Ireland will book there place in the World Cup quarter finals with a victory over Italy, and that’s exactly what Joe Schmidt’s Six Nations winners look set to do, in comfortable fashion at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Aside from a few niggling injury concerns for Schmidt, the Irish campaign has been flawless so far, with Canada, then potentially more dangerous Pool D opponents Romania, swept aside in a flurry of tries.
Italy by contrast have been disappointing given the experience in the squad. The Azzurri were beaten convincingly by France, who top the pool by four points and lie in wait for Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in the final fixture.
Having conceded just three points in Rome when defeating Jacques Brunel’s side 29-3 in the Six Nations back in February, the 1/14 on Ireland is nailed on, though the heavy favourites clearing a 20-point handicap at 1/1, is a far better punt.
Furthermore, the bonus point available for the win containing four or more tries is very plausible, considering 10 have been scored by Schmidt’s outfit already and the form of a few big-name players.
Lions star Tommy Bowe went over twice against Romania and retains his place, as does Simon Zebo at full-back, while Keith Earls moves to outside centre – allowing Dave Kearney to take up the left wing spot.
As one of a series of specials on the match, backing Tommy Bowe and Dave Kearney to score tries looks a belter as it has been boosted for the match from 3/1 out to 9/2.
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Argentina v Tonga: Pool C, 14:30 Sunday, King Power Stadium
Although New Zealand proved too strong for them in Pool C, the Pumas showed their growing status in world rugby is justified by pummelling Georgia 54-9 in their second match.
Any Test nation which defeats South Africa on their own patch, as Argentina did this summer, deserves respect and the South Americans will fully expect to join the All-Blacks in the quarter finals.
Tonga’s opening loss to Georgia and unconvincing win against minnows Namibia, where they conceded three tries, means they are in for another tough occasion in Leicester.
Much like the tryscorer boosts on offer for the Ireland game, the Pumas’ wingers both getting in on the act, as they did twice each against Georgia, looks ripe for the picking against a weak Tongan defence.
It’s now 3/1, out from 12/5 that Santiago Cordero and Juan Imhoff both score tries in the match.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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