WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith previews the action on Monday 25th October, and has found 4 EW selections across three cards.
|Gareth Davies||12/1||Man of the Match
Sharks v British & Irish Lions
Date of Tips: 10/07/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (08:27 10/07/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
This is not deja vu, it is actually happening all over again just three days later. As if Wednesday was not hard enough, the Cell C Sharks have volunteered for another tough assignment by agreeing to play them again. In fairness to the Sharks, they have been great sports and even cancelled a Currie Cup game for another shot at the Lions. If you don’t have to wait 12 years then take the opportunity when it is presented.
Stepping in to help the tourists is certainly commendable, the cancellation of the British and Irish Lions scheduled match against the Vodacom Bulls would have left Warren Gatland’s men in a precarious position with the test series looming. The latest pandemic chaos has certainly challenged the tourists’ adaptability and perseverance and it’s safe to say it will not be the last disruption we see on tour this summer. The Lions are priced at 1/33 with sporting index and the Sharks at 90/1 with Betfair for the victory.
CELL C SHARKS
THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Wednesday night’s meeting between the two sides was anything but conventional. With two kick-off delays and multiple last-minute team changes to boot, it was easy to forget that we did not even know if the game would go ahead until around 90 minutes before kick-off. With the arrangement of the second match being so close to the first, it is a natural fit that we focus on that initial fixture as an indication of form and to provide a recent result statistic as we are likely to see many of the same players, on the same ground with the same plays during this contingency match.
After all the ups and downs pre-kick-off, any uncertainty and fragility was soon forgotten as we were treated to a wonderful game of rugby between two attack-orientated teams. It did not take long for the LIons to get into their groove after two early scores from Josh Adams and Duan Van Der Merwe showed that the pre-match disruption amid positional and personal changes in the Lions backline was not going to be an issue. A comfortable 26 point lead at the interval meant that Gatland could rotate some of his forwards early in the second half. The reshuffle replacements meant that Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell of Scotland was the only back on the Lions bench and any substitutions would need to be injury-related rather than tactical for the experienced Kiwi coach. It mattered not in the end as the British and Irish Lions ran out emphatic winners by 54 points to 7 thanks to a hattrick a piece for Adams and Van Der Merwe.
We can expect a similar gap in quality to what we saw on Wednesday evening. No matter what side the Lions put out should be too strong for the wounded Sharks. They will be keen to right some wrongs from the first match but effort and work rate will not be enough to bridge the gaps in experience and international pedigree. The Sharks have a 49? Handicap at 40/1 with Bet Victor. Welsh scrum-half Gareth Davies makes his first start on tour and will be keen to make a huge impression, Davies is 12/1 with Boylesport to be named man of the match.