DHL Stormers v British and Irish Lions
- Date: Saturday 17th July
- Time: 17:00 (UK)
The game-by-game controversy that has followed the Lions around on the tour to South Africa continued this week. The latest instalment being Warren Gatland’s refusal to give up the fixture against The Stormers so the Springboks could have another warm-up game by playing another ‘A’ side against the Lions. No doubt after Wednesday’s fierce victory, Rassie Erasmus will be more content with the outcome of his failed proposal to Lions officials.
Gatland insisted that playing the Stormers was a once in a career opportunity for the local players and part of Lions tradition to play provinces not just test matches. Despite the unusual circumstances facing the Lions this week, with Josh Adams zoom-calling in on the birth of his daughter and the drama of Alun-Wyn Jones’ return, they are overwhelming favourites to get back to winning ways on Saturday. Both William Hill and Betfred are offering 1/100 for Gatland’s men to triumph in Cape Town.
The defeat on Wednesday was a welcome wake-up call for the tourists who have largely had things their own way up until now. The increased pace, intensity, and physicality that the South Africa ‘A’ side brought was test-match level standard. This was no surprise given the 18 World Cup Winners they picked in their matchday squad. Gatland will not worry about the result and will hope that the players will learn from the experience and bounce back in the Stormers game with sharper work at the breakdown and a better kicking display all around.
15. Sergeal Petersen
14. Seabelo Senatla
13. Rikus Pretorius
12. Dan du Plessis
11. Edwill van der Merwe
10. Tim Swiel
9. Godlen Masimla
8. Evan Roos
7. Johan du Toit
6. Nama Xaba
5.. JD Schickerling
4. Ernst van Rhyn (captain)
3. Neethling Fouche
2. JJ Kotze
1. Leon Lyons
16. Andre-Hugo Venter
17. Kwenzo Blose
18. Sazi Sandi
19. Justin Basson
20. Marcel Theunissen
21. Thomas Bursey
22. Abner van Reenen
23. Juan de Jongh
24. Lee-Marvin Mazibuko
25. Niel Otto
26. Leolin Zas
27. Cornel Smit
THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
15. Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
1.Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
2.Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16. Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848
19. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850
22. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846
Previous Meets and Results
In 1997, then known as Western Province, the Stormers faced the touring British and Irish Lions in Cape Town, going down 38-21 at Newlands. They again hosted the tourists in 2009 in a much closer match in front of a near 35,000 crowd which saw the Lions emerge victorious 23-26.
In terms of form and recent results, The Stormers have lost 3 out of their last 5 matches whilst the British and Irish Lions’ recent winning streak came to an abrupt end on Wednesday evening as they crashed 17-13 to South Africa ‘A’. Previous to this they had won all their warm-up matches on tour without really being tested.
DHL Stormers v British and Irish Lions Prediction
The Lions will get back to winning ways against an understrength Stormers side, and they do so in an emphatic fashion. With the number of players within the Lions matchday squad with points to prove ahead of Test selection like Robbie Henshaw and skipper, Stuart Hogg in the backs and the likes of Beirne, Sutherland, and Beard upfront, we can expect some fireworks on Saturday evening. Key individuals like Marcus Smith, Hamish Watson, and the deadly wing duo of Josh Adams and Duan Van Der Merwe are all on top of their game right now so it is not inconceivable to be seeing a lot of tries run in by the tourists.
Back the tour’s top try scorers Adams 5/1 to bag another hat trick with Betfair or Van Der Merwe to score first with Bet 365 at 6/1. Debutant Marcus Smith is fresh off winning the Premiership with Harlequins and starring for England against the USA and Canada before his shock call up, the young fly-half is 11/1 with Betfair to score 2 or more tries in his first Lions appearance. Could tour captain Alun-Wyn Jones mark his incredible return with a try just 3 weeks after a shoulder dislocation? You can get 40/1 on the Ospreys lock to come off the bench and score the final try of the match with Bet365.
You can get a price of 1/12 for the Lions to win both halves with both PaddyPower and Betfair but if you fancy an upset, a few quid on the Stormers to sneak a victory will see a great return at 50/1 or 100/1 for the draw from Betfair. It will take a serious off-day for those to occur and we can expect the Lions to win comfortably and revert back to their pre-Wednesday try-scoring form we saw in the first few matches of the tour. The tourists are priced at 9/1 by Betfair to win by 46-50 points which is where the smart money is. If you don’t have an account yet, be sure to claim the Betfair joining bonus if you create one.