Six Nations Betting: What Are Ireland's Odds Of A Triple Crown In 2023?
Following last Sunday’s action at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, there is now just one team that betting sites need to consider when it comes to a potential Triple Crown winner in this year’s Six Nations Championship.
Going into their round four home encounter against Ireland, Scotland found themselves on the brink of securing the Crown for the first time since 1990.
Given that success took place when the tournament was still known as the Five Nations, this would have represented a maiden triumph in this category for the Scots during the Six Nations era.
Despite being 8-7 adrift at the interval in Murrayfield, Gregor Townsend’s charges were firmly in the reckoning for a Triple Crown - having already disposed of England and Wales in the opening two rounds.
Within one half of test rugby, Ireland had lost Caelan Doris, Dan Sheehan and Iain Henderson to injury.
It got even worse for the visitors on the resumption with Sheehan’s replacement Ronan Kelleher also being forced off with 48 minutes gone on the clock.
This led to Cian Healy being introduced off the bench as hooker (a position he had never played before in the professional game), while flanker Josh van der Flier had already taken over throwing duties for line-outs prior to Kelleher’s withdrawal.
Ireland Overcome Adversity To Keep Triple Crown Hopes Alive
This stretching of resources should have left the Irish severely hamstrung and provided their opponents with a platform to push forward.
Instead, Ireland responded in the face of adversity as tries from James Lowe and Jack Conan propelled them towards an eventual 22-7 victory.
While Scotland’s Triple Crown dreams have been dashed for another year, the Green Army are now on course to defend their title from 2022.
There is also the prospect of a championship and a Six Nations Grand Slam to go alongside it, but even though it is possible to claim the Six Nations as a standalone piece of silverware, the latter won’t be possible without the Crown.
Once they had overcome the challenge of Scotland, Ireland were always going to be firm favourites going into a final round showdown with England.
After the English suffered a heavy 53-10 reversal at the hands of 2022 Grand Slam winners France on their home patch of Twickenham Stadium last weekend, an Irish victory now appears to be an even bigger prospect.
The longest odds available on Ireland defeating England this Saturday are 1/6 with the rugby betting sites.
By contrast, the shortest odds on an English win are 5/1, which is quite remarkable when you consider it wasn’t so long ago that they convincingly held the upper hand in clashes against their cross-channel rivals.
Ireland Odds-on Favourites To Complete Crown Mission
Given this game is effectively a Triple Crown decider (albeit with one team out of the equation), it is unsurprising that the odds bookmakers are providing for Ireland to win this prize are strikingly similar to that of the game itself.
At the time of writing, you can get 1/8 with BetVictor on Ireland securing a 13th Crown in total and a seventh since it became the Six Nations Championship in 2000.
Ireland In Perfect Position For Sexton’s Six Nations Finale
On paper at least, everything is in place for Ireland to pull off a truly memorable victory this coming Saturday.
In addition to playing their arch rivals on their home turf of the Aviva Stadium in front of what is anticipated to be a sell-out crowd of 51,700 on St Patrick’s weekend, this is set to be a Six Nations swansong for one of their greatest players.
Set to turn 38 this coming July, Ireland captain Jonathan Sexton signed a contract extension 12 months ago with the IRFU that will bring him up to the end of this year’s World Cup finals in France.
With three Six Nations Championships, two Triple Crowns and a Grand Slam already under his belt in the international arena, it would be fitting for the Leinster out-half to steer his country towards further glory as he reaches the twilight of his career.
Having equalled his former international colleague Ronan O’Gara’s record as the highest points scorer in Six Nations history last weekend (557), he will get a chance to surpass it on Saturday.
When you also consider that his brother Mark is an assistant coach for an Ireland U20s team that are seeking a Grand Slam of their own this Sunday, it could prove to be an unforgettable weekend for the Sexton family.
Prospect Of No Triple Crown Winner Still Needs To Be Considered
Yet despite it seeming like less of a possibility with each passing week, there remains a chance that an English team looking to restore pride could spoil Ireland’s party in Dublin.
When the two sides met at the same venue back in 2017, England were looking for a Triple Crown and Grand Slam to go alongside the Six Nations Championship title they had already wrapped up.
However, Ireland were in a determined mood and claimed a 13-9 win to ensure their opponents were denied a clean sweep of honours.
Seven of the Irish players who saw game time against Scotland last weekend played in that game and this means they will be very wary of the challenge Steve Borthwick’s men can pose in spite of their chastening loss to France.
There are odds of 6/1 on no Triple Crown champion with betting apps.
However, with a six-day turnaround to negotiate, Ireland will prime themselves for a big battle in Dublin this coming weekend.
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