down cross right results icon premium content video audio lifeNews icon-comment tick starFilled betSlip hot icon-liveCommentary refresh spinner
coral logo ladbrokes logo betway logo williamHill logo bet365 logo paddypower logo 888sport logo
TODAY'S OFFERS
TODAY'S BOOKMAKER OFFERS
Exclusive to new customers
  • View offer
    Up to £100 in Bet Credits
    Claim here
    Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Up to £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join betway, opt in, deposit £10 or more and you will get a 100% matched amount, up to £30 as free bets to split however you like. T&Cs apply. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock free bet. Deposit by card or paypal only.
  • View offer
    Bet £5 get £20 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code 20FREE and place a bet of £5 and you'll get £20 in free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account registration at min odds 1-2. Free Bets credited as 4 x £5. Free bet valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 3 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    £20 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £20. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Join 888sport using promo code RACING and when you bet £10, you'll get £30 in free bets PLUS £10 in free bets on any horse racing market. Min deposit £10. First bet minimum odds 1-2. Free bet credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expires after 7 days. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open a betting account with Coral through our site and when you place your first bet on horse racing (£10 or more) they'll give you 4 x £10 free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1/2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £40 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with Ladbrokes using promo code RP40 and place a bet of £10 and you'll get £40 in free bets. 18+. UK+IRE New Customers Only. First bet at least £10 or £10 each-way, at fractional odds totalling 1-2 or greater. Free Bets credited as 4 x £10. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet will not be included in any winnings. T&Cs Apply
  • View offer
    £50 Risk free first bet
    Claim here
    Open an account with Paddy Power and place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses they will refund your stake in cash, max refund for this offer is £50. Limited to one per person. If you've previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Only deposits using Cards or Paypal will qualify. T&Cs apply
  • View offer
    Bet £10 get £30 in free bets
    Claim here
    Open an account with William Hill using promo code C30, bet £10 and get £30 in free bets. Min £10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10, 30 day expiry, free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs apply

Italy can take a step up but Ireland are still a cut above

Wet conditions could hamper Schmidt's men again

Jonathan Sexton kicks Ireland's winning drop goal against France
1 of 1

Round two
ITV & TV3, 2.15pm Saturday

Ireland have put 63 points and 58 points on Italy in their last two meetings, scoring nine tries each time, and after a narrow tryless win in France last week the pressure is on them to rack up a big score against the Azzurri.

Italy have been whipping boys, conceding more than 200 points in each of the last two campaigns, and although there were signs that things are on the up under Conor O'Shea, there is clearly still a huge gulf.

O'Shea, in his second year in overall charge of Italian rugby, has brought in younger faces, worked hard on fitness and there has been a clear impact on the performances of Italy's two Pro14 clubs.

But they started last weekend's opening Six Nations match against England as 21-point underdogs and lost by 31, shipping seven tries, three of them in the last 15 minutes.

Graham Woods's England v Wales preview

There was more purpose about their performance, their two tries were well worked, and they certainly didn't fall apart in defence late on as they so often did last year.

Ireland were the only nation not to score a try in their opening match, raising criticism of coach Joe Schmidt and his perceived conservative tactics.

But they were faced with difficult, wet conditions in Paris and came up against a France side who looked pretty aimless in attack but defended for their lives. Les Bleus made 253 tackles - England were next best with 153 - and didn't allow the Irish a single clean break. It's unlikely Ireland will face anything like that kind of resistance against the Azzurri.

To single out Ireland as a team who struggle to score tries is unfair - they recorded tallies of 15 and 14 in the last two tournaments and ran in ten in their three autumn Tests. But they are above all a pragmatic side and the way they dug out a winning drop goal at the Stade de France underlines that.

Ireland will want to run up another big score and claim a bonus point but they may not be able to cut loose with abandon. Rain is forecast and Italy will take something from their defeat to England - a mixture of confidence from a more competitive performance despite the result, and of determination to put right the faults that crept in. A winning margin in the 20s looks a decent wager.

Recommendation
Ireland to win by 21 to 30 points
1pt 7-2 Betfair


Today's top sports betting stories

Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport

Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport

Ireland were the only nation not to score a try in their opening match, raising criticism of coach Joe Schmidt and his perceived conservative tactics
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets