Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: International Rugby: Ireland v Wales Preview

International Rugby: Ireland v Wales Preview

 Jonathan Sexton of of Ireland
Jonathan Sexton

Both Ireland and Wales are expected to name full-strength teams for their World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag - Hollywoodbets 

Ireland v Wales
7 September 15h00
Aviva Stadium

To WinIreland 5/10
Draw 20/1
Wales 16/10 

Ireland (-4.5) 9/10
Wales  (+4.5) 9/10

Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland’s sides are looking to take as much momentum into the tournament as possible, with this weekend’s Test offering a final chance for them to do so before they depart for Japan.

The Irish snuck a 22-17 win at the Principality Stadium last week in a result that saw Wales, rather bizarrely, slip from first to fourth on the world rankings with the former jumping from fourth themselves to claim second spot.

Ahead of the clash in Dublin, Schmidt will be demanding an energetic and accurate performance from his men. The battering they took in their 57-15 defeat to England several weeks ago is still very fresh in the memory and a key aspect that still needs addressing is their creativity on offence. Johnny Sexton’s expected return on Saturday will certainly give them a boost in this regard and they should make the most of it.

Having taken charge of his last home match as Wales head coach last week, Gatland will look to see his men bounce back from that disappointing outing with an immediate resurgence. Although not too much should be read into the world rankings, to lose the No 1 ranking so soon after earning it for the first time will sting. The Welsh can claim some parity with a good display away from home.

Verdict: Ireland by five-points or more
While they may have come under fire of late, expect Ireland to make it back-to-back victories with a tight win at home over Wales.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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