Stephen Ferris: Scotland look too hot for ailing Wales
Ladbrokes ambassador Stephen Ferris is looking at all three of this weekend’s second round of Six Nations games and here he gives his insight into Saturday’s Wales v Scotland game in Cardiff.
Scotland got their campaign off to a superb start with a narrow win againsr England and they are 4/6 favourites to make it back-to-back wins, while Wales are available at 6/5.
Wales v Scotland (Saturday, 14.15, BBC 1)
The underdog winner from last week, Scotland, knuckled down and ground out a very dogged win in testing conditions at Murrayfield against England last weekend. The handicap started at +3 for Scotland but come kick-off it was nearly evens. The betting was obviously heavy in Scotland’s favour but how will they fare this weekend on the road to Wales?
The Welsh offered absolutely nothing against Ireland and, yes, they are missing over 700 international caps due to injury, but there is no excuse for getting a hiding and not firing a shot. Wales is a proud nation and you can be sure they will not roll over at home like they did in Dublin. The current champions are +2 in the handicap at home against Scotland. It’s hard to believe, but yes you read that right. The Welsh regions are struggling in the URC league, struggled in the European Cup, and now it’s backs against the wall time at international level.
The Welsh are capable of a big win at home, and the bookies have this as a very tight game. Wales were really bad and lost heavily last weekend when Scotland played OK and still managed to get the win. Scotland will get a lot more ball than they did against England and with Finn Russell steering the Scottish ship they should create more scoring opportunities.
❝We're really excited about getting out in front of a full house at Principality Stadium for our first home match of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations. There is nothing better.❞
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 10, 2022
The Scottish wingers Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe look hungry for work and will cause a serious threat to the Welsh defensive line, I’m sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if both these lads crossed over for a five-pointer.
Can Wales turn things around in seven days or will they sink further down the world rankings? If they are to pull off an unexpected win then Josh Adams has to be moved back to the wing. Ireland exploited that 13 channel too many times and Scotland will look to do the same. The physicality stakes need to be upped a few levels also as they didn’t make one impact tackle in the whole 80 minutes last week. Lose the contact zone in attack and defence, and you will come out on the wrong side of the result more often than not.
There does seem to be a shift happening in Northern Hemisphere international rugby, and for that reason I think Scotland will turn Wales over in their own backyard. Scotland -2 at 10/11 is what I fancy in this game.