The second Super Rugby match on Saturday on South African soil is in Johannesburg where the Lions host Durban’s Sharks.
The Lions lead the Africa 2 Conference on 42 points while the Sharks are second in the conference on 35 points. The Lions have 9 wins and the Sharks 7.
The Lions are strong favourites to win the Conference but the Sharks can still overtake them or finish in the top 8 so they still have everything to play for.
These two teams have already met once this season and the Lions won this match 9-24 in Durban.
The Lions and the Sharks have played each other 23 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and the Lions have won 5 matches and the Sharks 16. There have been two draws.
The last two matches between the teams have both been won by the Lions – one in Durban and one in Johannesburg.
The Lions have hosted the Sharks 11 times in Johannesburg and they have won 3 matches, lost six and drawn twice. This gives them a record of winning 27% of their home matches against the Sharks.
The average score when the Lions host the Sharks is : Lions 21 Sharks 27.
The Lions have lost their captain Warren Whiteley for six weeks so Jaco Kriel as captain while Whiteley is out. The head coach has also named Ruan Ackermann to start in the No.8 jersey in place of Whiteley.
Andries Coetzee makes his first return to action after a fairly long lay-off due to injury.
The Sharks have also been hit by injury – and a suspension. Garth April starts at flyhalf for the injured Patrick Lambie who has not passed the concussion graduated return to play protocol and will be re-tested next week while Joe Pietersen has a shoulder fracture with an approximate layoff of 6 weeks.
Willie le Roux is unavailable for selection due to suspension so Gold has named Odwa Ndungane at fullback. The team will be captained by Tendai Mtawarira.
The Lions can probably afford to drop a match whereas the Sharks cannot so they should be the hungrier side.
The Bookies have given the Sharks a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Lions have been the form South African side this season. Although the Sharks will probably be the hungrier side the Lions home advantage should see them home by four points.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 3.
Average score: Lions 19 Sharks 29
Last five results
08 Apr 2016 Lions v Sharks 24-9 Durban
11 Apr 2015 Lions v Sharks 23-21 Johannesburg
21 Feb 2015 Lions v Sharks 12-29 Durban
12 Apr 2014 Lions v Sharks 12-25 Johannesburg
08 Mar 2014 Lions v Sharks 23-37 Durban
Lions overall record against the Sharks
Played 23 , Wins 5, Losses 16 , Draws 2
Match No.116:Lions vs Sharks
Date : Saturday 2 July 2016
Venue : Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 15.10
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:Quinton Immelman (South Africa),
Assistant Ref 2:Lesego Legoete (South Africa)
TMO :Johan Greeff (South Africa)
Dylan Smith , Malcolm Marx , Julian Redelinghuys , Andries Ferreira , Franco Mostert , Jaco Kriel , Warwick Tecklenburg , Ruan Ackermann , Faf de Klerk , Elton Jantjies , Courtnall Skosan , Rohan Janse Van Rensburg , Lionel Mapoe , Ruan Combrinck , Andries Coetzee
Replacements : Armand Van Der Merwe , Corne Fourie , Jacques van Rooyen , Lourens Erasmus , Cyle Brink , Ross Cronje , Howard Mnisi , Sylvian Mahuza
15. Odwa Ndungane , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Andre Esterhuizen , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Garth April , 9. Michael Claassens , 8. Philip van der Walt , 7. Jean-Luc du Preez , 6. Keegan Daniel , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Etienne Oosthuizen , 3. Lourens Adriaanse , 2. Franco Marais , 1. Tendai Mtawarira (C)
Replacements : 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle , 17. Thomas du Toit , 18. Coenie Oosthuizen , 19. Ruan Botha , 20. Tera Mtembu , 21. Stefan Ungerer , 22. Rhyno Smith , 23. S’bura Sithole