Draw profits in Scotland

  • By: David Gee
  • Last Updated: February 28 2013, 17:03 GMT

David Gee previews this weekend's action in the Six Nations and reckons the draw is a big runner at 22/1 in Scotland v Wales.

The Irish could well be held by the Scots
The Irish could well be held by the Scots

These two sides on Sunday look evenly matched and it could come down to the performance of the respective kickers.

Scotland's ability to keep Brian O'Driscoll in check will be key and this one could be a stalemate.

Scotland v Ireland (Sunday, 14.00)

Was Scotland's victory against Italy the dawn of a new era for the men north of the border? I certainly can't remember a Scottish performance with more flair and grit for many a moon but were they handed it on a plate by the feckless Italians? Either way, they looked good and this has to set alarm bells ringing in the Irish camp who have plenty of problems of their own heading into Sunday's clash at Murrayfield. The Irish doctor must hate it when Six Nations time comes around as he seems to be busier than any other physician in the world in February and March and this year has been no exception. Ireland have had to make several changes again to their starting XV, the majority of whom are missing either through injury or suspension. Johnny Sexton is the latest to fall to an ailment and his place at fly-half is taken by Ulster stand-off Paddy Jackson, who is selected in preference to Ronan O'Gara who will surely be ripe for another cameo in the second-half. Keith Earls comes onto the left wing in place of the injured Simon Zebo whilst Luke Marshall wins his first cap at centre in place of Gordon d'Arcy. Scotland coach Scott Johnson has only made one change to his starting XV with Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross returning to the front row in place of Euan Murray. The small crumb of comfort for the Irish is that Brian O'Driscoll is fit and his presence in midfield could make all the difference. This looks set to be very close indeed but unfortunately the layers agree. This could all come down to the respective boots of the kickers and a draw is not beyond the realms of possibility. Given that this could go all the way down to the wire, a small play on the draw is advised at 22/1 as both packs look evenly matched and if Scotland can negate the threat of O'Driscoll in midfield, then they will have more than a fighting chance.

Verdict: Draw.

  • Preview posted at 2120 GMT on 21/02/2013.