British and Irish Lions Tour: Hurricanes v British and Irish Lions Preview


The British and Irish Lions midweek side will take on the Hurricanes in the final midweek game of their 2017 tour. 

The big guns failed to fire against the All Blacks at the weekend so it’s up to the midweek British and Irish Lions side to salvage some pride for the northern hemisphere. They will be hard tasked in achieving this objective, however, as they are taking on a Hurricanes side that contains the most lethal centre pairing in Super Rugby as well as magicians Jordie Barrett and Nehe Milner-Skudder.

Hurricanes v British and Irish Lions | Tuesday 27 June | Westpac Stadium | 09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Hurricanes 16/10 | Draw 25/1 | Lions 5/10
Hurricanes (+4.5) 9/10 | Lions (-4.5) 9/10

I cannot understate just how good this Hurricanes squad is. You’ve got the two leading try scorers in Super Rugby playing alongside each other in the centres while a back three of Nehe Milner-Skudder, Jordie Barrett and Julian Savea could cause even the world’s best defence – something which this Lions midweek team is far off being – loads of problems.

Don’t for one minute think the Hurricanes will be solely reliant on their backs to guide them to victory. No dear reader, that couldn’t be further from the case as the ‘Canes also possess a quality forward pack which will see recent All Black call-up Vaea Fafetia link up with Brad Shields and Callum Gibbins in a menacing looking back row. The front row isn't bad either with wily Ben May sure to cause his opposite number all sorts of problems.

The midweek side really has improved on this tour and last week’s 6-34 victory over the Chiefs underlined just how far they’ve come from the bumbling bunch that took to the field at the beginning of the month. It must be noted, though, that the Chiefs were far from full strength, and while the Lions midweek outfit did run in some outstanding tries, last week’s opponents really struggled with ball-in-hand. The Hurricanes are unlikely to be as tame on attack and the Lions will need to maintain their defensive line structure if they are to avoid shipping a plethora of tries.

The Lions haven’t made too many changes from the side that thumped the Chiefs last week with the only switches to the run on XV seeing Jonathon Joseph come in at outside centre for Irishman Jarryd Payne and Welsh giant George North get a start on the wing in place of Elliot Daily.

Verdict: Hurricanes (+4.5) 9/10
I quite fancy the Hurricanes here. Yeah, they’re missing their indomitable halfback pairing but there’s still enough quality floating around the side to see them to a win. A small stake on the win and a moderate strike on the plus is my call for this one.

Written by Darry Worthington for!

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