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Due to the growing threat of coronavirus this will be the only Six Nations final round fixture to be played this weekend. Both Italy v England and Ireland v France have been postponed, with Autumn looking a likely time for those fixtures to be given the green light.
Wales currently sit down in fifth place in the table and they’ll know that isn’t good enough, even if it is Wayne Pivac’s first go at this tournament.
Indeed, defeats to all of Ireland, England and France has seen them fail to live up to the expectation set by last year’s Grand Slam, especially with the latter coming at the Principality Stadium.
The Scots on the other hand, turned over a then unbeaten French side at Murrayfield. However, a red card for Mohamed Haouas in the 36th minute when Les Bleus were leading 7-6 gave the hosts an opening. Gregor Townsend’s men took it well with the end score finishing 28-17 as Sean Maitland got a brace to take his international tally to 15.
Scotland will know this week poses a much greater challenge than beating a 14-man France side and a poor Italian outfit and they’ll need to bring their A-game if they’re to come away with anything from it.
Wales -8 Points Handicap
Although the Welsh trail their visitors for this weekend in the overall standings by three points, they have a much more advantageous point’s difference and so unfortunately for Scottish fans it isn’t just a matter of coming within seven points on the scoreboard in order to finish above their rivals, but instead to take the game to them.
The head-to-heads though don’t make very good reading for the men in dark blue, losing 12 of 13 meetings against Wales since the start of 2008, including all seven at Principality.
In fact, they’ve lost by seven or more points in all but one of their 10 outings here since they last won back in 2002, losing at the break in all but two of them and so we don’t give them much hope considering.
Furthermore, you only have to look at their record in this tournament on the road to make a serious case for taking them on.
Indeed, excluding trips to Italy, they’ve won just two of 41 fixtures on their travels, as 29 of their defeats came by more than seven points (76%) and that looks banker material for us at a stadium where they’ve really struggled in the past.
Wales -8 Points Handicap At 10/11
ROUND FOUR HIGHLIGHTS
WALES V SCOTLAND TEAMS
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Cory Hill, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Johnny McNicholl.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Magnus Bradbury, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 George Horne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Kyle Steyn
ODDS CORRECT AS OF 11:30, 13/03/2020 BUT ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE!
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