Scotland vs Tonga
Scotland welcomes Tonga to Murrayfield for the first time in seven years. Both these teams are not at full strength as many players were not released by their clubs as this test falls outside the stipulated test window. The Scottish have surprisingly selected Blair Kinghorn at 10 and left the more logical choice Ross Thomson on the bench. Kinghorn has not set the world alight when he has played 10 for his Edinburgh team. The Tongans have 6 debutants in their team and the Scottish four bringing the total number to 10. With so many new faces we could see both attacks being disjointed. The Scottish will want a comprehensive victory to prepare them for the sterner challenges that lie ahead in the coming weeks. Tonga has their players that ply their trade in Europe available for this match and are skippered by veteran Sonatane Takulua. He will need to use all his experience in guiding this Tongan team.
TIP: The Scottish team like to play an expansive game and so do the Tongans so we could be in for an exciting match. An obvious area of strength for the home team will be their forwards as they have picked a very strong pack. Tonga is traditionally weak in the forwards and no doubt the home team will be looking to attack them upfront. Scotland will want their forwards to lay the platform for the impressive backline to attack with debutants Rufus McLean and Sione Tuipulotu particularly devastating with ball in hand. Mclean is the speedster while Tuipulotu is the bruiser who rather go through players than around them. The bookies have Scotland as heavy favourites and I agree with this assessment. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.02, Playabets 1.01 and Sunbet 1.01
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Scotland vs Tonga
- There have only been three meetings between the sides with Scotland winning two and Tonga one.
- Tonga only victory against Scotland came in 2012.
- The last time these teams played each other was in 2014 with Scotland winning 37-12.
Latest results for both teams
Scotland won their last match 27-23 against France while Tonga lost 42-13 to Samoa in their last match.
Scotland will want to use this match as an experiment against a weakened Tongan team but will remember in 2012 when the Tongans caused a major upset and beat them. The home team will be aware that the Tongans are the most physical of teams so they will want to keep the ball in hand and try to avoid those big clashes. Scotland has one of the most exciting players in Europe in Darcy Graham. He is in the Cheslin Kolbe mode and is lightning across the turf but is playing in the unfamiliar 15 jersey. We will get more space from fullback and Tonga will need to watch him closely. The scrum is the biggest concern for Tonga although they do have veteran Loni Uhila in the front row. Scotland will look for penalties at scrum time to kick to the corner and keep the pressure on Tonga. I predict a landslide 40 points win for the home team.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Darcy Graham, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Rufus McLean, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price (cc), 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie (cc), 5 Rob Harley, 4 Jamie Hodgson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
James Faiva; Atunaisa Manu, Mailetoa Hingano, Vaea Vaea, Walter Fifita; Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua (captain); Loni Uhila, Maile Ngauamo, David Lolohea, Halaleva Fifita, Setofano Funaki, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Fotu Lokotui, Valentino Mapapalangi.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Scotland victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Scotland handicap victory:
The complete odds on the Scotland handicap victory
Worldsportsbetting (-32.5) 1.90
Sunbet -32.5) 1.90
Playabets -32.5) 1.80
Predictions and Odds in details
Scotland has the advantage in almost all facets of the game against the Tongans but the scrum and the loose trio is where this game will be won by Scotland. The home team has Lion Hamish Watson at flank and he will again show why he was voted player of the Six Nations. His work rate is second to none coupled with his strong running and breakdown skills make him the complete player. Much will depend on how the Scottish halfbacks are able to link up with their potent backline. If the backlines is on song then the Tongans are in for a torrid afternoon. The rolling maul is another great weapon for Scotland and expect to see a few tries coming from this source. There are not great returns on the Scottish outright victory therefore I suggest the home team on the handicap. The complete odds on the Scotland handicap victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+26.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+27.5) 1.90 and Playabets +27.5) 1.80
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.