Monday, December 6, 2021

South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Predictions, Betting Tips And Match Preview 31/07/21

The British & Irish Lions continue their tour of South Africa with a second test match on Saturday evening. 

The Lions are in South Africa for the first time since 2009. They toured Australia in 2013 and New Zealand in 2017 and are now coming to the end of their 2021 tour. 

Having won the first test against the Springboks last week, the Lions are in the perfect position to win the series. A win here will see them go 2-0 up with one game test to play. 

The first test was anything but straightforward, as the Lions saw themselves go in at half time behind courtesy of four penalty goals from South Africa. 

The scores would have been tighter at the break, but the Lions missed two penalties of their own late in the first half to narrow the deficit. 

Warren Gatland’s men came out roaring in the second half though. An early try from Luke Cowan-Dickie sent the Lions on their way, with Dan Biggar landing the conversion. 

Biggar then went on to score three additional penalty goals, before being subbed off. Owen Farrell put the game beyond all doubt with a penalty in the 78th minute to give the Lions the advantage in the series. 

There’s all to play for in the second test match this Saturday. The Lions will be looking to tie up the series, while South Africa will be trying to get back into it. 

Below, we’ll preview this international rugby union fixture and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland is looking to secure the series against South Africa with a game to spare…

South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Predictions 

Gatland’s men have enjoyed a prosperous tour of the southern hemisphere this summer. Of their seven games so far, they’ve won six of them. 

The first was a 28-10 win over Japan, before beating South African club Lions 56-14. That gave the visitors plenty of confidence heading into their other games. 

A duo of demolition jobs against South African club Sharks followed. The first was a 54-7 facile victory followed by a slightly more competitive match that ended 71-31 in the visitors’ favour. 

The game after those big wins was the Lions’ only defeat so far on this tour. It came at the hands of South Africa, but was a 17-13 loss to the South Africa B team. 

They bounced back with a strong performance against the Stormers a few days later. The 49-3 win over the local side saw the Lions go into the first test match with South Africa with confidence high again. 

They made it count too, in a very tense game the Lions squeezed to a 22-17 win at the Cape Town Stadium. That was with Owen Farrell on the bench too, so it will be interesting to see if the Englishman gets a starting berth in this one. 

Biggar’s kicking was key to that comeback win for the Lions though. So Gatland has a bit of a selection headache on his hands ahead of the second clash.

One thing’s for sure, it’s set to be another tight, competitive game between these old rivals. Can the Lions wrap up the series with a game to spare? Or will the Springboks take it to a deciding final test? 

Read on for our South Africa vs British & Irish Lions predictions and best bets.

The Springboks won the 2009 series…

South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Head to Head

The most recent clashes between the Lions and South Africa came in the 2009 tour. The hosts took the first test in a thrilling contest by a 26-21 scoreline. 

It was an even tighter game next time around, as the Springboks won by a 28-25 scoreline to secure the series before the final test match. The Lions did win that one 28-9, but it was of little consequence. 

The Lions won the series previous to that all the way back in 1997. The visitors won the first two tests 25-16 and 18-15, before losing the final test 35-16 to win the series 2-1. 

South Africa won the series before that, which was back in 1980. Again, the Springboks won the opening two tests and lost the final one to win the series 2-1. 

As these games come around so rarely, the head to heads don’t provide much in the way of indication of how this game will go. 

There does appear to be a pattern however. The last few series, the overall victor has won the opening two games. The Lions have already won the first test, so the pattern suggests they will  win this game also. 

South Africa Team News – L W W W W

Handre Pollard kicked 12 points in the first test match last week. A couple of missed penalties could have seen the game drawn if scored missed, but he’s unlikely to be punished. We expect him to start here.

Scrum-half Faf de Klerk scored South Africa’s only try in the first test match. The 29 year old, who plays his club rugby at Sale Sharks in England, is likely to start here. 

de Klerk’s Sharks teammate Makazole Mapimpi is also expected to begin the match for South Africa. The winger was part of the 2019 World Cup winning team and scored a try against England in the final. 

Danny Biggar’s kicking was key to the Lions’ win in the first test…

British & Irish Lions Team NewsW W L W W 

The Lions are expected to be largely unchanged from their good win last week against the Springboks. 

Luke Cowan-Dickie scored the Lions’ only try in last week’s first test match. The Hooker, who plays for Exeter Chiefs in the English Premiership, is expected to get the nod again for this. 

Despite the vast experience that Owen Farrell brings to the team, the kicking from Biggar was what won the Lions the game last time. Our South Africa v British & Irish Lions predictions expect the latter to start again. 

English duo Courtney Lawes and Tom Curry are also expected to get a start again here. Both flankers were subbed in last week’s game but put in excellent shifts to warrant more playing time. 

South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Betting Tips

The first test was so tight that the two teams can hardly be separated in the betting. Likely due to the win in the first test, the visitors are slight favourites at 4/5 in our South Africa v British & Irish Lions match bets.

It’s a must-win game for the hosts if they are to keep their hope of winning the series alive. The traders have the Springboks priced up at 21/20 to win this one. 

Draws are rare in this sport and the fact that you can back this one to end all square at 20/1 reflects that. However, if South Africa had converted all of their kicks last week, the game would have ended 22-22. Stranger things have happened…

The last three series victors have won the opening two tests with a game to spare. The Lions already have one win under their belt and we’re backing them to go and do it again. 

South Africa vs British & Irish Lions Recommended Bets

British & Irish Lions to win @ 4/5 

Under 35.5 match points @ 17/10 

South Africa/British & Irish Lions (HT/HT) @ 5/1

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