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Six Nations: Scotland v Italy Preview
Scotland and Italy will be looking to close out their 2017 Six Nations campaigns on a high note when they meet at Murrayfield this Saturday.
The Scots will be looking to claim their third Six Nations victory of they year when they take on the Italians this Saturday. The hosts were on the end of a rather unflattering scoreline at Twickenham last week while the visitors come into this one off the back of a drubbing at the hands of France.
Scotland v Italy | Saturday 18 March | BT Murrayfield | 14:30
To Win (80 Mins)
Scotland 1/50 | Draw 75/1 | Italy 9/1
Scotland (-26.5) 9/10 | Italy (+26.5) 9/10
Despite their heavy loss to England last week, the Scots can still be proud of their showing in this year’s Six Nations. Vern Cotter’s men have managed to register wins over Wales and Ireland already, and a bonus point victory over Italy could see the Scots claim the runners-up accolade.
This game will draw the curtain down on coachVern Cotter’s, three-year tenure at the Scottish helm. The Kiwi has overseen a massive improvement in Scottish rugby fortunes with the ‘Thistles’ now ranked fifth in the world.
Key to Cotter’s mini-revolution has been the growth of players such as Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and the Grey brothers. While the aforementioned quartet have been on most rugby fanatics radars since the 2015 World Cup, the manner in which they have stepped up to the mark this term has been quite astonishing. Stuart Hogg is likely to don the British and Irish Lions number 15 jersey later this year, while Richie Grey is a shoe-in for one of the locking berths.
There’s still one more 6 Nations game to go before the Scottish boys set off on their Lions adventure, and they’ll want to give it their all as this will be their inspirational coach’s final game in charge.
I don’t want to be the purveyor of doom here but I think Italy are in for a long old afternoon at Murrayfield. The Azzurri have shown some promise in this year’s Championship but their age-old frailties were exposed by the French last week. The Italians will do well to avoid another heavy defeat here as the Scots are going to be as fired up as William Wallace himself.
It’s been a long day and I’m really trying to find some positives for Italy here but I’m struggling. Perhaps they can look to their 2015 exploits in Edinburgh, where they ran out 19-22 victors? Although, there’s not much chance of that occurring again as this crop of Scots are a hell of a lot better than their predecessors.
Verdict: Scotland (-26.5) 9/10
The cap was always going to be a big one after Italy were hammered by France. I still expect the Scot’s to clear it, especially with no rain being forecast for Saturday’s clash.