The final action in Round 18 of Super Rugby sees the Bulls clash with Lions in Pretoria on Saturday, it’s the final game of the regular season and by kick off time both sides will know what is required to secure a place in the play offs.
Bulls v Lions, Saturday 15th June, Pretoria, KO 17:15 (South African time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Refs: Egon Seconds, Stefan Geldenhuys
TMO: Christie du Preez
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
The Bulls are back from a tour of Australasia which saw them beat the Rebels in Melbourne, lose to the Brumbies in Canberra and then draw twice in New Zealand, at the Chiefs and most recently the Highlanders. Those draws kept the Bulls in the play off places but coming into the final round you would need a crystal ball to identify what the Bulls need from this game to ensure they reach the quarter finals. A win will certainly do but depending on other results earlier in the round it might not be an absolute requirement. If the Bulls do make it another factor is where they finish in the standings as that will determine where they head in the last 8 with Crusaders, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Jaguares hosting the quarter finals.
This is the Bulls first home game since they were thumped 45-13 by the Crusaders in Round 13. They have won 4 and lost 3 of their home fixtures and 2 of those victories came in SA derby matches, a 40-3 hiding of the Stormers in Round 1 and a 37-14 victory over the Sharks in Round 4. The Bulls also won the first meeting with the Lions, 30-12 in Round 3 and beat the Sharks 19-16 in Durban. Their only loss to a local rival came in Round 11 when they were edged out 24-23 by the Stormers in Cape Town.
In the SA Conference the Lions are currently 1 log point behind the Bulls and hence they will have a keen eye on the earlier results. They lost 37-17 at home to the Hurricanes last week and now have an overall record of 8 wins alongside 7 defeats whilst on their travels they have won 3 and lost 4.
The Lions record in SA derby matches this season is surprisingly poor. They did beat the Stormers 41-22 in Joburg in Round 15 but earlier in the campaign they lost 19-17 to that opponent in Cape Town and also went down at home (42-5) and away (27-17) to the Sharks.
Overall in Super Rugby the Bulls and the Lions have clashed 26 times and the Bulls have won 15 to the Lions 11. The Lions have won on their 2 most recent visits to Loftus but from 2004 to 2015 they lost 8 in a row to the Bulls at this venue.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant , 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, Divan Rossouw
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx (captain), 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Reinhard Nothnagel, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Wandisele Simelane, 23 Courtnall Skosan
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2019 Johannesburg Lions 12–30 Bulls (Tries 2-2 )
2018 Johannesburg Lions 38–12 Bulls (Tries 6-2 )
2018 Pretoria Bulls 35-49 Lions (Tries 4-7)
2017 Johannesburg Lions 51–14 Bulls (Tries 7-2 )
2016 Pretoria Bulls 20-56 Lions (Tries 3-7)
2015 Pretoria Bulls 35–33 Lions (Tries 4-3 )
2015 Johannesburg Lions 22–18 Bulls (Tries 1-0 )
2014 Johannesburg Lions 32–21 Bulls (Tries 2-2 )
2014 Pretoria Bulls 25–17 Lions (Tries 1-2 )
Bulls -4.5 points at 9/10 generally available
Lions +5.5 points at 17/20 Betxchange
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
When I did my Sunday handicapping video I came out at Bulls -7.5 and was happy to take -6.5 at GGGaming when they came out on Sunday. To my surprise the match opened almost a choice game and I steamed into the Bulls at 8/10 at Betxchange. The market shifted slower than anticipated but with the Bulls including some of their returning 1st stringers and the Lions missing a few key players I am not surprised to see this handicap marching outwards.
The lads agreed it was a great bet even at -4.5 on THE HANDICAP “Rugby chat that matters” our weekly rugby betting show (which you can click here to watch if you missed it) and I expect this game to start Bulls -7.5 as I projected.
Bet: 5 units Bulls -4.5 at 9/10 generally available
(Unit Scale 1 to 10)
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