17 Jun, 19:25
Ireland pulled clear of hosts Canada with four tries in the closing half hour as they earned a 40-14 victory at the BMO Stadium on Saturday night. Check out some photos from the Toronto tussle.
New Zealand ran riot against Scotland and leading the rampage was recent All Blacks recruit, Sonny Bill Williams. You know any rugby player who is embarking on a career in professional boxing as part of his off-season training career is going to be a real handful.
His record of two comprehensive TKOs from two heavyweight fights suggests there's potential in the ring, but it's his ability on the pitch that will be of most concern. The man himself will be starting on the bench this time round but keep an eye out as he should make his mark.
As ever New Zealand are packed with talent all over the pitch and it will need a big effort if Ireland are to record their first win over the visitors.
Ultimately it's fifteen versus fifteen on the day and if they play to standards we know they can, Ireland have the ability to match New Zealand.
Paddy Power, official bookmakers of the IRFU, have chalked things up very much in favour of the world's number 1 side. They're 1/14 to record their third win of their Northern Hemisphere tour.
The hosts are rated a 6/1 chance to come away with the victory. The odds are clearly stacked against them, but it's a tempting price. They may be the underdogs, but every now and then the underdog takes a lump out of an unsuspecting victim.
Ireland managed 28 points with 14 men on the North Island back in June. A similar haul this week would give them a great chance of victory. Likewise, as good as the All Blacks have been, they have flaws.
Australia's tenacious display in Hong Kong showed the All Blacks aren't quite invincible. Work hard for 80-plus minutes, pounce remorselessly when the chances do come and punish them on the rare occasions that they do err - the template for an upset is there.
Taking Ireland +14 points at 10/11 on the handicap could be the way to go. If you fancy the hosts to get a little closer than that, the Alternative Handicap of +8 points @ 11/5 is another interesting option.
Brian O'Driscoll grabbing the first try of the match @ 18/1 could also be worth a punt. Time and time again he has led by example and grabbed the crucial score in a tight game to tip the balance in favour of his team.
And its Ireland's evergreen talisman who is the focus of Paddy Powers Exclusive Special this weekend:
If Brian O'Driscoll scores a try in 80 minutes, Paddy Power will refund all losing try scorer & winning margin bets on the respective match as a free bet.
Click HERE to set up a new account and avail of a FREE €20 BET.