Scotland Fancied To See Off Fiji

Rugby Union: Scotland Fancied To See Off Fiji

2017-06-23
Preview of Scotland’s final tour match against Fiji.

Scotland are hot favourites at 3/10 to follow up last week's famous win over Australia by beating Fiji.

Gregor Townsend was understandably proud of his team's brave effort in that 24-19 defeat of the Wallabies in Sydney.

"The last 15 minutes required a huge effort, because Australia had a lot of possession," said the coach.

"If you have to defend for so long against a team as brilliant in attack as that, you need strong bonds and that is what this team has."

Having also eased to a 34-13 win over Italy in Singapore on this tour, Scotland can be backed at 9/10 to prevail by at least 10 points at ANZ National Stadium.

The tourists are forced to bring in Peter Horne at fly-half after the Lions called up Finn Russell following his 11-point haul against the Wallabies

Full-back Ruaridh Jackson and prop Alex Allan will also enjoy their first action of this trip and Glasgow's New Zealand-born centre Nick Grigg makes his Test debut as one of a dozen changes.

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However, 33-year-old Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford will provide some valuable experience as he wins a record 110th cap and John Barclay continues as captain.

Scotland have come out on top in the last four encounters between these sides, but the last defeat was a 51-26 rout back in 1998.

Fiji are 27/10 to turn back the clock and emulate that swashbuckling triumph, while the hosts are available at 8/1 to romp home by eight points or more.

Townsend is wary of Fiji's formidable backs, commenting: "You've got to make sure you defend well against them, you've got to make sure you have a line that is uniform and that you get your tackles in.

"When they get unstructured play and the line isn't uniform, that's when they come alive. They had a win against Italy last weekend, they do produce some of the best backs in the world and I believe the best second row in the world in Leone Nakarawa."

The Scotland chief is keen to meet those challenges head on, though, adding: "Italy tried to slow down the tempo at times but that's not something we are looking to do. We'll try to match the pace they will aim to play at."

The away team are 13/4 to open the scoring with a try and 6/4 to break the deadlock with a penalty goal.