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Scotland – Russia

Scotland Russia rugby world cup betting preview

Scotland will take on Russia on Wednesday in the 2019 RWC. The Scots are involved in a neck and neck fight with Japan and Ireland for qualification in this very interesting Pool A, while the Russians are dead last with zero points, and that`s where they will finish.

Scotland started the World Cup very poorly, losing 3-27 against Ireland on the back of a very disappointing performance. But, to the delight of the Scottish fans, the team showed great character to bounce back with a 35-0 destruction of Samoa in the next round. That game showed the potential and quality in this Scottish team, and no doubt the Thistle will approach their last two games against Russia and Japan with confidence of winning them both – which is what will be needed for qualification.

Despite claiming zero points so far, it`s fair to say Russia has surpassed expectations. The Europeans got into the World Cup only due to the disqualification of Romania and Spain, so they were expected to take some really heavy beatings in this group. To their credit, they kept the scores respectable, losing 10-30 against Japan, 9-34 against Samoa and 0-35 against the mighty Ireland. Russia, however, will hope that all the effort and sweat put in so far won`t end up backfiring in their last game against Scotland.

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Team news & lineups:

Scotland has a decisive game against Japan coming up in just 4 days, Scotland will rotate the squad here, making 14 changes to the lineup which spanked Samoa last Monday. Still, the starting XV actually looks very good and balanced, with a number of regular first team players and a ton of pace.

Russia played Ireland six days ago and will make 9 changes to that lineup, which is a bit worrying given their lack of depth – but a necessary risk after all the work put in against the Shamrocks.

Scotland: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Duncan Taylor, 12. Pete Horne, 11. Darcy Graham, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne, 8. Ryan Wilson, 7. Fraser Brown, 6. John Barclay (c), 5. Ben Toolis, 4. Scott Cummings, 3. Zander Fagerson, 2. George Turner, 1. Gordon Reid

Russia: 15. Vasily Artemyev (c), 14. German Davydov, 13. Vladimir Ostroushko, 12. Dmitry Gerasimov, 11. Vladislav Sozonov, 10. Ramil Gaisin, 9. Dmitry Perov, 8. Nikita Vavilin, 7. Tagir Gadzhiev, 6. Vitaly Zhivatov, 5. Evgeny Elgin, 4. Andrey Ostrikov, 3. Kirill Gotovtsev, 2. Stanislav Selskii, 1. Valery Morozov

Looking at Russia’s results, their biggest loss so far in this RWC was by 35 points. That`s pretty good for the Bears, and suggests the 34,5 handicap set for this game might be too high. Russia certainly showed a lot of heart in this tournament and their physical defense has been competitive.

But Scotland has every chance to run away with this game.

The problem for Russia is precisely all the effort that the team had to spend so far in order to compete with far superior sides. After three difficult games, and just 6 days after playing Ireland, Russia is likely to finally cave from a physical standpoint. They are just not used to play at this level, against this caliber of opposition, and with such little rest.

Changing 9 players compared to the Ireland match signals that the coaches are well aware of the physical limitations of the team, but on the other hand this will be a problem in itself – as Russia does not have the depth of other teams, and can`t simply change players without also losing a lot of quality.

Meanwhile, Scotland can make 14 changes and still field a competitive starting XV, which looks well balanced on paper, and miles above what anything the Russians have at their disposal – even though it`s closer to a Scotland “B” lineup than an “A” one.

The Scots will look for nothing else than a bonus point win here, and they`d love a big score difference as well – in this tight group you just don`t know how points difference could end up being decisive, and the Scots are currently 36 points behind Japan and 42 behind Ireland in this department. Of course it`s unlikely Japan, Ireland and Scotland will end up tied for this criteria to kick in. But point is, if the Scots have the chance, they are likely to go for as many tries as possible, as opposed to pushing the breaks, like we saw some big favorites do earlier in the competition.

Weather is expected to be perfect for rugby, which will naturally be an advantage for the much more talented Scots and their running game.

Scotland’s fast and speedy backs will create big problems for the less mobile Russians and their tired legs. Look for Scotland to run the Bears ragged on the wings.

Credit to Russia for surpassing expectations so far, but this may be one match too many for them at this World Cup. A physical collapse against a team which will put them under pressure for 80 minutes is possible. In fact, looking at similar circumstances in RWC history, it`s rather probable.

My tip will be Scotland to cover the -34,5 handicap. Prediction: Scotland – Russia 50 – 7.

Pick: Scotland -34,5
Odds: 1.91 @ William Hill
Stake: 10
Possible profit: 9.10
Event date: 9 October

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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