Wales v France 6Nations Rugby Betting Odds & Preview – 17.03.12

Welsh wary of the French wounded beast

Rugby France Vincent Clark

Wales v France 6Nations Rugby Betting has a great Money Back Special promotion covering it, thanks to popular online bookmaker Paddy Power. Wales need to win to confirm themselves as Grand Slam champions, after already taking the Triple Crown this season. Can Warren Gatland’s kids go all the way? One of the unmissable presences in the young Welsh team is that of their giant winger George North, who terrorizes defences. If George North scores a try at any time during Wales v France betting, then Paddy Power will refund all losing try scorer bets placed on the match. This provides some fantastic coverage on your try scorer bets, such as the First Tryscorer market where Alex Cuthbert is 9/1 favourite alongside North, while France’s Wesley Fofana is priced back at 12/1 to cross the line first. So good coverage on all your try scoring options from online bookmaker Paddy Power. The highly popular bookie offers a free ÂŁ50 bet for new customers registering an account with them. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account with a free bet up to the maximum value of ÂŁ50, giving you some great free betting cash!

Wales v France 6Nations Betting Odds
Wales to win: 4/9 at Paddy Power
Draw: 25/1 at Bet365
France to win: 5/2 at SportingBet

Wales have received the boost that captain Sam Warburton has returned to full fitness. He is the only chance to the starting line up which easily beat Italy in Cardiff last weekend. That win, combined with England toppling France, has left Wales on the brink of a Grand Slam for the 2012 Six Nations. Can Warren Gatland’s young guns go all the way now, and finish off the job against a France side which has seemed to run out of a bit of steam? While Wales are still a young side, they are benefiting from some great consistency in their starting line up. This will be the fifth match in a row now where they have kept the back line in tact, and with Leigh Halfpenny kicking prolifically, the Welsh are in pretty good shape. They have huge home advantage for this clash, as they try and earn some revenge over the French for their 2011 World cup semi final defeat. While the win over Italy last week was comfortable, it wasn’t the totally explosive attacking show that it could have been, and it wasn’t until the second half that Wales stretched their legs, after the Italians had defended well, without offering anything going forward. So the chance was there to really run up some points, but they kind of fell a little flat.

Gatland has said that Wales need to be better against France, especially in the contact area, because there were a lot of handling errors in the first half against France. Little things which the French could pounce on and hurt the Welsh. So the job is far from done for Wales, but they are favourites in Wales v France betting. Wales have proven to be the most consistent, as well as determined side in this year’s Six Nations, and whether they have had to come from behind like against Ireland, scrap it out against England or maintain control for long periods, they have done what is needed. That is a mark of a great side.

France spoiled Wales’ World Cup party at the end of last year, when they ground out a narrow victory over the Welsh in the semi finals. France went into this year’s Six Nations as one of the favourites, but despite a strong start against the Italians, they haven’t quite lived up to their hype under Phillipe St Andre. France are moody and unpredictable as ever with their temperament. They were poor against Scotland at Murrayfield, yet still won. They were taking a hammering from Ireland but fought back to earn a draw, and against the English, they were on the back foot a lot put still knocked on the door of a victory. We just haven’t seen the explosive combined force that France can deliver from the backs and forwards.

Technically they are probably the best scrummaging side in the 6 Nations, and just a word of caution for the Welsh enthusiasm, France have won four of the last five encounters in Wales. The French get back Dimitri Yachvili at scrum half, as St Andre tries to find his best back line. France have now used three different starting scrum halves in this year’s tournament. There are six changes to the starting line up from the England game, with Wesley Fofana moving out the win to replace Vincent Clerc. Out on the other wing, the dangerous but underperforming Julien Malzieu has been dropped to the bench in favour of Alexis Palisson. The French are dangerous, and will want a response after losing at home to England. With just one defeat in their last six trips to the Millennium Stadium, it could be a very close match.

Wales v France Head to head: There have been 89 matches played between the two nations and things are tied at 43 wins each, with three draw. The points average for each nation when playing against each other almost identical, with Wales averaging 14.66 points per game against France, and the French averaging 14.65 points against the Welsh. They famously met last October in the World Cup semi finals, which France edged 9-8. France won last year’s Six Nations encounter in Paris 28-9, and in 2010, the French recorded a 26-20 win in Cardiff.