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Ireland vs Scotland: The Twist at the Climax?

James
March 18, 2022
Modified: March 18, 2022

What a weekend we have lined up for us! The Six Nations normally gets more exciting in the latter stages of the competition, but this final week should beat them all, with two matches that will decide the fate of the title. The first of those is Ireland vs Scotland, with the home side needing to tie France for wins on four. Will they be up to the challenge? Will the Scottish sour the party before it even gets started? Let’s take a look at the factors that will influence this game.

History of the Team’s Encounters

There is a lot of history between these two rivals: 138 games of history, to be specific. Below, I have included the data from this matches.

Wins for IrelandWins for ScotlandTied Matches
67665

67 wins to 66 is almost unbelievably close. It is certainly one of the closest rivalries in the whole of the Six Nations. I would even go as far as to say that history can not give us enough perspective in this case, and we are going to have to dig a lot deeper, if we want an answer as to whom is going to win this match.

Six Nations Standings and Results from the First Four Weeks

We all know that recent form is a crucial point to review, if you want to make an accurate rugby prediction. By that logic, it would be wasteful not to consider how the first four weeks have played out, so I have included the current Six Nations standings below.

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Six Nations 2022 Table

TeamWinsDrawsLossesPoints DifferenceBonus Try PointsOverall Points
France40056218
Ireland30184416
England20217210
Scotland202-8210
Wales103-2726
Italy004-12200

Six Nations 2022 Results

Ireland MatchesScoreWinner
Ireland vs Wales29-7Ireland
France vs Ireland30-24France
Ireland vs Italy57-6Ireland
England vs Ireland15-32Ireland
Scotland MatchesScoreWinner
Scotland vs England20-17Scotland
Wales vs Scotland20-17Wales
Scotland vs France17-36France
Italy vs Scotland22-33Scotland

Analysis of Standings and Results

Second-place Ireland seem a lot better off than Scotland, who find themselves in fourth. Furthermore, Ireland’s performances have not only been solid from the point of view of an extra win over Scotland’s record, but they have also managed to secure four bonus points from tries from four matches. This, for me, is the first sign of this clash of the Celts going Ireland’s way.

The 16th Man and the Benefits of Playing at Home

The Aviva Stadium is going to be packed on Saturday, green faces in full cheer to watch their team see out the last week of the Six Nations. Will the home advantage play a crucial role in this clash? I believe so. This is going to be a hard-fought game for both sides, and I think the crowd will have a big say in staving off the threat of Scotland. The home advantage is another tick in the box for me, for an Irish win.

Attacking Options Based on Previous Points Scorers

Building consistently successful attacking play is one of the beautiful arts in rugby. Getting points on the board is crucial, and any team that falls short in this area will not be able to perform at the top level. With that in mind, let’s break down how well both Ireland and Scotland have managed in this crucial area so far in the competition.

Ireland

PlayerPointsPoints Break-down
Johnny Sexton290 tries, 10 conversions, 3 penalties, 0 drop goals
Joey Carbery181 try, 5 conversions, 1 penalty, 0 drop goals
James Lowe153 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Andrew Conway102 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Jamison Gibson-Park102 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Michael Lowry102 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Bundee Aki51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Ryan Baird51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Finlay Bealham51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Jack Conan51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Mack Hansen51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Hugo Keenan51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Peter O’Mahony51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Garry Ringrose51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Kieran Treadwell51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Josh van der Flier51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals

Scotland

PlayerPointsPoints Break-down
Finn Russell330 tries, 6 conversions, 7 penalties, 0 drop goals
Chris Harris102 tries, 0 conversions, 1 penalty, 0 drop goals
Darcy Graham102 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Stuart Hogg71 try, 1 conversion, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Rory Darge51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Sam Johnson51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Duhan van der Merwe51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals
Ben White51 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals

For me, this speaks volumes. Ireland are clearly the dominant team. Ireland have 142 total points to 80, 20 tries to 9, 15 conversions to 7, and 16 unique scorers to seven. The Scottish only come up trumps with seven penalties to four, which is nowhere near enough to compete with the Irish. Sure, games have been won on penalties alone before, but I can’t see that happening in this match, given that Ireland have managed to grab bonus points for scoring three tries in a match, in every game they have played in this series.

My Overall Ireland vs Scotland Match Prediction Winner: A Dublin Fanfare in the Making

I always enjoy watching Scotland play, and I believe they have a decent team by world standards. Are they going to be able to produce enough in this Ireland vs Scotland clash to rip the win from the Irish though? I think most reading this rugby prediction so far will already have guessed my feelings on this. Come 80 minutes, I can only see Ireland as the victors, and I think it’s going to big party in Dublin, to celebrate.

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James

Gambling Consultant at Betiton