Kick-off: 1700, 17/07/2021
Stadium: Cape Town Stadium
TV: Sky Sports
The British and Irish Lions are expected to get back to winning ways in their final warm-up game before their Test series with South Africa begins next weekend.
Warren Gatland’s men fell to the first defeat of their tour on Wednesday as South Africa ‘A’ landed a psychological blow by registering a 17-13 victory at Cape Town Stadium.
They face a much easier task on Saturday, though, and the tourists to win by at least 40 points at 17/20 is our opening Stormers vs Lions prediction.
A Look At Stormers’ Betting Odds
The Stormers squad have been living in a strict bubble in Cape Town to ensure their meeting with the Lions goes ahead and they will relish the occasion.
Two defeats in their last three Currie Cup matches does not bode well for their chances and they have conceded at least 24 points in all four games.
Assistant coach Dawie Snyman knows the team cannot lose focus, saying: “The Lions are different opposition, they are international players and don’t have any weaknesses on the park, from one to 15 they are some of the best players in the world.
“We are not under the illusion that it is just another game, it is a massive game for all of us. It is an international team, so you can’t allow them breathing space, if you make one small mistake they will definitely punish you, so we need to be sharp in all aspects.
“They have shown that if you concede a turnover they are dangerous and they have got threats around the park, they don’t play one style of rugby, they can go through the middle or find kick-space in behind you.”
We expect the challenge of raising their game to take its toll eventually and, looking at the 5/6.
A Look At British and Irish Lions’ Betting Odds
Places in next Saturday’s team are up for grabs and that should ensure plenty of intensity from the touring team.
Gatland said: “It’s an important game as it’s the final chance for the coaching group to see the players perform prior to the start of the Test series.
“For the matchday 23 it’s their last opportunity to stake a claim for a Test place, so I expect to see a highly motivated group of players.
“Obviously it’s a tight turnaround from Wednesday’s game but we’re in pretty good shape. The South Africa ‘A’ game was a physical encounter – we always knew it would be – but we’ve come out of it pretty much intact and ready to go again.
“We learnt a lot from Wednesday’s game and I hope the defeat will serve us well. There are still some areas of the game we need to tighten up on, particularly reducing our turnover rate.”
It may take a while for the team to gel, though, given the changes Gatland has made.
Marcus Smith will make his Lions debut while Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw makes his first appearance since the curtain-raiser against Japan after finally overcoming a hamstring complaint, with Stuart Hogg returning from self-isolation to lead the team.
With that in mind, we’re backing the hosts with 18.5 points on the first-half handicap at 10/11 as our final Stormers vs Lions prediction.
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