TSZ Predicts The Six Nations – Week Three

In the second week of this year’s Six Nations, Ireland came back from a first week defeat with a 53-point victory over Italy, France edged a close match against Scotland and England secured a dramatic late win over Wales with a try in the dying minutes of the match.

The predicted results made before the previous round were proved correct in the Italy vs Ireland game. In the Wales vs England and France vs Scotland matches, the winner of the game was incorrect, however the predicted bonus point and score margin was correct in both instances.

Let’s have 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 for week three.

Scotland vs Wales

  • Wales have beaten Scotland in 14 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • In 15 out of the 17 matches, the score difference has been under 20 points.
  • Wales have won by more than 20 points in two matches (2005 and 2014).
  • Wales have been winning at half-time in 11 of the 17 matches.
  • Wales have beaten Scotland on two occasions where they were losing at half-time.
  • Wales have scored 65% of the points in the first half of games and 59% in the second half.


  • Wales have beaten Scotland at Murrayfield in five out of eight matches in the Six Nations, with one draw occurring (2001).
  • Scotland’s last victory against Wales in the Six Nations at Murrayfield was in 2007.


  • Wales have scored more tries than Scotland in 11 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • Scotland have scored more tries than Wales in only two matches, in 2001 when they drew and in 2002 when they went on to win.
  • Wales have scored four or more tries in four matches against Scotland in the Six Nations.
  • Scotland have never scored four or more tries against Wales in the Six Nations.

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

  • George North is back from a bruised thigh, replacing Alex Cuthbert as he is set to start for Wales after missing the England Match.
  • Luke Charteris replaces Cory Hill in the Wales replacements.
  • Scotland have made five changes from their last Six Nation’s match against France.
  • John Barclay will take the Scottish captaincy after Greig Laidlaw injured his ankle against France. Laidlaw will miss the rest of the Six Nations.
  • Ali Price replaces Laidlaw at scrum-half and Tim Visser starts on the wing.
  • Gordon Reid is replacing Allan Dell in the front row, while John Hardie replaces Hamish Watson.
  • Ryan Wilson steps in for Josh Strauss at number eight.

From the data above, we predict that:
So far in this year’s Six Nations, Wales and Scotland are on the same points with one win, one loss and a losing bonus point apiece, with only points difference separating them in the table. Scotland have had a mixed campaign so far with a surprising win against Ireland and a close defeat to France, whilst Wales were edged out by England which followed a comprehensive (although not emphatic) triumph over Italy.

Based on the last two Six Nation matches between the two countries and Scotland’s form so far this year, this clash is set to be a close one. The statistics so far would indicate that Wales will come out on top this weekend, but most likely within a 10-point margin.

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that Scotland could well collect a losing bonus point, but neither team will score four or more tries.

Ireland vs France

  • France have won 9 out of their 17 matches against Ireland in the Six Nations.
  • France and Ireland have drawn in two matches (2012 and 2013).
  • In 13 out of the 17 matches, the score difference was under 10 points.
  • In seven out of their nine wins, France were leading at half-time.
  • Both teams have won two matches in which they were losing at half-time.
  • France have marginally scored the most points in both halves, scoring 53% and 59% of the points in the first and second halves respectively.


  • This includes matches played at Ireland's former stadium - Lansdowne Road.
  • Ireland have beaten France at the Aviva Stadium in four out of their eight matches in the Six Nations and drawn once.
  • Both teams have always scored over 10 points in meetings at the Aviva Stadium in the Six Nations.


  • France have scored more tries than Ireland in 10 out of their 17 matches in the Six Nations.
  • Both teams have scored the same number of tries in two matches.
  • France have scored four or more tries against Ireland in four matches.
  • Ireland have only once scored four or more tries against France in 2006; this was also the highest scoring game ever played between the two teams in the Six Nations (France 43 – 31 Ireland).

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

  • A big boost to the Irish will be the return of Johnny Sexton at 10.
  • Ireland captain Rory Best also returns after missing the Italy game due to illness.
  • Full back Rob Kearney returns after recovering from bicep problems.
  • Le Roux replaces Loann Goujon, who is unable to play the rest of Six Nations after fracturing his sinuses in the win over Scotland.
  • Virimi Vakatawa won’t play due to a thigh injury and Uini Atonio is dropped to the bench.

From the data above, we predict that:
So far in this year’s Six Nations, both France and Ireland lost their opening matches by fewer than six points but went on to win in the second round, with Ireland beating Italy and France defeating Scotland.

With both teams evenly matched so far, this weekend’s games should be close. Although Ireland narrowly lost last year to France, they won in 2015 and 2014 and drew in 2013 and 2012. The 2013 draw was at home, as was the 2015 win. With the recent statistics and the return of Sexton and captain Best, an Ireland win could be on the cards by a margin within 10 points.

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that France have a good chance of picking up a losing bonus point, but neither team will score four or more tries.

England vs Italy

  • England have beaten Italy every time they have faced them in the Six Nations.
  • 11 of those wins were by a margin greater than 20 points.
  • Italy have kept it within a seven-point margin in only four matches.
  • Only in 2012 and 2010 were Italy winning or drawing respectively at half-time.
  • England have scored 88% of the points in the first half and 82% of the points in the second half.


  • With England winning on every occasion, the smallest points difference was in fact the last time they met here in the Six Nations, with Italy losing by seven points in 2013.
  • England have won by an average of 31 points in their seven meetings against Italy at Twickenham in the Six Nations.


  • Italy scored more tries than England in only two out of their 17 matches (2012 and 2013) in the Six Nations.
  • Italy have only once scored more than two tries against England in the Six Nations, scoring three in 2015.
  • In 12 out of the 17 matches, England have scored four or more tries.

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

  • Mako Vunipola will return to the England Squad in his first game of this year’s Six Nations after recovering from knee trouble.
  • Winger Anthony Watson is also named in his first Six Nation’s match this year due to injury.
  • Henry Slade, who has only played 20 minutes for England since Eddie Jones took over as head coach, has been selected due to his blinding performance for Exeter over Worcester last Saturday.
  • Italy have made four changes to face England this weekend.
  • Exeter centre Michele Campagnaro has been recalled to the Italy squad.
  • Tommaso Allan and Giulio Bisegni join Campagnaro in the starting 15.
  • Braam Steyn replaces Maxime Mbanda at blind-side flanker.

From the data above, we predict that:
So far in this year’s Six Nations, Italy have suffered two heavy defeats at the hands of Wales and Ireland, with both teams winning by more than 20 points. England have won both of their Six Nation’s matches so far, albeit by fewer than seven points.

With England having a 100% win rate against Italy in the Six Nations and continuing their unbeaten run so far in this year’s tournament, the statistics would indicate that England will beat Italy this weekend by more than 20 points.

Taking this predicted scoreline into consideration, the statistics suggest that England will pick up an attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries against Italy this weekend.

With a further rest week coming up following this weekend's action, we will be previewing the following weekend’s set of fixtures in due course, and we’ll also be evaluating our predictions for this weekend. Stay tuned!