Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Autumn Nations Cup: Round 2 Preview

Autumn Nations Cup: Round 2 Preview


We take a look at the four Autumn Nations Cup games which get underway on Saturday the 21st of November. 

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The Nations Cup got off to a rather disruptive start as the game between Fiji and France was called off due to Fijian captain Semi Radradra testing positive for COVID-19. The other three games did go ahead, however, and they went exactly according to book with England beating Georgia 40-0, Scotland beating Italy 17-28 and Ireland beating Wales 32-9. 

This weekend's fixture list is an absolute cracker with the two choice games seeing England take on Ireland and Scotland tackle France. 

Italy v Fiji
Saturday 21 November
Sadio Del Conero 
14:45


To Win (80 Mins) TBC
Italy
Draw
Fiji

This game could well be under threat as a number of the Fijian players were released to their Top 14 sides and which raises the chances of more COVID-19 risks. If the game does go ahead, the flying Fijians will be without star player and newly installed skipper, Semi Radradra, who is currently in quarantine. 

While the Fijians had the opening week of the tournament off, the Italians took on Scotland. While the Azzurri put in a dogged display it was not enough as they went down by 11 points to Gregor Townsend's side. 

The Italians have won three of the last five games between the sides but the Fijians have a handy recent record winning two of the last three fixtures. 

Verdict: Fiji
I reckon this one will be rather tight. The Fijians will bring the flair while the Italians will look to muscle up. I can see the Islanders coming out on top in this clash of styles. 

England v Ireland
Saturday 21 November
Twickenham
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
England 2/11
Draw 25/1
Ireland 4/1


Handicap
England (-11.5) 9/10
Ireland (+11.5) 9/10

The headline clash of the weekend is next up with England taking on Ireland at the home of rugby. Both teams go their campaigns off to solid starts with England beating Georgia 40-0 in a game that saw little running rugby due to poor weather, while Ireland hammered a hapless Welsh side 32-9. 

When these two teams met earlier in the year, England ran out 24-12 victors. The Red Roses have actually won the last three games between the sides by 12 points or more beating Ireland 57-15 in a 2019 Rugby World Cup warm-up game and 20-32 in last year's Six Nations. 

Verdict: England (-11.5) 9/10
While Ireland have shown improvement this term, I cannot see them changing their recent record against the English here. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

Wales v Georgia
Saturday 21 November
Parc Y Scarlets
19:15


To Win (80 Mins)
Wales 1/100
Draw 45/1
Georgia 12/1


Handicap
Wales (-25.5) 9/10
Georgie (+22.5) 9/10


Wales and Georgia are next up and this one could turn out to be an absolute dogfight with the Welsh in freefall and the Georgians, as always, looking to push their bid for a berth in the Six Nations. 

Both teams got off to rather poor starts to the Autumn Nations Cup with Wales absolutely torn apart by Ireland and Georgia's massive forward pack getting something of a lineout masterclass from the English. Neither team was able to score a try last week as well, which means this could well be a low scoring affair. 

The two sides most recently met at last year's Rugby World Cup with a somewhat understrength Welsh side huffing and puffing their way to a 43-14 victory. 

Verdict: Georgia (+25.5)
Wales really are struggling at the moment and I reckon they'll get a real run for their money from a physical Georgian side. 

Scotland v France
Sunday 22 November
Murrayfield
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Scotland 43/20
Draw 22/1
France 7/20

Handicap
Scotland (+5.5)
France (-5.5)

We close out the weekend at Murrayfield where Scotland will tackle a French side who will be looking to carry their Six Nations form over into the Nations Cup. 

The visitors had their game against Fiji called off last weekend due to COVID-19 concerns and will be raring to go this weekend. It's not like they'll be ring rusty either as they've just finished off their 6 Nations campaign in great form. 

Scotland, while not free-flowing, gave a decent account of themselves last weekend getting the job done by beating Italy 17-28. 

Verdict: France 7/20
Scotland basically ruined France's shot at this year's Six Nations when they beat them at Murrayfield earlier in the year. And while French will be without talismanic Pivot Romian Ntamack, I can still see them getting revenge by claiming a win on Scottish soil. 

Written by Darry Worthington.

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