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Halfpenny’s trusty boot key to a Wales victory in France

| 27.02.2015

France entertain Wales in a make-or-break Six Nations encounter where the winner keeps their Championship title dreams alive and the loser’s chances go up in smoke.

Owing to home advantage the French are awarded favourite’s status at 4/6, while Wales’ price of 11/8 to prevail appeals for numerous reasons, not least the inconsistent nature of their opponents.

Although Les Blues proved a thorn in Warren Gatland’s side early in his tenure, the Kiwi coach has presided over three straight Six Nations wins against them, including a successful 16-6 raid in Paris two years ago.

On the evidence of the 2015 edition so far, this French side are far from vintage. Clermont Auvergne fly-half Camille Lopez has certainly shone for Philippe Saint-Andre’s side with the boot, but trees have remained rooted.

Scotland were only beaten narrowly in a nervy opening encounter at Stade de France which could have gone either way, while Ireland weren’t pushed hard enough despite a bright opening in Dublin, where Romain Taofifenua’s consolation try was France’s first of the tournament.

Meanwhile, after an initial shock against a new-look England side in Cardiff, Wales’ bounce-back 26-23 victory at Murrayfield was all the more impressive given Scotland’s vast improvement under Vern Cotter.

Wales have now scored three tries in the competition, while as ever the boot of Leigh Halfpenny can be relied upon to capitalise, adding two more points on each occasion.

The head-gear sporting full-back can be the difference again for Wales, especially if France show the ill-discipline from the breakdown under pressure which handed Ireland all 18 of their points from penalties last time out.

A Welsh penalty between the posts rates an excellent 13/8 chance as the first score of the game in Paris.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.