surrounding their consistency won’t go away until they back it up with some silverware. The Six Nations always has the ability to provide a surprise, so the hope for Ireland is that England have saved their best for last. 

William Hill odds: No Grand Slam winner @ 21/10

William Hill odds above correct at the time of writing. New online customers get €30 in free bets when they bet €10 with William Hill. Just use the promo code H30. For all the latest prices, visit williamhill.com. 18+, always gamble responsibly. For more information, see gamblingtherapy.org 

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