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Nic Ladds 19th Mar 2010 - 13:35

Scotland to be sacrificed as the final Croke Park offering

The Six Nations title may have all - but escaped Irish clutches but they will be determined to win their fifth Triple Crown in seven years by beating Scotland and the home side are 1/8 to oblige with the Scots at odds of 6/1.

Had Scotland not suffered so many injuries during the tournament or played so many tough, hard games they could be worth a small interest at the price, but the grueling draw against England last time may be the straw that breaks the camels back of the already battered and bruised squad and Ireland could enjoy themselves.

The Irish play their final game at Croke Park so will certainly not want it to end in defeat and they could still win the title with a huge win and hope France suffer a heavy defeat to England (not likely we know), but you can be sure the boys in green will be going for it hell - for - leather and this may be too much for the Scots.

Andy Robinson will be hoping his plucky side that should have beaten Wales and drew with England can cause a huge upset but barring atrocious weather, therefore limiting Ireland's running game, just can't see a way the Scots can take this, and the Wooden Spoon looks destined for north of the boarder.

The handicap has the home side giving up 14 points at odds of 10/11 and that looks about right, but looking the stats, Scotland are going to have a real battle to keep this respectable.

The Scots have scored just two tries all Six Nations and while grit may work against the likes of Italy and England, Ireland have scored nine tries and their devastating attack are going to thoroughly test the Scottish resilience.

Tommy Bowe (8/1 for first try) and current tournament top try scorer Keith Earls (9/1) take their places on the wing, while Brian O'Driscoll is 11/1, Rob Kearney 14/1 and in the pack, Jamie Heaslip is 16/1, demonstrating the awesome attacking threat Ireland have all over the park.

Max Evans has often looked Scotland's biggest threat and is 14/1 to go over first, while Sean Lamont is the same price, but perhaps if the Scots are to break through then it will be their much heralded back row John Barclay (9/2 to score anytime), Johnnie Beattie (9/2) or Kelly Brown (7/1) that will get it.

The Scots haven't won in Dublin since 1998 and that run looks like it will continue, for those wanting a bigger priced bet, Ireland to win by 16-20 points is 11/2 or 21-25 points 13/2, a score which is entirely plausible.

Scotland have been incredibly unlucky this tournament with injuries and inexplicable results (see the Wales game), but there looks like there is little they can do against an Ireland team who will have been sent out to win and win well and give Croke Park the great send - off it deserves.


Ireland to win by 21-25 points - 13/2

Keith Earls to score first try - 9/1



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