Six Nations Rugby Odds
• England 6/4
• Wales 11/4
• Ireland 10/3
• France 6/1
• Scotland 16/1
• Italy 500/1
Whilst the Japanese victory over South Africa in the Rugby World Cup set a new standard for stunning results, Karne Hesketh’s last moment clincher sealing a win well earned by the Brave Blossoms, when it comes to great games of Rugby, as those that bet on sports in the UK will know only too well, the Six Nations too has produced some truly amazing games. So let’s count down our 7 best Six Nations games.
1.Wales 31 – 34 Scotland – 2010
With the game coming down to the wire the Scots had two men in the sin bin, the penalty against them scored by Stephen Jones leveled match and then the difference in numbers set up Shane Williams to go under the posts and grab a sensational victory. The penalties, particularly against Scott Lawson with six minutes left are still hotly debated today, although Phil Godman’s tripping of Byrne was a less questionable decision. The Welsh have yet to replicate this performance, but this could be their year.
2. France 25 – 27 Ireland – 2000
Ireland’s first victory in Paris for 28 years was pretty much all down to the superb display of Six Nations rugby by centre Brian O’Driscoll who put aside the pre-tournament predictions of doom to score a hat trick of tries. French pressure in the first quarter of the game seemed to galvanize the Irish who fought back brilliantly, grabbing and losing the lead in a close pitched game only to seal their first win over the French for 17 years with three minutes left.
3. Italy 22 – 21 France – 2011
The French weren’t gambling news headlines would be of their defeat going into this one, and whilst the hard-nosed performance of the Italians in a furious first half kept them in the game it was only as only as the losing side. It was an uncharacteristic gaullic slump that saw the Azzure, mostly through the 17 points kicked by Bergamasco, and especially the last minute penalty, make up the 12 point deficit on the board and grab their first ever win against the French in their Six Nations rugby history,
4. Scotland 15 – 9 England – 2008
The wind and rain of Murrayfield may have played a part in this one but the penalties kicked by Chris Paterson were answered only by Wilkinson and that just wasn’t enough. It might have looked a bit like a replay of the Somme but this tough slog showed that very little is allowed to get in the way of Six Nations rugby, and that determination was matched by Scots conviction behind the ball, allowing them to run the clock down on a lackluster and disappointing England side.
5. Wales 11 – 9 England – 2005
England began disastrously and the Welsh built on that slowly out stripping an England side with Gavin Henderson’s kicks. England managed to grab the lead in the second half but couldn’t keep it and in the end a difficult long-range penalty given with just four minutes left was neatly taken by the unerring Henderson and handed the Welsh a well deserved victory and dramatic over the English in front of a packed Cardiff crowd.
6. Ireland 6 – 42 England – 2003
For the first half hour the Irish still seemed to be in the game, England only just a point ahead, but from then on the English team put on a superb performance and made Six Nations rugby look easy as they scored almost at will, both from the kicks of Johnny Wilkinson and the deft play of Greenwood and Grayson. It was masterly but if you were in the UK gambling laws of sporting success would see this as the start of a new dawn in English rugby, time would demonstrate this was a magnificent one off.
7. Ireland 17 – 20 France – 2007
Right down to the last drop this was a quintessential game of Six Nations rugby with both sides slogging it out up close and personal and keeping it competitive and action packed right down to the dying moments of play. The close 13-11 scoreline at half time making it anyone’s game, but despite Ireland taking the lead in the 77th minute it was a late try by Vincent Clerc that gave the French a delightfully well earned win, that showcased everything this fabulous game is supposed to be.
This year’s tournament gets underway this weekend and you can get all the odds on the opening matches from Bet365, where the French are almost certain to beat the Italians, getting just 1/16, to the Azzure’s 10/1, England are 2/5 over their opponent’s Scotland’s 9/4, and in the closest of the games Ireland are barely 4/6 ahead of Wales 11/8, but which are you going to back?