Sharks vs British & Irish Lions
The British & Irish Lions showed in their first match on South African soil that they mean business as they completely destroyed our local Lions side. They have made a raft of changes for this match and are arguably stronger this time out. The Sharks team will need to make certain that their defensive structures are in place as the Lions looked awesome on attack. This match is being played at Ellis Park and the Sharks don’t have advantage of being at home and this counts further against them. The Sharks have had problems at scrum time all season and this looks set to continue in this match as the Lions starting front row is excellent and also have supreme strength in their front row replacements. It will be interesting to see of the Lions adopt the ball in hand approach or if they kick more in this game. The Sharks and Curwin Bosch in particular will need to be accurate with their kicks as the Lions possess a deadly back three of Liam Williams, Anthony Watson and Duhan van der Merwe. Van der Merwe in particular will want to impress against the players he grew up playing with before his move to Scotland. The competition for places in the Lions test team will mean that every player will be playing out their skins to impress Coach Gatland. The man who is the front runner for the number 10 jersey is Dan Biggar as he has been in sensational form this season. Biggar will want to continue that form and nail down the position for the test matches. If Biggar can launch the impressive Lions backline then the Sharks could be in for a long evening.
TIP: There are so many positions still not decided as yet before the first test match that these Lions players will basically be giving their all to impress. The Sharks will welcome back captain Phepsi Buthelezi who was sorely missed in the defeat to Western Province. The Lions showed in their first match that they have exceptional strength in both the forwards and the backs and if they link up then they should win this match comfortably. There should be a great opportunity for the Sharks halfback pairing of Curwin Bosch and Jaden Hendrikse to test their skill against a world class pair in Welsh duo Dan Biggar and Gareth Davies. The bookies have the Lions as heavy favourites and I also tip them for a big win. The best odds on the Lions win are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.05, Playabets 1.0 and Sunbet 1.06
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Sharks vs British & Irish Lions
- This is the first ever meeting between the sides.
Latest results for both teams
The Sharks lost their last match against Western Province 32-31 while the British & Irish Lions won 56-14 against the Sigma Lions
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of the Sharks players to play against the Lions as this tour only happens every twelve years. The players will want to show their wares against the best the United Kingdom has to offer. The Lions showed they are looking to score tries and not kick penalty goals. The Sharks must improve their discipline as the Lions have kickers that will punish them. Both teams have excellent rolling mauls and use them to great effect. The man that is most dangerous of the rolling mauls is Sam Simmonds. He is a try scoring machine and broke the try scoring record in the past English Premiership season. The most intriguing battle will be between him and the Sharks skipper Buthelezi. Both men have power and speed so it should be an exciting contest. The Lions players have more to play for as they are literally playing for a test starting position so I expect them to come out firing and I predict a Lions victory by 30 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Manie Libbok, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Khwezi Mona
British & Irish Lions
15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Iain Henderson (c), 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the British & Irish Lions victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the British & Irish Lions handicap victory
The complete odds on the British & Irish Lions handicap victory:
Worldsportsbetting (-24.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-24.5.5) 1.90
Playabets (-23.5) 1.86
Predictions and Odds in details
We often see that the Northern Hemisphere players place a lot of emphasis on dominating up front and this will be a cause of concern for the Sharks. The Sharks have looked good most of this season but have struggled against team with strong forward packs most notably against the Bulls. The bad news is that this Lions team have a very strong starting front row and arguably and even stronger forwards bench. The play making skills of Biggar will no doubt be at the forefront of the Lions attacks and he will be partnered with his countryman Gareth Davies. They have played together countless times over the years and they are both supreme attackers. Bosch will want to show the Springbok selectors that they were wrong to omit him from the Bok squad and he won’t have a better opportunity than this. The bookies are offering almost nothing on the Lions outright victory therefore I suggest taking the Lions on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are at: Worldsportsbetting (-24.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-24.5.5) 1.90 and Playabets (-23.5) 1.86
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.