World No 1 Ireland will look to get their World Cup campaign up and running when they take on Celtic rivals Scotland at the Yokohama International Stadium on Sunday the 22nd of September.
RWC Pool A
22 September 09h45
Ireland v Scotland
Yokohama International Stadium
Ireland (-9.5) 9/10
Scotland (+9.5) 9/10
Joe Schmidt’s men have come under scrutiny of late, finishing the Six Nations in third before slumping to a record loss to England just a few weeks out from the global showpiece.
Still though, they managed to string together two wins over Wales to climb to first place on the World Rugby rankings heading into their tournament opener this weekend.
Aside from the injured duo of Rob Kearney and Robbie Henshaw, Schmidt has a virtual full-strength squad to choose from and he will be confident his men can get the job done against the Scots. Their 22-13 triumph at Murrayfield in February was their sixth in seven matches over them since Schmidt took charge in 2013.
That record looks unlikely to change this weekend, with Gregor Townsend’s side struggling for form of late. They suffered a 32-3 defeat to France in Nice in the first of their World Cup warm-ups, before claiming a narrow 17-14 win over them a week later in Edinburgh.
They followed that up with unconvincing wins over Georgia to leave them wanting for any real cohesion ahead of Sunday’s encounter. It wouldn’t be very wise to count them out entirely considering the talent at their disposal, but an upset remains dubious.
Verdict: Ireland by 10 points or more
Ireland’s clinical and uncompromising style of play should be too hot for Scotland to handle, with last year’s Six Nations Grand Sam winners set to take control of Pool A with a win on Sunday.
Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets