Ireland vs. England Betting Tips: Irish to secure Grand Slam
England's Six Nations hopes were resoundingly ended last time out by France, and now they head to face the best team in the world right now on home turf. Taking on Ireland in Dublin is the last thing Steve Borthwick's side will want to be doing this weekend, and it could be another messy afternoon for the Red Rose as their hosts chase unprecedented glory. Billy Grimshaw has previewed the game for us and it's safe to say he does not see an upset on the cards...
Ireland vs. England Tips
It's no secret Ireland absolutely love beating the English in any sporting venture, so motivation was never going to be an issue for this one for the hosts. However, they have the opportunity to become the first Irish rugby side of all time to secure a Grand Slam on home soil in Dublin should they defeat their visitors, and Andy Farrell's men will be chomping at the bit to get stuck in. Throw in the fact their legendary captain Jonny Sexton is bowing out at the end of the game, and everything here points to a celebratory performance from the best side in world rugby right now.
After their humiliation at Twickenham last time out (losing 10-53 to France) England will be out to restore some pride in the jersey. However, they simply do not have the ability nor the game plan to cope with the Irish. I am surprised to see -14 for the hosts available at a shade under even money with Paddy Power and Betfair judging on what we've seen so far from both sides this campaign, and will be backing Ireland to win -14 confidently. Across the park the Irish are just a better side, they are far more cohesive in attack and meaner in defence, and if England's defence is as porous as it was at Twickenham Ireland's flying wingers could be in for another field day.
England will attempt to play simple, some would say boring, rugby to keep themselves in the contest for as long as possible, but I just can't see them sticking with Ireland for long. Josh van der Flier, Mack Hansen, James Lowe and of course the swansong of Sexton. Ireland are just too strong, so get with them -14 as the main bet.
Before making a case for my longshot bet I do have to mention that some firms are offering Man of the Match odds, and although Jonny Sexton is a short priced favourite it really should be a formality that he wins it if he scores a point (to move past Ronan O'Gara as Ireland's all time top point scorer) and Ireland win the match. At odds of 2/1 though I'll leave that one alone for tipping purposes and instead will back the reigning world player of the year Josh van der Flier to open the scoring.
The wrecking ball of a flanker is a wrecking ball both in attack and defence, and I can see England's game plan of keeping things simple really costing them here. They do not have the power to match Ireland through the middle or out wide, and with van der Flier's expert angle running and ability to cross the line when Ireland get on a roll he is a big price at 14/1.
Van der Flier has multiple routes to the try-line, something I always like when punting in these markets, as he is just as dangerous from distance in terms of making a break and brushing away full backs, as he is from close range when he is often seen bulldozing his way over to score. England won't be able to deal with Ireland and they definitely won't be able to handle van der Flier if the game against France is anything to go by.