Scotland’s Hamish Watson, left, and Scotland’s Scott Steele celebrate at the end of the Six Nations rugby union international between England and Scotland at Twickenham stadium in London, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. Scotland won the match 11-6. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
- Ireland are 1.5-point away favorites against Scotland in their Six Nations rugby match slated for Sunday, March 14th
- Ireland are 1-2 in the tourney, while Scotland are 1-1
- The Irish have won five straight matches over the Scots
Irish eyes are smiling a little more this week, now that Ireland got off the snide in the Six Nations rugby tournament. In Scotland, though, the usual uncertainty about the national side is returning following a promising start.
Ireland went to Italy and smacked the Italians 48-10 to improve to 1-2 in the championship. Coming off a loss to Wales, Scotland’s huge match at France was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst the French squad.
That means when these two sides take the pitch on Saturday, March 14th, the Scots won’t have played a match together since Feb. 13th.
Ireland are given the nod as 1.5-point favorites even though the match is slated to be played in Scotland. The Irish have won five in a row over the Scots.
France vs England Six Nations Odds
Odds as of Mar. 6th at DraftKings.
Kickoff for the match is 11:00am ET kickoff at Murrayfield. NBC Peacock Premium is carrying the live broadcast.
Scotland’s Long Wait
In general, the releasing of international players to their national sides by club teams is an assignment for the entire run of Six Nations competition. However, the result of Scotland’s long stay in drydock is players being given permission to return to club action.
Fly-half Finn Russell returned to France to play for Racing 92. Meanwhile, several of Scotland’s English based-players, a list including captain Stuart Hogg and lock Jonny Gray of Exeter Chiefs, center Chris Harris and lock Alex Craig of Gloucester, wing Sean Maitland and center Duncan Taylor of Saracens, back row forward Cornell du Preez of Worcester Warriors, prop Jamie Bhatti of Bath, and prop Allan Dell of London Irish also saw duty for their clubs on the weekend.
Stuart Hogg with ice on his right knee at the end of the @ExeterChiefs game, but hopefully nothing too serious.
— Gav Harper (@Gav_S_Harper) March 6, 2021
Fullback Hogg suffered a knee injury in Exeter’s 38-16 win over Bath. That’s leaving his status for the Ireland match uncertain.
Russell playing club rugby is also of particular concern to the Scots, who are quite thin at fly-half. Adam Hastings (suspension), Duncan Weir (ACL injury) and Jaco van der Walt (Achilles injury) are all out of action.
Scotland will also be without prop Zander Fagerson. He was suspended four weeks after receiving a red card in the 25-24 loss to Wales.
Ireland Back On Track
After scoring just two tries in losses to Wales and France, Ireland found its game against the Italians. Captain Johnny Sexton was back after a one-game head injury absence. Working at fly-half next to centers Robbie Henshaw and Gary Ringrose, that trio ran roughshod through Italy.
⏸️ 𝗧𝘄𝗼-𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗶 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽 ✅
Time to reset and refocus for next week and a big #GuinnessSixNations trip to Murrayfield! 👊🟢#ShoulderToShoulder #IrishRugby #SCOvIRE pic.twitter.com/JvGEHKlT75
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 5, 2021
Ringrose scored one try and made the offload to set up another. Sexton finished the match with 18 points. Wing James Lowe led all Six Nations players in ground gained during Round 3. He rambled for 115 meters.
Ireland will again be without flanker Peter O’Mahony. He was issued a three-match ban after being sent off against Wales.
As impressive as Ireland’s final tally looked against Italy, it’s notable that the second half saw the Irish managing to score only two tries. Both of Scotland and Ireland’s losses to Wales came after having a player sent off.
💬 “We know how well we’ll need to play to come away with a victory from Murrayfield.” ✊🟢
As the Ireland squad returned to work at the IRFU HPC today, Head Coach Andy Farrell spoke to media ⤵️#ShoulderToShoulder #IrishRugby #GuinnessSixNations #SCOvIRE pic.twitter.com/L43nwpQEQD
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 4, 2021
The average margin of victory in Ireland’s five straight victories over Scotland is 15 points.
Scotland’s last three victories over Ireland have all come at Murrayfield, where the two sides have split the past eight meetings.
Pick: Scotland +1.5 (-129)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.