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Nic Ladds 12th Feb 2010 - 12:35

Gatland may have more questions to answer after Scotland come to town

After defeat in their opening games last time, both Wales and Scotland will be looking to redress the balance with victory and with home advantage the Welsh are 1/5 to see off the Scots who are at odds of 19/5.

Some may feel Wales were unlucky in their opening game against England, conceding 17 points when Alun Wyn - Jones was sin - binned for an appalling trip, an offence for which many feel he should have been dropped from the Wales side and they did look a lot better with a full team on the field.

Since the incident there has been call for coach Warren Gatland to drop Wyn - Jones but Gatland, who is no stranger to controversy himself has picked the shamed second row man and will be hoping he can repay his faith on the field as a loss would leave Gatland and Wyn - Jones facing another media enquiry.

Scotland meanwhile lost to France and although they only lost by nine points, they never really looked like scoring and they will be hoping for much improved display at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales are certainly no France though and asking the home side to give up 10 points on the handicap at 10/11 looks a big ask as the Scots may not have the most prolific attack but as has been proved time and again, they have a stout defence while the Welsh have been guilty of leaking points in recent games.

Wyn - Jones is more than likely to be a target for Scotland both because mentally he could be fragile after being pilloried in the press and in the line outs which is an area that the Scots might hope to capitalize as Wales lost five of their own line outs against England last week and this won't have gone unnoticed by Andy Robinson.

Euan Murray returns for the away side to bolster the front row for Scotland while Rory Lamont (14/1 for first try) comes in for Max Evans and goes to the wing with Thom Evans (14/1) on the other flank which moves Sean Lamont (16/1) to the centres. Chris Paterson makes wins an emotional hundredth cap and is 4/1 to mark his centenary with a try at anytime.

Wales bring back Leigh Halfpenney (9/1 for first try) on the wing to partner Shane Williams (9/1) which is a welcome addition to the Welsh attacking arsenal and while James Hook (14/1) is no Mathieu Bastareaud he will still look to pose Scotland problems from the centres with Jamie Roberts (14/1).

Welsh fans all over though have their head in their hands with selection of Gareth Cooper (25/1) at scrum half with fears now that Stephen Jones will be isolated and the wings will see little ball and this has been identified at Wales' main weakness in the media and Cooper can expect flankers Kelly Brown and John Barclay to be on his case all afternoon.

Unsurprisingly a winning margin of 11-15 for Wales is favored by the market at odds of 9/2 with 16-20 at 11/2 or a more conservative 6-10 at 5/1 while a Scottish victory or 6-10 is a whopping 12/1 with 1-5 points at 15/2.

Scotland have not won in Cardiff since 2002 but their team looks to be improving and anyone fancying a punt on the away side at 19/5 wouldn't be as foolish as you'd think. The Welsh line out looked atrocious against England last time and the shrewd Robinson will know exactly where to target and the Scots can use this to their advantage.

The main problem is Wales are more than likely to score a couple of tries due to their attacking prowess and can Scotland reply with anything of substance? They threatened once or twice against France without every really looking like scoring but they created the positions and may be able to finish against a weaker Welsh side.

Scotland look good value for their 10 point head start at 10/11 and this improving side could give Wales a real scare, and for a try scorer, Jamie Roberts was showing signs of returning to his dangerous best against England and is worth a bet at 14/1 for first try.


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