The Lions return to Johannesburg for a Round 14 Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies on Saturday with their lead at the top of the South African Conference having being reduced in recent weeks.
Lions v Brumbies, Saturday 19th May, Johannesburg, KO 17:15 (South African time)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stephen Geldenhuys (South Africa)
Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
The Lions are back from a 4 match tour of Australasia, a trip that started well before running out of steam. Last week the Lions went down 39-27 to the Highlanders in Dunedin meaning they left NZ empty handed after a 29-18 defeat to the Hurricanes in Wellington in Round 12. The tour started well with a 29-0 win over the Waratahs in Sydney but their next match delivered a surprise 27-22 defeat at the Reds in Brisbane.
The Lions have won 4 and lost 2 of their 6 home fixtures this season with the Crusaders and the Blues having won in Johannesburg.
After Round 13 the Lions continued to lead the way in the South African Conference but their lead had been cut to 7 points and they had played 1 game more than 3 of the 4 the chasers
Despite starting as 5.5 point favourites the Brumbies were beaten 27-24 by the Rebels in Canberra last week, a fourth straight defeat. They arrive in South Africa for this game and next week’s visit to the Bulls with just 3 wins against their name and their away record comprises of 1 win and 3 defeats with the only success coming against the Sunwolves (32-25) in Tokyo back in Round 2.
Coming into Round 14 the Brumbies were fourth best in the Australian Conference, 10 points shy of the table topping Waratahs.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Corné Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Len Massyn, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Ruan Combrinck
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Andrew Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nick Mayhew, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Tom Cusack, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Andrew Smith
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 Canberra Brumbies 6–13 Lions (Tries 0-1 )
2015 Johannesburg Lions 20–30 Brumbies (Tries 2-4 )
2012 Johannesburg Lions 20–34 Brumbies (Tries 2-6 )
2011 Canberra Brumbies 20–29 Lions (Tries 2-4 )
2010 Canberra Brumbies 24–13 Lions (Tries 3-1 )
2009 Johannesburg Lions 25–17 Brumbies (Tries 3-2 )
2008 Canberra Brumbies 28–21 Lions (Tries 3-3 )
Lions -15.5 points at 9/10 widely available
Brumbies +16.5 points at 9/10 BetXchange
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
After mulling over this handicap line for some time and still seeing it as something of a coin toss I’ll speculate the line will prove to be pretty accurate and go with a home win by 11-20 points inclusive,
Bet: 1.5 units Lions win 11-20 points inc 22/10 BetXchange
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum