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Six Nations round two treble

| 12.02.2017

Best bets come on the handicap

Going into the second round of fixtures from this year’s Six Nations tournament, and if we get anything like the drama witnessed when the curtain went up last Saturday, we’re in for a gripping weekend.

France v England - 2016 RBS Six Nations - Stade de France

Wales deserve respect

England enhanced their fantastic winning run to 15 in-a-row last weekend. They were not without their problems however, looking seriously out of shape in the first-half and having to come from behind to break French hearts, courtesy of a 19-16 result. They won’t get away with that again.

The Red Rose got the win though, that’s what they do, and they also overcame what is expected to be their toughest rivals, getting it out the way in the first week. Wales went through the motions against Italy, running out 33-7 victors, and although they were largely untested, it would have been the perfect confidence booster. Take them to win at 10/11 with a five-point leg-up.

Ireland v Italy - 2016 RBS Six Nations - Aviva Stadium

Perfect tonic for Ireland

Ireland suffered a slow start at Murrayfield last week and never recovered, going down to Scotland 27-22. They will take it on the chin and move on, confident in the fact that they have what appears to be a gimme in week two, if they can get going from the first whistle.

Ireland hammered Italy 58-15 last season, and have had their fair share of big wins over there too. The Italians are a proud side, but took a hurtful beating at the hands of Wales last time. I fancy something similar again here, and Ireland -23 on the handicap at 10/11 is ours.

Wales v Scotland - 2016 RBS Six Nations - Principality Stadium

Grasp the thistle

Scotland travel to France and they don’t stand much of a chance, if the betting odds are to be believed. That has a familiar ring to it however, as the same was true last week at Murrayfield vs Ireland. The Thistle paid little notice, running out 27-22 winners at the conclusion of a pulsating match.

Inspired by Stuart Hogg, who scored two tries, the boot of Greig Laidlaw was also crucial, and he’ll be asked to produce a similar effort if they are to get anything from France. Les Bleus were beaten by England last week, and will be hurting. Back Scotland +5 on the handicap at 10/11 with Coral.

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Frank Monkhouse