Lions vs Sharks
These teams come into this match with very different ambitions. The Lions are playing for pride as they are out of the running for the playoff positions while the Sharks are looking to secure a home semifinal. Due to the heavy fixture congestion matches are being played twice a week so there is a lot of squad rotation taking place with teams. The Sharks look like they have selected their strongest team while the Lions have made changes that I think make them stronger. We all know that the Sharks blow hot and cold but with the home semifinal on the line I feel they will be on form. The Lions have been embarrassed in their last two matches against their traditional rivals WP and the Bulls. They lost both these matches by more than 20 points. The Lions to have any chance of victory in this match will need to target the Sharks at scrum time as this is the one area they have the advantage in.
TIP. The Sharks have selected Lionel Cronje at 10 and I think he is the best option for the Sharks as he provides that calming influence to the team. He also has excellent game management with his kicking and passing. The Lions have tried various different players at full back without much success but they have selected Wandisile Simelane in this match at 15 and could prove to be a master stroke. He is a dangerous runner and will have loads of space to run into from full back. The Sharks welcome back skipper Phepsi Buthelezi for this clash. He will be looking to replicate his early season form as he looked tired in the last few games. The bookies have the Sharks as favourites for this clash and I’m also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.30, Playabets 1.32 and Sunbet 1.26
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Lions vs Sharks
- In the last five matches between the sides there have been three Sharks wins to the Lions two.
- The Lions in their last three home matches against the Sharks they have won two.
- The Sharks won the last match between the sides 33-21.
Latest results for both teams
The Lions lost their last match against WP 35-13 while the Sharks won their last match 38-31 against the Cheetahs.
The Sharks have looked like a different side when Cronje is at flyhalf as he has done an excellent job of launching the potent backline. They have dangerous players like Yaw Penxe and Thaakir Abrahams on the wings and Abrahams in particular has really impressed with two tries in his last match. The Lions know that they need to dominate in the forwards to prevent the Sharks from getting good ball to their backline. The Lions player that impresses in every game is Sibusiso Sangweni. Every time he gets the ball he makes metres with his strength and pace. His battle with Buthelezi will be one of the highlights in the match. The Lions may edge it in the forwards but I expect the Sharks to win a close match. I predict Sharks win by less than 10 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Wandisile Simelane, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Travis Gordon, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Ruben Schoeman, 4 PJ Steenkamp, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole.
15 Anthony Volmink, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Khwezi Mona
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Sharks victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Lions handicap :
The complete odds on the Lions handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+10.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+10.5) 1.87
Playabets (+10.5) 1.87
Predictions and Odds in details
The Sharks are spoilt for choice when it comes to the scrum halves and although there are two Springbok 9s in the squad I think Grant Williams is the best. He has searing pace and is not afraid to run. The Lions need to watch him closely otherwise he will have a field day with them. Throughout the season the Sharks have tried various front row options without much success. With the playoffs around the corner this is a great opportunity for players like Lourens Adriaanse and Khwezi Mona to stake their claim. They are up against a very strong prop combination of Sti Sithole and Carlu Sadie. The Lions will look to them to give them a chance of victory in this match. The returns on the Sharks outright victory is very poor for punters therefore I suggest the value bet on the Lions handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+10.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+10.5) 1.87 and Playabets (+10.5) 1.87
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.