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Match Reports - Friday 19 June 2009 - 11:50

South Africa v British & Irish Lions

ABSA Stadium (Kings Park) – Port Elizabeth

Date:16 June 2009 – Kick Off 3pm local time (2pm BST)

UK Television: Sky Sports 1 & HD 1 (1.30pm)

Weather: Sunny, Max 24 degrees

Referee:Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Assistant Referees: Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Television Match Official:Christophe Berdos (France)

Assessor:Tappe Henning

Timekeeper:Paul Ackermann

South Africa

1. 1. Tendai (the Beast) Mtawarira

2. Bismark du Plessis

3. John Smit (captain)

4. Bakkies Botha

5. Victor Matfield

6. Heinrich Brussow

7. Juan Smith

8. Pierre Spies

9. Fourie du Preez

10. Ruan Pienaar

11. Bryan Habana

12. Jean de Villiers

13. Adrian Jacobs

14. JP Pietersen

15. Frans Steyn

Replacements

16. Gurthro Steenkamp

17. Deon Carstens

18. Andries Bekker

19. Danie Rossouw

20. Ricky Januarie

21. Jaque Fourie

22. Morne Steyn

British & Irish Lions

15. Lee Byrne (Ospreys/Wales)

14. Tommy Bowe (Ospreys/Ireland)

13. Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland)

12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales)

11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins/England)

10. Stephen Jones (Scarlets/Wales)

9. Mike Phillips (Ospreys/Wales)

8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland)

7. David Wallace (Munster/Ireland)

6. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)

5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland) captain

4. Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales)

3. Phil Vickery (Wasps/England)

2. Lee Mears (Bath/England)

1. Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues/Wales)

Replacements:

16. Matthew Rees (Scarlets/Wales)

17. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)

18. Donnacha O’Callaghan (Munster/Ireland)

19. Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales)

20. Harry Ellis(Leicester/England)

21. Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)

22. Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland)

Match Preview

With the Springboks announcing a predictably strong line up the emphasis is on the Lions to compete. Peter de Villiers team is exactly as will be expected by the Lions with the exception of bringing in the outstanding Heinrich Brussouw.

The flanker, coming into the side in place of Schalk Burger who has not recovered fitness in time for the first test, appeared earlier in the tour against the Lions for the Cheetahs, and gave O’Connell and co a lesson in how to slow down and steal ball effectively, something the Lions have been failing to do so far this tour.

Brussouw’s inclusion is by no means a weakness for the Springboks, if anything it further strengthens the case of the Bok fans and media who are predicting a white wash in the test series against the Lions.

Ian McGeechan has other ideas however and will be relying upon his set of in-form key players like Brian O’Driscoll, Lee Byrne David Wallace and skipper Paul O’Connell to stand up and be counted.

The Lions team has a familiar look about it. It has been widely expected, with only the inclusion likes of David Wallace and Ugo Monye representing anything like much of a surprise.

Wallace was favoured over the slightly lighter frame of Martyn Williams who has been selected on the bench. Monye has made the team over his counter parts Luke Fitzgerald and Shane Williams, neither of whom have been selected on the bench with the in-form full back Rob Kearney selected to cover all three positions.

The sides are strong enough to prove not too a lopsided contest. The Springboks have the edge at lock and in the back row, but the Lions have a stronger back line and have the edge in the front row.

The kicking contest will be key if the Lions want to win this game. If they have kick like they have been kicking over the last few weeks then the likes of Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and the electric number 8 Pierre Spies will take pleasure in running the ball back at the Lions all day long.

The Lions will need to ensure their territory and possession is good and not get caught at the breakdown as they have been and it should be a fairly even contest.

The Lions need to win this first test if they are to have any chance in the series as it will be almost impossible to win the second test at altitude in Pretoria. The Lions must hope they can secure a tight win in Durban in order to keep the series going into the final week when we believe it will come down to the third and final test.

Lions-Tour.com Prediction

Well, the head says the Boks but the heart says the Lions. We think it will be very close with the Lions being under the cosh for most of the game, but to come out with the much needed win to set up the final two tests nicely. Lions to win by 6.

South Africa 15 British & Irish Lions 21

Betting – South Africa Tipped To Tame Lions

- Paddy Power’s Lion’s Series Betting Preview -

South Africa are the hot favourites when the much awaited Lions Test series gets underway next week. Bookie Paddy Power is offering 1/3 for the world champions to win the three match series with Paul O’Connell’s men 9/4 – a price so far proving irresistible to patriotic punters.

The Lions are also proving popular to win the First Test at 5/2, a game that many see as being their best chance of victory as the only match of the three at sea-level. Indeed Paddy Power are offering 5/1 for The Lions to win the First Test and South Africa to come back to win the remaining two games.

A South Africa whitewash is just 5/4 whereas the bookie is offering 16/1 for The Lions to win the series 3-0. The last time the Lions toured South Africa was in 1997 when a Jeremy Guscott drop kick won the series – Paddy Power offer 33/1 for any Lions player to repeat the thrilling finale this time round in 2009.

Paddy Power, spokesman for the bookie, said: “We traditionally fear an Irish or English win in the Six Nations due to the patriotic punt but for the Lions we’ve got money coming from all four countries. If Paul O’Connell’s boys triumph in South Africa, the bookies will be heading for a mauling from Lions punters.”

99!

Lions trips to South Africa have been famously bruising encounters down the years and Paddy Power is betting on which team will have most players sent to the sin-bin over the course of the series. The Lions are 8/11 favourites to South Africa’s evens

money for most sin bins whilst Paddy Power are offering 10/3 for two or three Lions sin bins and 12/1 for seven or more.

FIRST TEST

1st Test Match Betting

2/7 South Africa

5/2 Lions

25/1 Draw

Handicap Betting

10/11 South Africa -8

10/11 Lions +8

20/1 H’Cap Draw

1st Test Starting Winger (to partner Tommy Bowe)

Evs Fitzgerald

2/1 S Williams

5/2 U Monye

TEST SERIES

Series Winners

1/3 South Africa

9/4 Lions

25/1 Draw

Series Correct Score

2/1 South Africa 2-1

5/4 South Africa 3-0

3/1 Lions 2-1

16/1 Lions 3-0

25/1 Draw 1-1

51 Lions to win 1st Test, S Africa to win 2nd and 3rd

16/1 S Africa to win 1st Test, Lions to win 2nd & 3rd

33/1 Any Lions player to win the series with a drop-goal

Lions 1st Try Nationality

8/13 Ireland

6/4 Wales

10/1 England

25/1 Scotland

TEST SERIES SINNERS

Who will have most sin-bins during the Test Series

8/11 Lions

Evs S Africa

How many Lions sin-bins during the Test series

7/1 None

4/1 One

10/3 Two

10/3 Three

4/1 Four

6/1 Five

8/1 Six

12/1 Seven or more

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