TSZ Predicts The Six Nations – Week Four

10th Mar 2017 by TSZ

In the third week of this year’s Six Nations, we saw new tactics played by the Italians to try and overcome their 100% defeat record against England in the competition. This controversial strategy proved successful in the first half but they were overcome after the break. Meanwhile, Wales suffered a second loss in this year’s Six Nations to Scotland, with the Scots showing their dominance in the second half, whilst Ireland were triumphant against the French and prevented them from gaining a losing bonus point.

The predicted winners and score margin made before the previous round were proved correct in the England vs Italy game and Ireland vs France. However, in the Wales vs Scotland game both the winner of the game and predicted score margin was incorrect. 

Let’s take a look to see how this weekend’s games may pan out and see if the data (collected from 2000) and the Six Nation’s matches so far help us get any closer to predicting the correct winner and scoreline:


  • Ireland have beaten Wales in 10 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • In their most recent Six Nations meeting, the match ended in a draw.
  • Since 2007, nine out of the 10 matches have had a score difference of fewer than 15 points.
  • Ireland have been winning at half-time in 13 out of their 17 matches against Wales in the Six Nations.
  • Wales have overcome a half-time deficit to win on three occasions against Ireland in the Six Nations.
  • Ireland have overcome a half-time deficit to win on one occasion against Wales in the Six Nations.
  • Ireland have scored the most points in the first half 76% of the time but only 41% in the second half against Wales in the Six Nations.


  • Ireland have beaten Wales at the Principality Stadium in five out of their eight matches in the Six Nations.
  • Both sides have won two games apiece in their last four meetings at the Principality Stadium in the Six Nations.


  • Ireland have scored more tries than Wales in eight out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • Both teams have scored the same number of tries in five of their meetings in the Six Nations.
  • Wales have only scored more tries than Ireland in four matches in the Six Nations, and they went on to win three of those matches.
  • Ireland have only ever scored four or more tries against Wales in two matches in the Six Nations (2002 and 2004).
  • Wales have never scored four or more tries against Ireland in the Six Nations.

Other potential contributing factors to the result of this game may be:

  • Both Wales and Ireland have named unchanged teams from a fortnight ago to face off on Friday.
  • Justin Tipuric will win his 50th cap for Wales.
  • Number eight Jamie Heaslip will reach 100 caps on Friday, becoming the sixth Irish player to reach this milestone.

From the data above, we predict that:
So far in this year’s Six Nations, Ireland are second in the table with three fewer points than England. Since their first-round defeat to Scotland, they have continued to grow as a side with two wins and currently have scored the most bonus points in this competition, with one try bonus point and one losing point. Wales on the other hand are fourth with two losses and one win and it’s been a somewhat underwhelming campaign to date.

Based on the statistics and this year’s performances so far, Ireland are set for another win against Wales by more than seven points. 

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that neither team will pick up a losing bonus point or score four or more tries.


  • France have beaten Italy in 15 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • In Italy’s two Six Nations victories against France (2011 and 2013), they won by fewer than six points on each occasion.
  • France edged last year’s Six Nations contest between the two sides by just two points. 
  • In 10 out of their 15 victories against Italy in the Six Nations, France have won by a margin of 20 points or greater.
  • Italy have kept it within a seven-point deficit in only one of their defeats against France in the Six Nations.
  • France have scored 70% of the points in the first half and 76% of the points in the second half against Italy in the Six Nations.
  • 2006 was the only year in which Italy scored the most points in the first half against France in the Six Nations.

  • Italy have only beaten France twice in the Six Nations, with both of these victories coming at the Stadio Olimpico.
  • Italy failed to score a single point in their last Stadio Olimpico meeting against France in the Six Nations.


  • France have scored more tries than Italy in 16 out of their 17 matches against Italy in the Six Nations.
  • Both sided scored the same amount of tries in their 2013 Six Nations meeting.
  • In eight out of their 17 matches against Italy in the Six Nations, France have scored four or more tries.

Other potential contributing factors to the result of this game may be:

  • Italy have made three changes to their starting line-up this weekend due to injury.
  • Angelo Esposito is back on the wing in place of Giulio Bisegni.
  • Carlo Canna replaces Tommaso Allan at fly-half.
  • Leonardo Ghiraldini takes over as hooker from Ornel Gega.
  • France have only made two changes.
  • Francois Trinh-Duc returns from a broken arm.
  • Full-back Brice Dulin has also been called up.

From the data above, we predict that:
Currently, France and Italy occupy the bottom two spots of the Six Nations table, with France ahead courtesy of one win against Scotland and a bonus point in comparison to Italy’s zero points.

Based on the previous statistics, France are set for another win against Italy by more than seven points, but with the game being played in Rome, Italy have a slightly better chance of success with two home Six Nations wins against France in the past. 

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that France could pick up an attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries, but with how Italy have been playing in this year’s Six Nations, it won’t be a huge surprise if Italy put up a big fight to prevent this.


  • England have beaten Scotland in 13 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • England and Scotland have drawn once in the Six Nations (2010).
  • Since 2010, Scotland have kept it within a seven-point deficit on three occasions against England in the Six Nations.
  • On the three occasions England have lost against Scotland in the Six Nations, the margin of victory was fewer than seven points.
  • In two out of their three wins against England in the Six Nations, Scotland were winning at half-time. They were drawing on the other occasion.
  • In 10 out of their 17 matches against Scotland in the Six Nations, England have scored more points in both halves. 
  • England have scored 59% of the points in the first half and 82% of the points in the second half against Scotland in the Six Nations.


  • When playing at Twickenham, England have beaten Scotland every time in the Six Nations.
  • At Twickenham, Scotland’s best result in the Six Nations was in 2011, when they lost by a margin of six points.


  • England have scored more tries than Scotland in 12 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • Scotland have never scored more tries than England in the Six Nations, but have scored the same amount of tries twice.
  • England have scored four or more tries in seven matches against Scotland in the Six Nations.

Other potential contributing factors to the result of this game may be:

  • Scotland have only made one change to their starting line-up, with Edinburgh flanker Hamish Watson replacing the injured John Hardie.
  • England have made three changes to their starting line-up, with Ben Youngs, Jonathan Joseph and Jack Nowell returning.
  • Big hitter Billy Vunipola is also returning to the bench after a knee injury.

From the data above, we predict that:
So far in this year’s Six Nations, England are undefeated and top the table with only two games left to play. Scotland have had a great campaign so far themselves, with two wins against Ireland and Wales and an unfortunate loss to France in the second round.

Based on the statistics and this year’s performances so far, England are set for four out of four by beating Scotland. However, if Scotland perform like they have been through most of this year’s tournament, then they could well keep England to within seven points.

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that neither team will pick up an attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries, but Scotland may pick up their second losing bonus point of the competition. 

The Six Nations concludes next weekend. We’ll be previewing the last set of fixtures, and we’ll also be evaluating our predictions for this weekend. Stay tuned!

Leading the way in the fast-moving world of sports analytics, The Stats Zone provides data services to brands, teams, associations and federations in sport.
Newsletter Signup

Scribble your email address here and click subscribe to receive our newsletter on all things sport, data and analysis!

Sports Data & Analysis Jobs
Related Content