WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith previews the action on Monday 25th October, and has found 4 EW selections across three cards.
|Dan Biggar||22/1||1st try scorer
Sharks v British & Irish Lions
Date of Tips: 05/07/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (15:30 05/07/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Cell C Sharks v British & Irish Lions
A British & Irish Lions tour only comes around every 12 years and fortunate are the players representing their provincial franchisees who get to take part in this piece of history not reserved for many rugby players. Despite not being able to select their Springbok players, including summer signing Siya Kolisi (South African Captain), The Sharks will hope to pose a credible threat to the Lions’ test preparations. You can get 17/2 for a surprise Sharks victory on Betway and for them to win both halves 14/1 on Betfred.
On Wednesday evening, the Cell C Sharks will be taking on a powerful Lions’ side that dispatched their local namesakes the Sigma Lions 56-14 in an eight-try to two display on Saturday. This is a warning signal if ever there needed to be one. Not that the Cell C Sharks players need any further motivation that their excitement will provide at getting this fantastic opportunity. We are used to seeing Lions fly-half Dan Biggar scoring points with his lethal right boot but he is worth a punt at 22/1 on Betfair for first try scorer due to his renewed attacking credentials since joining Northampton Saints.
Ulster and Ireland lock, Iain Henderson captains the Lions for the first time in a side that blends experienced heads like Mako Vunipola, Liam Williams, and Dan Biggar alongside first-time Lions like Adam Beard, Josh Navidi, and Tom Curry. For many of the side, it is the first start of the tour and they will be looking to catch up and create their own headlines after those before them have laid down a marker in terms of test selection already. You can back the tourists to win on Betway at 1/18 and to win both halves on Paddy Power at 2/5.
CELL C SHARKS
THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
The home side has had mixed fortunes in their last few matches and form has certainly been unpredictable. Injuries, Covid and Springbok call-ups have to be factored into this of course but you are only as good as your last game. The Sharks have lost 3 of their last five matches with the wins coming against the Sigma Lions (whom the B.I Lions hammered last time out) and lowly Griquas.
Going back to previous tours, the Sharks faced the B.I.Lions in both 2009 (losing 39-3) and 1997 (losing 42-12) so to avoid a similar score this time around will be a daunting task given their record.
The Lions are in good form having beaten Japan in Murrayfield before flying out and then defeating the Sigma Lions on Saturday after landing in South Africa. That comfortable victory can be taken with a pinch of salt as can the form of the tourists as they have named entirely different teams on each occasion.
Betfair is offering evens on the tourists to win by 24 points or more. Given the lack of Super Rugby playing time within the Shark’s squad plus the gap in international experience, the Lions should win comfortably after naming a very strong side.