With just two rounds to go, the 2019 Six Nations is shaping up to be a classic, and this weekend tournament leaders Wales head north to take on Scotland in what is sure to be a bruising encounter and an intriguing match for rugby punters. Here’s our comprehensive betting guide to the game.
Scotland v Wales Preview and Prediction
Scotland versus Wales is one of the oldest rivalries in international rugby with a history dating back to January 8, 1883, when Scotland won in Edinburgh in the inaugural Home Nations tournament.
The Scots went on to dominate the early years of the rivalry, winning eight of the first ten meetings with Wales, but the Welsh gradually began to assert themselves and they held the upper hand throughout the twentieth century, winning 52 out of 88 meetings.
That Welsh supremacy has intensified since 2000, as the men in red have won 16 out of 21 of their encounters with Scotland, including 11 of their last 12, including a comfortable 21-10 victory at the Millennium Stadium in November. Scotland’s most recent victory over Wales came at Murrayfield during the 2017 Six Nations, when tries from Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser powered a second-half comeback that saw the home side turn a 13-9 deficit into a 29-13 victory.
Last Ten Meetings
03/11/18 Wales 21 Scotland 10 Cardiff
03/02/18 Wales 34 Scotland 7 Cardiff
25/02/17 Scotland 29 Wales 13 Edinburgh
13/02/16 Wales 27 Scotland 23 Cardiff
15/02/15 Scotland 23 Wales 26 Edinburgh
15/03/14 Wales 51 Scotland 3 Cardiff
09/03/13 Scotland 18 Wales 28 Edinburgh
12/02/12 Wales 27 Scotland 13 Cardiff
12/02/11 Scotland 6 Wales 24 Edinburgh
13/02/10 Wales 31 Scotland 24 Cardiff
After a promising Six Nations campaign last year and some gritty performances in their Autumn Internationals, Scotland were tipped as dark horses for this Six Nations tournament, but they haven’t managed the breakthrough that some pundits expected. Their victory over Italy in the opening game saw them dominate for 70 minutes then allow the Italians to score three late tries. Those defensive frailties were evident in their second game, when they conceded two tries in the opening twenty minutes in a 22-13 defeat to Ireland and they failed to make any impression on a mediocre French side in Round Three, losing 27-10 in Paris.
Wales went into the Six Nations with an impressive nine-game winning streak under their belt, and they’ve continued in that vein, winning all three of their games so far to top the table, and keep alive the possibility of a fourth Six Nations Grand Slam. Victories over South Africa and Australia during the autumn signalled that this was a resurgent Welsh team, and they showed considerable resilience in their opening two games to pick up wins in France and Italy. But it was their 21-13 victory over a powerful England side that really captured the headlines. Facing a seven-point half-time deficit, Wales were forced to dig deep but a dominant second-half display secured a memorable win.
Scotland’s Six Nations campaign has been badly disrupted by injuries, and this week, coach Gregor Townsend has once more been forced to shuffle his dwindling pack as ten players have left the squad. Backs Sean Maitland and Chris Harris will be missing having picked up injuries last weekend, and the loss of Maitland, along with the continued absence of Stuart Hogg, is a significant blow to Scottish hopes, though the return of flanker Hamish Watson, prop WP Nel, and versatile forward Sam Skinner will add much needed reinforcements to the Scottish pack.
In contrast to Scotland’s injury problems, Wales coach Warren Gatland has a relatively full-strength squad to choose from, with the addition of Ospreys lock Adam Beard to replace the injured Cory Hill in the starting line-up his only enforced change. Gareth Anscombe is set to continue at fly-half, with Dan Biggar once again on the bench, but Gatland has decided not to recall the fit-again Leigh Halfpenny despite the player having successfully come through the IRB concussion protocols.
Despite their indifferent results so far in this year’s Six Nations, Scottish rugby is on the up and any trip to Murrayfield always presents a challenge for the visiting team. This is sure to be an extremely physical clash as the Welsh forwards will look to impose themselves on a weakened Scottish line-up, but I can’t see them having too much difficulty in doing that.
While this Wales team has plenty of try-scoring ability, their most impressive qualities in their last three games have been their defensive line-speed, which has enabled them to grind down their opponents, and their resilience, both of which will give them the advantage over an injury-hit Scotland team that has struggled for fluency and consistency.
Back Wales to win at 4/7
Back Wales -3 at 10/11
Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change. View the latest rugby betting odds