On the back of thrilling victory last week the Lions travel to Singapore for a Round 6 Super Rugby clash with the Sunwolves on Saturday.
Sunwolves v Lions, Saturday 23rd March, Singapore, KO 12:55 (South African time)
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Refs: Shuhei Kubo, Tawasaki Kawahara
TMO: Minoru Fuji
Weather Forecast – Singapore
The Sunwolves started as favourites for last week’s home fixture against the Reds in Tokyo and although they led 21-5 at half time the Queenslanders fought back to come out on top 34-31, a game which saw another last minute score.
Prior to that 2 matches in New Zealand saw the Sunwolves chalk up a first win on those shores against the Chiefs (30-15) followed by a 28-20 defeat to the Blues.
In the first round the Sunwolves crashed 45-10 at home to the Sharks in Singapore, their only fixture at this venue to date whilst a week later they were edged out 31-30 by the Waratahs in a home match in Tokyo.
The Lions were 26-5 down at half time at home to the Rebels last week but they fought back and a last gasp penalty saw them come through with a 36-33 win. The Lions now have a record of 3 wins and 2 defeats and in the SA Conference they are in second spot, sandwiched in between the Bulls and the Stormers on points difference. All 3 of those sides have 13 log points but the Lions have played a game more.
Away from home this season the Lions have won 25-16 against Jaguares in Buenos Aires and they were on the wrong end of a late score against the Stormers in Cape Town which saw them go down 19-17.
The Lions were almost upset by the Sunwolves in Johannesburg last season whilst in 2017 they swamped this opponent at Ellis Park. The Lions only visit to the Sunwolves was staged in Tokyo in 2016 and they came away with a bonus point win (26-13).
Sunwolves: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jason Emery, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Ben Gunter, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Grant Hattingh, 3 Jiwon Koo, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Masataka Mikami
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Vella, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 Hiroshi Yamashita, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Amanaki Mafi, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Takuya Yamasawa, 23 Hosea Saumak
Lions: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Lionel Mapoe, 11 Courntall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Ruan Vermaak, 7 Stephan Lewies, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: to follow
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Johannesburg Lions 40-38 Sunwolves (Tries 6-5)
2017 Johannesburg Lions 94-7 Sunwolves (Tries 14-1)
2016 Tokyo Sunwolves 13-26 Lions (Tries 1-4)
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
The Sunwolves do have a track record against visiting South African sides in Singapore although the Sharks had few problems on their visit here in the opening round. They were their own worst enemies against the Reds last week but had been worth following handicap wise in Rounds 2,3 and 4.
I’m pretty open minded about the outcome here but gut feel is the Sundowves can stay with single digits.
Bet: 1.5 units, Sunwolves +9.5 points 9/10
(Unit Scale 1 to 5)
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