Sharks vs Lions

The first round showed the rustiness in all the sides but in this round I’m sure the teams will be better equipped to show their skills. The Sharks had an excellent victory away to the Stormers although they were greatly assisted by the Stormers ill-discipline. The Sharks have kept faith with the same starting XV and this can only mean trouble for the Lions. The Lions lacked any cohesion on attack and were lucky not to lose by a bigger margin as the Bulls had three tries disallowed. Sharks coach Sean Everitt has expressed his keenness for his team to play a more expansive running game and this was evident against the Stormers with Aphelele Fassi being the stand out player. Fassi reminds one of the great Andre Joubert with his silky running and blistering pace. The Lions defence will need to keep a close eye on him otherwise he will have a field day. The only area of weakness for the Sharks seems to be the hooker position but if they can sort they lineout and scrum issues out, they will be very hard to beat. The Lions seem to have problems all around the team with attack being the most glaring issue. They miss their talisman flyhalf Elton Jantjies and his replacement Fred Zeilinga is a steady player but does not have that thrust or vision that Jantjies possesses. Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi had a quiet first game for the Sharks but I’m certain he will want to show the skills that made him the world class performer he is today. The Sharks have picked exciting scrumhalf Grant Williams at nine and we all wait to see if he can show us that great turn of pace that has made him famous. He will be looking for those sniping runs to set his backline free and if he achieves this we could see a very exciting showing from the Sharks.

TIP: The Lions in their game never looked like scoring a try with the only threat coming from the ever dangerous Wandisile Simelane. He was the only player that looked capable of scoring a try and was not helped by the lack of support around him. They also lost their key player Tiaan Swanepoel to injury, not only was he their goal kicker but also the guy who gained huge territory for them with his siege gun boot. The scrum is an area where the Sharks have previously struggled against the Lions but if they can gain ascendancy in the front row then I see a comfortable Sharks victory. The best odds on the Sharks victory are at Worldsportsbetting 1.22, Playabets 1.17 and Sunbet 1.24

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Sharks vs Lions

  • In the last five matches there have been three Lions victories and 2 Sharks wins.
  • The Sharks have won their last six home matches against the Lions.
  • The Lions last beat the Sharks in Durban in 2017.

Latest results for both teams

The Sharks won their last match against the Stormers 33-30 while the Lions lost their last match against the Bulls 21-9.

PREDICTION

The Lions teams of old had great forwards that allowed their backline to run from everyone unfortunately that is no longer the case as they have had an exodus of their star players. The Sharks have the potent backline with Fassi, Sbu Nkosi and Yaw Penxe all capable of scoring from anywhere but it depends if Curwin Bosch and Lukhanyo Am can get the ball to these dangerous runners. They showed against the Stormers if they get their running game in tune then they are very hard to stop. The Sharks look the more complete and dangerous team especially playing at home therefore I expect an easy victory for the Sharks by more than 13 points.  

  • Probable Starting XVs

Sharks

15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche.

Lions

15 Viljoen EW ,14  Ngia Selengbe, 13 Wandisile Simelane,12  Burger Odendaal, 11 Courtnall Skosan;10  Fred Zeilinga , 9 André Warner; 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Ruan Dreyer

Odds for this bet

These are the best odds on the Sharks victory:

Worldsportsbetting 1.22

Playabets 1.17

Sunbet 1.24

Odds comparison on a Sharks handicap victory

The complete odds on the Sharks handicap victory:

Worldsportsbetting (-12.5) 1.90

Sunbet (-11.5) 1.92

Playabets (-11.5) 1.84

Predictions and Odds in details

The Sharks have many fringe players like Curwin Bosch and Sikhumbuzo Notshe who will be looking to impress the Springbok selectors ahead of the British Lions tour. This will be a perfect opportunity to show off their skills against a Lions team that is going through a transitional phase. There are many game breakers in the Sharks team and they will no doubt be targeting a bonus point victory in this match. The battle with Jannie Du Plessis and Ox Nche will set the tone for the match and if Ox gains the upper hand it will be a long day at the office for the Lions.  The Sharks on the outright victory don’t offer much for punters therefore I am suggesting the Sharks on the handicap which provided value for your bet. The best odds on the Sharks handicap victory are: Worldsportsbetting (-12.5) 1.90, Sunbet  (-11.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-11.5) 1.84

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