Boks2021 1The first test between the Springboks and the British & Irish Lions takes place in Cape Town on Saturday and the betting suggests we are in for a close contest.

 

 

 

 

South Africa v British & Irish Lions, Saturday 24th July, Cape Town, Kick Off 18:00 (local time)

 

Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Mathieu Raynal
TMO: Brendon Pickerill

 

Weather Forecast – Cape Town

 

South Africa:

 

After the whole of the 2020 calender of inbound and November internationals was wiped out for the Springboks they took to the field against Georgia at Loftus on the 2nd July, their first outing since November 2nd 2019 when they beat England in the RWC final. The Boks won that game 40-9 running in 6 tries but a subsequent clash with the Georgians was cancelled due to Covid.

 

That led to a strong South African A side being named to take on the B&I Lions in Cape Town on 14th July. South Africa won the game 17-13 with the damage done in the first half which saw them take a 17-3 lead. The Lions, who started as 2.5 point favourites on most books, got their act together after the break but the fightback came up short. A subsequent, hastily arranged game for the “A” side against the Bulls ended in a 17-14 defeat.

 

B&I Lions:

 

Aside from the defeat to the South African A side the tourists have completed wide margin wins over provincial opposition.

 

The B&I Lions spent the earlier part of July in Gauteng where they took on the local Lions (won 56-14) side before a double header with the Sharks which saw them win the first match as they pleased (54-7). The second of those games against the Sharks saw the Lions ran out 71-31 winners but it was 26-26 at half time and their task in the second period was made considerably easier when the Sharks were reduced to 14 men.

 

Last weekend the Lions beat the Stormers 49-3 at this venue, a game which marked the return of skipper Alun Wyn Jones who had picked up an injury in a 28-10 win over Japan in Edinburgh before they departed for SA.

 

When the Lions toured New Zealand in 2017 the series was shared. They lost the first test 30-15, won the second 24-21 and the “decider” finished all square at 15-15.

 

In 2013 the Lions beat the Wallabies 2-1, romping home in the decider, 41-16.

 

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Head to Head

 

When the Lions toured South Africa in 2009 the Boks won the first test 26-21 and clinched the series with a 28-25 win in the second. The Lions won the third test 28-9.

 

Team News

 

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 19 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

 

British and 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 (captain), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Wyn Jones.

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Liam Williams

 

 

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To win the series

 

The Boks can currently be backed at 11/10 to win the 3 match series with the B&I Lions 17/20 and a series draw is 25/1.

 

In series correct score betting the B&I Lions are 15/10 to win the series 2-1, and the Boks are 19/10 to win the series 2-1.

 

1st Test Match

 

Springboks 1/1

Draw 22/1

B&I Lions 1/1

 

Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.

 

Betting Angle

 

There has been constant support for the Springboks who are now slight favourites on some books. The home team have picked up momentum in the betting since the victory of the SA "A" side last week and although not everyone was happy with the Bok team selection the Lions announcement saw many fence sitters jump onto the Boks. 

 

I am standing by my initial view that the Lions will win the series as I feel they have had the better prep and have been holding alot back in their early matches. By contrast the Boks are not quite as powerful in the pack as they were in the RWC final. 

 

My bet though will have nothing to do with the match result. The Total Points line ranges from 39.5 to 41.5 and that is understandable as this should be a really tight game. There is little doubt 3 pointers will be taken when on offer and that would worry me as an unders punter at those lines and I am leaning to an unders tries play instead. 

Both teams will put plenty of emphasis on defence and I expect we will go for long periods of play without a try and am betting we get 3 tries or less in the game.

 

I will post additional bets in the forum  

 

Bet: 4 units under 3.5 tries at 11/10 at WSB

 

Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.

 

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