Saturday 26th January. Ellis Park. 5pm. Be there.
15. Marnitz Boshoff, 14. Ruhan Nel, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Guy Cronje, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Willie Britz, 7. Derick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Hugo Kloppers, 4. Gavin Annandale, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Swys du Toit, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. JJ Breet, 19. Claude Tshibidi, 20.Michael Bondesio, 21. Lionel Cronje, 22. Andries Coetzee.
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Jannie Boshoff, 13. JP Nel, 12. Robert Ebersohn (captain), 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Francois Brummer, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Boom Prinsloo, 7. Tertius Daniller, 6. Marnus Schoeman, 5. Francois Uys, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. Rossouw de Klerk, 2. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1. Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Ligtoring Landman, 19. Waltie Vermeulen, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Barry Geel, 22. Hansie Graaff.
Some drizzle is scheduled for the afternoon but there should be no precipitation during the match.
Expect the pitch to play as dry with a light breeze throughout the game.
Lions beat the Russian Bears 51-13 in their last outing (wet conditions).
For the Cheetahs this is their first start out of the blocks in 2013.
Early in the season as it is there is little true form to go on. Added to that this fixture, though both sides intend to win, will be used as a trial match.
What we have to go on primarily are the two match 22′s:
The Lion’s starting pack should have the upper hand on the Cheetahs especially in the loose forward ranks (Derick Minnie and Jaco Kriel). Their backline however may be at a disadvantage particularly at centre where Stokkies Hanekom and Alwyn Hollenbach are up against the more seasoned JP Nel and Robert Ebersohn. It is interesting to note that the Lions offer some quality backline reserves however their forward pack is likely to weaken as the match progresses as the bench offers little in terms of depth.
It is notable that Naka Drotske has opted to field a very weak Cheetahs pack paired with a moderate backline. On the bench (moderate yet far stronger than the Lion’s bench) are several forwards which he will certainly use in an attempt to dominate the Lions in the second half and hopefully take the victory even if it means coming from behind.
Handicap: +7 v.s -7
Outright: 5/2 v.s 2/5
Half time handicap: +3.5 @ 6/5 v.s -3.5 @ 3/5
Total first half points handicap: Under 25.5 @ 5/6 v.s Over 25.5 @ 5/6
As the Lions should have the upper-hand in the first half with their more dominant pack, more recent match practice plus the added advantage of playing at home so we fancy the 6/5 +3.5 point half time handicap.
OutrightRugby’s taken 240/200 [miss - they did it at full time but were slow in the first half with poor penalty kicking]
Should this cop it’s likely the scoring will be low: Their forwards (being their strongest feature relative to the Cheetahs) will try control the game which will slow things down and lessen the point scoring. Early season matches that are closely contested are also notoriously low scoring due to players lacking the fine touches to finish off high pace moves when in the score zone. That said we also fancy the Under 25.5 half time points handicap @ 5/6.
OutrightRugby is on 167/200. [hit - low scoring half as expected]
Full time may be more tricky with the Cheetah’s stronger bench getting introduced in the second half and as such we are staying clear of the full time outright and handicap betting.
[net loss 33 - will be back bigger and better next time]