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Super Rugby 2019: Sharks v Lions Preview

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

The headline clash of Round 14 will see the Sharks and Lions square off in a South African derby on Saturday the 25th of May.

Saturday’s final Super Rugby fixture is set to be an absolute cracker with the Sharks playing host to local rivals, the Lions. Both teams desperately need the win here with the Sharks three-points off the Conference-leading Bulls and the Lions two points off the men from Pretoria.

Sharks v Lions
Saturday 25 May
Kings Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks 6/10
Draw 25/1

Lions 27/20

Sharks (-3.5) 9/10

Lions (+3.5) 9/10

The Natalians will be looking to do the double over their opponents from Johannesburg having smashed the Lions 5-42 when the two sides met earlier in the season. It’s unlikely to as easy this time around as the Lions are a vastly improved outfit from the one that struggled earlier in the season.

Round 14 saw the Sharks enjoy a much-needed bye that came after their taxing tour of New Zealand and Australia which saw them draw with the Crusaders and claim losing bonus points from their games against the Reds and Chiefs.

Robert du Preez’ men showed a hell of a lot of maturity on tour and were mesmerizing on defence. The tour also saw much hyped Curwin Bosch come to the fore with the young gun putting in some solid attacking displays.

While the Sharks were on tour the Lions were finding their feet back on home soil winning their last two home games – against the Waratahs and Chiefs – after a returning from a decent tour of New Zealand which saw them beat the Chiefs while losing to the Crusaders and Brumbies.

The Lions were in fine fettle last weekend as they beat the Chiefs by nine points. They showed some brilliant moments with ball-in-hand but they were guilty of letting in some soft tries. They can ill afford to be as porous defensively this coming weekend as the Sharks are unlikely to be as generous with the tries as the Highlanders were.

It will be interesting to see how expansive the Lions are this weekend. They have been a lot more pragmatic this year than in previous seasons and they may look to keep things a lot tighter and take kicks at goal instead of going for touch.

Verdict: Lions (+3.5) 9/10
This should be a much tighter game than the previous encounter between these rivals. Both teams are in solid touch and this should be an epic battle. And while I can see the Sharks edging it, I reckon it will be by the narrowest of margins.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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