Ireland vs Italy Prediction: Six Nations 2022 Week Three

TournamentSix Nations
TimetableSunday 27th of February at 15:00 GMT
PredictionIreland to Win
OddsIreland to Win @ 1.001
Bookmakerbetway
Ireland to Win
The best odds
Odds : 1.001
Bet €100 and win €100.10 if Ireland win.
Bonus
€30
Bet
Odds : 1.001
Bet €100 and win €100.10 if Ireland win.
Bonus
Bet
Odds : 1.001
Bet €100 and win €100.10 if Ireland win.
Bonus
£50
Bet

Week three of the Guinness Six Nations 2022 will finish on the 27th February in Dublin, at the Aviva Stadium, with Ireland hosting Italy. Given Italy's historical failures in the competition, will this match represent a golden light of a new age or be another depressing step along the road of misery for Italian fans? It is hard not to agree with the popular press that this is going to be more lambs to the slaughter than anything else, but I am willing to dig a little deeper, just to see if world rugby is in for a shock.

ireland-versus-italy

Background on Ireland vs Italy

Whilst the Ireland vs Italy match lacks the same sort of history as something like the Calcutta Cup, the competition does stem back longer than the Six Nations, with the first test between the two sides having taken place in 1988. Ireland were the first to get on the scoreboard with a 31-15 victory, but there have been 33 matches in total. Let's see how victories each side has claimed.

Ireland WinsItaly WinsDraws
2940

So, Ireland having won almost 90% of the encounters may not lend a great amount of credence to the idea that Italy have a fighting chance in this year's encounter. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to highlight some of the human elements that may affect the match in more unpredictable ways.

Factors on Paper

Besides looking on the team sheet, there are a few key factors that are important to consider when predicting any rugby match. Will any of them reveal an alternative reality where Italy may win in glorious fashion? It's unlikely, but let's not write off the continental team just yet.

The Advantage of Playing at Home

Without a shadow of doubt, Irish fans will be ecstatic to see their boys playing at home on Sunday. Will the home advantage make the difference in the game though? Given that the Irish hammered Italy 48-10 on Italian soil last year, I do not see this as the fulcrum that will tip the scales. Still, it is always nice for a team to get a run-out in front of their own crowd, so maybe it will simply sure up the likelihood of a great score difference.

Rankings

Comparing world rankings between Ireland and Italy is always interesting, and I feel the global-top-10 table below shows why:

World RankingCountry
1South Africa
2New Zealand
3England
4France
5Ireland
6Australia
7Scotland
8Wales
9Argentina
10Japan

Notice that Ireland sit firmly in fifth, by current standings, but that Italy do not feature on the board, given that they find themselves in 14th position. The phrase day and night comes to mind in this aspect, especially with Ireland having had an incredible Autumn Internationals series where they managed to beat the likes of the All Blacks and thrash Argentina. By the world rankings, this is certainly Ireland's game.

Recent Six Nations Results

The slightly more distant past aside, maybe the only thing that counts is how both sides have performed in the Six Nations championship so far. With that in mind, let's see if this is going to be a more even match-up than the general rugby-loving public think.

Ireland

MatchScoreWinner
Ireland vs Wales29-7Ireland
France vs Ireland30-24France

Italy

MatchScoreWinner
France vs Italy37-10France
Italy vs England0-33England

Analysis

Having looked at these results, I would say the general picture is exactly the same. Yes, both teams have lost to France, but Ireland managed to grab a great win against Wales, scoring in the first half of that match as many points as Italy have scored in this year's competition to date. That's not a pretty statistic for any Italy rugby fan, going into this third-week encounter.

Head Coaches

If there is any glimmer of hope for any balance between the two teams, as the kick-off whistle approaches, it's that both Ireland and Italy are currently being led by two great veterans of the game. Andy Farrell is a no-nonsense Northerner from England, and has amazing coaching credentials, with roles at Saracens, Munster, England, the British and Irish Lions, and Ireland all on his CV. Meanwhile, Italy have some counterargument in the form of Kieran Crowley, who brings a wealth of both playing and coaching experience with Taranaki and New Zealand. Before taking on coaching in Italy, he even had success with the New Zealand U19s, taking them to the Junior World Cup title in 2007. Now, I may not be predicting much from Italy, but if they are going to grab any kind of success in the match, I believe Crowley will be the man that leads the boys in blue to snatching it.

Ireland vs Italy Winner: Dublin Dominance, Start to Finish

I spoke about this being a walk-over from the start, and the more factors I highlight, the more that seems to be the case. If I can frame this game in the kindest possible light for Italy, it's that they will give it their best and try to put on a fight. If I were to take off the rose-tinted spectacles, this match seems to be going green all the way. Ireland to win, and by a cricket score.

Ireland to Win