Italy To Push Wales Close During The First Half In Rome

The opening weekend of the 2017 Six Nations concludes with Italy's clash against Wales on Sunday afternoon and we are backing the Azzurri to push their opponents close, for the first half at least, when they meet at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome...

  • Italy last beat Wales in the Six Nations in 2007
  • Wales have won 10 matches in a row against Italy
  • George North has scored 5 tries in his last 3 appearances against Italy

Sunday 5th February - 2.00pm OddsWon/LostBet
Italy v Wales    
Tips Italy to cover +6 points in the first half    Best Bet @ 1 / 1  

Italy Stats | Wales Stats

Recent Woes

Italy still have much to prove in this tournament as they are again favourites for the wooden spoon after going through the 2016 edition without winning a single match. There is renewed hope since Conor O'Shea was appointed as Head Coach and they have won three of his six matches in charge, including a stunning success against South Africa in Rome in November

The Azzurri then slumped to defeat to Tonga in their last match though and O'Shea will be hoping that his side can make an impression in what will be his first Six Nations fixture.

The Italians are 5/1 underdogs for Sunday (Betfred) and it doesn't bode well that they have won just two Italy v Wales fixtures in this tournament, losing the past ten in a row.

The Welsh thumped Italy 67-14 in Cardiff last year which means they have now won their past two meetings by an aggregate scoreline of 128-34!
Match Odds:

A Tight First Half

However, this Wales side are far from convincing as Rob Howley is still in temporary charge while Warren Gatland takes his sabbatical in preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour later this year and Howley may have won three of his four matches in charge since September but he still has plenty to prove.

Howley has installed Alan Wyn Jones as his new captain but he must do without the injured Taulupe Faletau on Sunday and we fancy Wales to struggle early on in Italy, where both of their two previous Six Nations defeats at the hands of the Azzurri occurred.

The Italians will be keen to come out of the traps quickly on home soil and we are backing them to cover +6 points in the first-half (Evens with Betfred.com). It is a bet that has paid out in five of their six matches under O'Shea, as well as in both of their two previous meetings with Wales in Rome.

North To Strike

Wales's quality should ultimately see them secure victory though and George North will be relishing the chance to take on Italy again. North has scored five tries in his past three appearances in this fixture and he is 8/1 to be first tryscorer (Ladbrokes).
First Tryscorer Odds:

Posted: Friday, 3rd February 2017
Author: Chris Knight

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