Wales moved ahead of previous favourites France in the Six Nations betting after beating Scotland at the Millennium Stadium by a 27-13 score while the French saw their match against Ireland called off due to a frozen pitch.
A penalty from Greg Laidlaw for Scotland and one from Leigh Halfpenny for Wales saw both sides level at 3-3 going into half-time but after the break, both sides sprang into life.
Alex Cuthbert got the first try of the match for Wales and Halfpenny converted before adding a penalty shortly after. A Laidlaw penalty dragged the score back to 13-6 but Wales add another try and conversion minutes later courtesy of Halfpenny again.
Halfpenny got his second try of the match and followed up with a conversion, seemingly putting the match beyond Scotland’s reach at 27-6. But, Laidlaw touched down for a first try in five matches for the Scots before adding a penalty for a final score of 27-13.
On Saturday, England made heavy weather of beating Italy and needed an impressive comeback to prevent a shock result in Rome.
England went 6-0 ahead thanks to two Owen Farrell penalties but errors gifted Italy two tries in two minutes from Giovanbattista Venditti and Tomasso Benvenuti and threatened to make Six Nations history going into half-time with a 12-6 lead.
A vastly experienced Italy, with 698 caps in their starting XV compared to just 248 for England, went further ahead thanks to a Kris Burton penalty, taking the score to 15-6 but they could not hold on to the lead.
A second charge-down try in eight days from Charlie Hodgson, converted by the ice-cold Farrell and two further penalties from youngster turned the match on its head for a final score of 19-15 in England’s favour.
Later that evening, France called off their match with Ireland 10 minutes before kick-off due to a frozen pitch at the Stade de France.
With the temperature at 8pm standing at minus five degrees, with a windchill of minus 11, referee Dave Pearson decided parts of the pitch were frozen and unsafe for the players.
The match needs to be rearranged.
Six Nations Winner:
- Wales @ 2.38 (Boylesports)
- France @ 2.75 (bet365)
- England @ 6.0 (Betfred)
- Ireland @ 17.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Scotland @ 1001.0 (Sky Bet)
- Italy @ 5001.0 (Bet Victor)
As well as edging ahead in the overall Six Nations winner market, Wales are now firm favourites to win the Grand Slam after beating Scotland on Sunday. Wales take on England in a fortnight and then France in the final round of Six Nations matches on 17 March.
Wales have two more home fixtures – against Italy and France but must still travel to England. France are yet to play Ireland in their second round of matches and then take on England at home. They must travel to Scotland and Wales. England host Wales and Ireland and face France on the road.
- Wales @ 3.25 (Boylesports)
- France @ 4.33 (bet365)
- England @ 12.0 (Ladbrokes)
- No Winner @ 2.5 (Paddy Power)
Wales are the red-hot bookmakers favourites to take the Triple Crown, despite travelling to Twickenham to face England on 25 February. Should England beta Wales, they also have home advantage against Ireland.
- Wales @ 1.73 (Ladbrokes)
- England @ 4.33 (Sky Bet)
- No Winner @ 5.0 (bet365)