Six Nations 2019: Round 1 Predictions

Elliot Daly

Firstly, if you haven’t joined our Predictor league on Superbru, please do so here. There are over 1,000 people in it already which is great to see, and it’ll be a good test of knowledge!

I’m looking to win it this year and here are my picks for Round 1.

France v Wales
This is a really tough one to call. Wales have had a great run of results, sneaking up to third in the world rankings and slipping under the radar whilst Ireland took all the plaudits in 2018. They have developed some depth in key positions, and don’t seem to be too weakened by the loss of Taulupe Faletau.

The French selection is interesting though, with an absolutely monstrous pack averaging nearly 19 stone per man, but then outside they have some ball-players. Mathieu Bastareaud is out, with Romain Ntamack and Wesley Fofana in the centres, with plenty of speed in the back three too.

I’m leaning towards Wales, with form on their side, a more mobile back row, and firepower of their own in the backline.

My Superbru prediction: Wales by 2
Bookie handicap: Evens

Scotland v Italy
This can only go one way I think, as the Italians just don’t seem to be kicking on, and Scotland have a decent team. Finn Russell has been in outstanding form playing in France, and whilst they have a few notable injuries, they’ll have enough to get past the Azzurri.

My Superbru prediction: Scotland by 18
Bookie handicap: Scotland -24

Ireland v England
England welcome back some big players (literally) in the shape of Manu Tuilagi, Billy and Mako Vunipola, world-class ball-carriers that will provide what England have missed without them. The pack looks pretty much first-choice, with a good balance in the back row, strong lineout operators and capable scrummagers.

There are a few question marks over form in the backline, and whether Elliot Daly is the right choice at full-back, but it’s a strong team that will be looking to build on their better-than-expected Autumn results, buoyed by their returning stalwarts.

Ireland’s side is pretty settled, albeit with Robbie Henshaw out of position at full-back and one or two forwards missing from the squad. They also come into the tournament on the back of an incredible year last year, including a Grand Slam, series victory in Australia, and a first win over the All Blacks in Dublin. That winning habit will be difficult to break for England.

You know what you are going to get from Ireland. Relentless line-speed, brutal defence, well-oiled set-piece, aerial bombardment and ferocious kick-chase. Knowing what to expect doesn’t make it easier to counter, since they do everything with an unusual combination of precision and gaelic passion.

That said, I am cautiously optimistic as an England fan. Despite a patchy 2018, their performances in November will have restored confidence, the team selection is looking slightly more settled, and Eddie Jones will have instilled the belief they can win. On paper, a home win is the sensible pick, but I just have a sneaking suspicion.

My Superbru prediction: England by 2
Bookie handicap: Ireland -9

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

24 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: Round 1 Predictions

  1. Only three games and I am calling two different from you! I have gone for a narrow French win, and an Irish win. Very brave call going for an England win in Ireland. Can’t say that I am optimistic, cautiously or otherwise.

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    1. There’s a little bit of hope over expectation, and also saw since I wrote this that we haven’t won in Dublin since 2013…but, England +9 feels like it’s overstating the gap between the teams, and I’ve put a small bet on England.

      I’d have Ireland -4 or -5 as more realistic, and if it’s a single score, anything can happen.

      Standing by my Wales prediction for tonight 🙂

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      1. To be fair, I also think that a 9 point spread might be a bit high and have gone under that but still can’t see an England win, although never say never – ’tis a funny old game. Personally think that the game will be won up front and I don’t think that our front row is as good as the Irish one.

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        1. Seems I forgot that France can be France when I made my prediction! They were the better of two poor sides but threw it away. Can’t believe that North got MOM. Should have been Picamoles or Navidi. My prediction is now that Wales will run the rest of the 6N having got their trap game out of the way. We’ll see!

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          1. Agree. North getting MOM for two of the most opportunist tries is a joke. Yes you have to be there and read the plays to score them, but honestly, it’s taking the piss.
            Don’t know how France threw that away. I watched it happen, but still can’t quite believe they messed it up that badly. Wales got very lucky!

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            1. Can’t see them losing that one personally. Could be two unbeaten sides going for it in the Millenium on the last day. Mind you hoping England will have something to say about that.

    1. They are not unbeatable, no team is unbeatable. Your statement is too definitive – you might be right that Ireland will win, but there’s always a chance that they won’t.

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  2. Just to follow up on the above predictions, firstly in wales v france, the French are an utterly unpredictable lot most the time, either brilliant or terrible.Last year they nearly beat Ireland only for some johnny sexton magic with the drop goal! I think the place kicking of Halfpenny will be missed tonight and I expect “les Blues2 to run out victorious tonight by 8 points. France 23 – 15 Wales.

    Scotland to beat Italy by 15 points in an old fashioned arm wrestle. Scotland 28 – 13 Italy.

    Ireland to defeat England in Dublin (Again) by a margin of 4 points, in a set piece game of chess, decided by multiple penalty kicks. Ireland 17 – England 13.

    PS; weather forecast is rain for all games, so expect a lot of mistakes and handling errors under the high balls.
    PPS; I am putting the house on Italy plus 24 on the handicap 🙂

  3. I like the England side but I think we will come up short in Ireland, the Irish fronmt row I think will dominate, Slade tested in the 13 channel and Daly seeing a feww high ones.

    The only changes I would make is Daly for Slade at 13 and Mr Angry in at Full back, Ireland by 3.

    Scotland by 15 and France by 2.

  4. France by 6.
    Ireland by 4.
    Scotland by 2 scores +

    Wouldnt rule out either Wales or England winning, but feel away wins during this Championship are going to be rare.
    Would like to see Italy competitive but they look odds on to lose all 5 and maybe not get a single point.

  5. Wales extremely lucky to win. All the good rugby played by France in the first half before they hit comedy central in the second. France might still.have won if they had kicked their points.
    Think Barnes had a shocker awarding endless scrum penalties to Wales!
    And why did Brunel sub his best players ie Picamoles, Fofana &tc…the replacement for the slow gigantic South African lock was miles better mind you.
    Imagine what France might be with a decent coach!

  6. We’ll my predictions didn’t survive the first engagement, nor indeed the second. Next week I’m going with whatever Hutch says!

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