The 1st Test between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions wasn’t a classic, but it was certainly the tight competitive affair that we expected. My main bet was on the Lions to win the game and at 12-3 down at halftime things weren’t looking good with the Boks dominating. The Lions though found their feet and took control of the second-half, matching the Boks up front and winning the aerial battle.
The bounce of the ball or perhaps more accurately the calls of the TMO went the visitors way, but I came out of that game with confirmation that the Lions are (understandably) the better prepared of the two sides.
Bookmakers have priced the Lions slight favourites for the 2nd Test, but if you shop around you can get 1/1 about the tourists and 21/20 on the hosts.
Social Media has been a fascinating week and it appears as if most Bok fans lay the blame for defeat squarely at TMO, Marius Jonker. I disagree, for me the problem with the Springboks was the inability to adapt their game plan when they failed to dominate up front or for that matter in the air. I can’t recall a single time that hot stepping Kolbe was passed the ball in space and that is something that the Boks need to change. I am expecting another close Test Match but feel the Lions have the momentum and will seal the series.
This may sound terribly unpatriotic, but when it comes to betting matters I have long ago let the head rule the heart.
There are plenty of other ways to get involved in the match besides betting on the result and the Total Points Line has been set at 41.5 meaning if you go overs you need 42 points or more in the game, there were 39 in the 1st Test.
Another very popular play is backing the 1st Try Scorer or Anytime Try Scorer. At the time of writing I haven’t seen any prices, but backing any of the hookers for 1st Try Scorer may well see you in the money as the rolling maul is a weapon both sides will be looking to employ.
This week I will be watching with a small group of predominantly Springbok fans, but while their blood may be green mine will most certainly be red.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 29 July 2021.