Six Nations: Scotland star Hogg can light up tight tussle against Wales

Scotland were narrowly beaten in France in their last match
Scotland were narrowly beaten in France in their last match

Simon Mail previews the third weekend of the Six Nations with Scotland facing Wales and Ireland hosting France...

"A better bet looks to be backing in-form Stuart Hogg to score. The Scotland full-back has scored in his last four Six Nations matches including three in two games this season."

Scotland v Wales
Saturday, 14:25
Live on BBC One

Scotland head into this weekend's clash having won once and lost their second match in this year's competition. Vern Cotter's side pulled off a memorable home victory over Ireland in their opening match which underlined the progress of the team over the last year. Scotland pushed France in their last game but the hosts prevailed after a tight 22-16 defeat in Paris.

Wales came out of their last game against England with a great deal of credit despite a dramatic 21-16 home defeat. The Welsh were praised for their performance in Cardiff but the hard work did not pay off after a late try for the visitors snatched the points. Prior to this, Wales claimed a 33-7 win in Italy but there was a significant improvement in their display against the Grand Slam champions.

This looks an evenly matched contest but recent clashes have been dominated by the visitors. Wales have won the last nine meetings between the teams stretching back ten years. Scotland have gone close in the last few games, with no more four points between them in the last two matches, but the hosts will be desperate to turn the tables and end their barren run against the Welsh this time.

On current form it is very hard to call this clash with Wales seen as marginal favourites. A better bet looks to be backing in-form Stuart Hogg to score. The Scotland full-back has scored in his last four Six Nations matches including three in two games this season. With five tries in his last three Tests, Hogg looks an extremely generous price at 10/3 to cross the line at Murrayfield.

Recommended Bet
Back Stuart Hogg to score a try @ 10/3 (Sportsbook)


Ireland v France
Saturday, 16:50
Live on ITV

Ireland's Six Nations title bid got off to a poor start after their defeat in Scotland but the team demonstrated their class in a 63-10 rout of Italy. Joe Schmidt's side produced a dominant performance as they scored nine tries in Rome. This has got them back on track but Ireland know they will need to win their last three games to have a chance of pipping England to the championship.

France have too often underachieved but the first two matches have offered promising signs about their progress under Guy Noves. There was plenty to like about the way in which France played at Twickenham with the visitors unlucky to lose their opener 19-16. Les Bleus did not have it all their own way at home to Scotland but their second-half pressure was rewarded with a slender win to get off the mark this season.

France won the most recent clash after a 10-9 victory last season but Ireland have had the edge lately with just one defeat in the last six meetings including their success against them in the 2015 World Cup. There has not been a lot between the sides with two of those games ending in draws so it is unlikely to be a one-sided affair.

Ireland will still feel they can claim the title but know only victory will be enough and Schmidt's side take momentum into the match after their performance in Italy. The hosts are also strengthened by the return of fly-half Johnny Sexton heading into this game. France will be dangerous opponents although Ireland are fancied to prevail. Seven of their last eight wins over them have been by no more than 12 points so this margin of victory offers potential value.

Recommended Bet
Back Ireland to win by 1-12 points @ 11/8 (Sportsbook)


Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster


2016/17 Rugby P/L

Staked: 89pts
Returned: 86.8pts
P/L: -2.2pts

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