Springboks vs. British & Irish Lions
So the time has finally arrived for the British and Irish Lions tour first test match after their 12 long year wait to avenge the 2009 defeat when Morne Steyn kicked that winning penalty.
The biggest worry for the Springboks will be that they are undercooked for this match, players like Handre Pollard, Siya Kolisi and Mapimpi and only just recovered from Covid and have been thrust into the starting 15 while the Lions don’t have any such issues as they as they have been match fit. The Lions loss to the SA A team has been a blessing in disguise they now know what to expect from the Springboks. No doubt the South Africans will be playing to their strength which lies in the forwards while Warren Gatland has chosen a team that will match the Springboks for physicality. The unexpected return of Lions original Skipper Alyn Wyn Jones will be a significant boost as his leadership skills are second to none. The area that the Lions would have focused on all week would be the scrum. The Springboks has once again left the bomb squad on the bench I am not so sure that this tactic will work in this first test as the Lions also have a power packed bench. As with all Lions test matches the battle up front is titanic and the occasions whereby we get to see running rugby is a rarity.
TIP: The strain of the physicality will be felt in the second half a combination of Covid infections and lack of playing time will contribute negatively against the Springboks. I know that Rassie in his wisdom is sticking to the game plan that won them the Rugby World Cup. Gatland is too astute a coach to fall into this trap, he showed in the last Lions series against the All Blacks that he can change tactics to nullify the opposition’s threats. There will be a number of interesting matchups none more so then at fly-half where Pollard will face Dan Biggar as both men when on form are vital cogs in their teams. Biggar always tends to play his best match against the Springboks therefore I am tipping the Lions to win this first match. The best odds on the Lions win are at Worldsportsbetting 2.00, Playabets 1.92, and Sunbet 1.90
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Springboks vs. British & Irish Lions
- In the last three matches between the sides there have been two Springbok wins compared to the one win for the Lions.
- The Lions won the last test match between the sides 28-9 in 2009.
- Latest results for both teams
The Springboks won 40-9 against Georgia while the Lions beat the Stormers 49-3 in their last match.
There’s no doubt that the Springboks will be up for this match and have players like Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth who are both strong man that the Springbok’s will be looking to get them over the advantage line. The Lions will counter this with Maro Itoje and Jack Conan. South Africa have arguably the world’s best winger in Cheslin Kolbe but the question remains will the ball go out that far wide and his duel with Duhan van der Merwe will be mouthwatering but the match will be decided in the in the forwards, the role of the two number nines will go a long way in deciding the match. Ali Price has been in scintillating form on this tour and they will look to him to launch their backs I feel this much is a week too early for the Springboks therefore I predict a Lions win by 4 points.
- Confirmed Starting XVs
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nché
British & Irish Lions
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Wyn Jones
- Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Lions victory are as follows:
- Odds comparison on a Lions handicap victory
Worldsportsbetting (-1.5) 2.10
Playabets (-0.5) 1.93
Sunbet (-1.5) 2.10
- Predictions and Odds in details
The man that always seems to play his best rugby in the big matches is Stuart Hogg he does it time and again for Scotland and I expect him to do the same for the Lions his opposite number Willie Le Roux will need to up his game both defensively and on attack the aerial duel between these two will decide whose team tactics work on the day I expect the Springboks to come out firing but the Lions will have the more powerful bench. The match will be tight up until the final 20 minutes when I expect the Lions to win it especially with players like Conor Murray and Liam Williams coming on in the second half there is decent money on the Lions victory but these are the value for money bet on the Lions handicap win. Worldsportsbetting (-1.5) 2.10,Playabets (-0.5) 1.93 and Sunbet (-1.5) 2.10
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.