The Springboks play the British & Irish Lions this weekend in the series decider and I am backing the Boks to win, and wagering on the handicap on offer.
If you’d told people at the beginning of the year that the Springboks would be without Duane Vermeulen, Faf De Klerk and Pieter-Steph Du Toit for the final match of the the three Test series, not many would have had high hopes. Yet heading into the final encounter, I, among many others, still feel comfortable and confident enough in this Springbok outfit to beat the Lions despite the loss of some big names.
Not to discredit the Lions’ opening win, but it was by no means convincing. The game could have gone either way, and you don’t have to be Rassie Erasmus to know that there were some shaky calls from the referee and TMO in that first match.
A week later though, the Boks were so clinical and composed in choking the Lions out and securing an 18 point deficit, and this coming weekend I think they will be the better team again.
Franco Mostert has been brilliant over the series and fits comfortably at flank, and the Boks, aside from a couple of astute adjustments on the bench, remain a settled team, largely the same to those that won the World Cup in 2019.
The Lions, however, have axed a couple of players and reshuffled both their bench and starting XV, and I don’t think they go into the match as comfortable in their own capabilities or game plan.
I do think this match will be higher scoring than the last two, as the Lions approach, given their selections, is notably more geared towards running the ball from broken play, and playing a game less less direct and physical, which South Africa bettered them at last week.
My head says a five point win for the Springboks, but a -2.5 handicap can get you 1.86 odds on Betway SA. It would be silly to pass up that opportunity if you feel as strongly as I do about this Springbok team’s chance, and my bet for the weekend is R2000 on the Springboks to win at -2.5.
Good luck folks,