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Stephen Ferris fancies Dupont to score first try at Murrayfield

| 25.02.2022

Former Ireland international Stephen Ferris looks at the weekend’s Six Nations matches and gives us his best bets for all three games.

Click on the links for previews of the England v Wales and Ireland v Italy games.

There is no doubt that France have lived up to a lot of people’s expectations so far in this tournament. Dispatching Italy with ease in week one and then squeaking home against Ireland in week two.

France didn’t play their best game against Ireland, but they were smart and chose to cause chaos at really important times during the game. They also kicked the ball very well and didn’t overplay in the wrong areas of the pitch. At last, France looked like a well-coached team.

Ireland managed to go home with a losing bonus point which could prove very precious come the last weekend.

You have to give them credit for storming back into the game when the chips were down, and although I feel France took their foot off the gas a little, it was still impressive to give yourself a fighting chance with 10 minutes on the clock to potentially win the game. It wasn’t to be for the Irish lads who can continue battling on with their heads held high.

Antoine Dupont

England produced a comprehensive performance against the Italians. There seems to be a returning swagger to their play, which was really good to watch at times. Could England be the team which puts it up to France and causes an upset? Well, first of all they have to beat rejuvenated Wales this weekend at Twickenham, something I expect them to do. Can they send their fans home happy and full of belief? Let’s wait and see.

Nobody gave the mighty Welsh a chance against Scotland but there was no way this Welsh team were going to take a backwards step in Cardiff. Darcy Graham got on the scoresheet like I predicted for Scotland, but they couldn’t kick on from his early try and now face an uphill task to turn their fortunes around in the Championship. It doesn’t get any easier for the Scots with France travelling to the Scottish capital in round three.

Scotland v France (Sat, 14.15, BBC)

Weather conditions look favourable which will be music to a lot of Scottish ears. Scotland have played in very wet and windy conditions in their first two games and have struggled to get momentum and sustain long periods of attack. Very stop-start games that in my opinion don’t help the mercurial players like Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg find their groove.

Surely Scotland will offer more with ball in hand and not kick aimlessly like they did against Wales last week? But how much ball will Scotland cough up? France, with their heavy duty pack ,will try to get on top around the set-piece and hopefully dominate to earn a number of penalties that will put them into good field positions.

Expect Damien Penaud, Yoram Moefana and Antoine Dupont to cause mayhem with ball in hand when given an opportunity. These guys are box office, and I think they will have a huge say on the outcome of this game.

If Scotland can match the French power then they will give themselves a chance. But I don’t believe that’s possible with the personnel selected.

Prediction:  France -7 on the handicap at evens

First try: Antoine Dupont at 10/1

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Warren Barner