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10th Feb 2017

The really, really optimistic preview of Ireland versus Italy

Expect our boys to get the full haul of points

Sean McMahon

Well that was the longest week ever.

There is nothing quite like a disappointing loss to drag out a week.

The news over the last couple of days has been dominated by Ireland’s poor performance against the Scots.

It has proven tedious and wearisome, especially with all the talk surrounding arriving late to the stadium and other annoying explanations for Ireland’s display.

Thankfully, Ireland are on the eve of their second Six Nations match, an away trip to Rome to face Conor O’Shea’s Italy.

The team has been named and we fully expect a backlash from our boys.

A key characteristic of Ireland’s performance in Murrayfield, in an attacking sense at least, was dealing with slow ball.

For most of the match, Ireland failed to find parity at the breakdown, which led to a one-dimensional attack and an over reliance on one-off runners.

You can be damn sure that Ireland will rectify this against the Italians.

Quick ball will ensure more attacking variety from Ireland and we will get a chance to see more of the plays which Joe Schmidt has up his sleeve.

With this in mind, Ireland’s wingers should be more potent and you can’t look any further than Keith Earls when it comes to a likely source of tries for Ireland.

The Limerick man, including being one of Ireland’s most lethal finishers, has a very good record against the Azzuri – scoring four tries in six starts against the Italians – so we expect him to be one of the first on the score sheet here.

First Try:

Keith Earls – 7/1

Simon Zebo – 7/1

Michele Campagnaro – 33/1

Find more odds for first try scorer here.

As is often the case with Italy, they prove to be a competitive side for 50-60 minutes of a Test match but generally fall away in the final quarter of games. It happened against Wales last week and we expect it to happen against Schmidt’s side.

With Ireland boasting some serious firepower off the bench which includes Ultan Dillane, Craig Gilroy and Josh van der Flier, it won’t be a surprise to see Ireland secure the victory with a number of tries in the second half.

As a result we reckon the second half will have more scores than the first.

Highest Scoring Half:

First Half – 5/4

Tie – 18/1

Second Half – 4/6

Back both teams to score more points in the second half here.

Look, Ireland were brought crashing down to earth in that loss to Scotland and with that ended the dream of a third Grand Slam.

However, that result doesn’t mean Ireland have become a bad team overnight.

The inaccuracies in attack and defence which littered Ireland’s performance would have been addressed in training this week and you can expect a much more improved performance from the Irish.

Although the players will not admit it, the securing of a bonus point and racking up a good points differential will be at the back of their minds.

In order to keep their aspirations of winning the championship alive, Ireland will need to get the maximum haul of points here and we fully expect them to do so.

Away Team Tries: 

Over 4.5 – 8/13

Under 4.5 – 6/5

Back Ireland to score more than four tries here.

Look, Murrayfield is in the past.

Our boys will be incredibly motivated to get this Six Nations back on track so you can expect a hard fought but ultimately convincing victory for Rory Best and his colleagues.

With this in mind, why not back both the ever-improving French and and the unbeaten English to record wins this weekend.

Headline Treble Special: 

Ireland, England and France all to win – 11/8

To back that treble, bet here.

Brought to you by Ladbrokes 

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