Lions face must win second test
Frank Monkhouse | 1 July 2017
British and Irish side out for revenge
Lions face New Zealand in the second test on Saturday morning, with every player in the dressing room knowing just how important it is to get the win. Victory would set-up a thrilling finish, defeat would be almost impossible to take.
Billed as a do or die match, Coral traders don’t give our boys much hope, pricing them as outsiders to pull off an upset, and with the handicap set at 14 points, our team really are expecting a mauling. Disagree? Click here to have your say.
Little chance of an upset
The Lions were battered 30-15 in Auckland by the same opponent last week, a result that left them licking their wounds, and had many fans questioning just why we bother sending our side into battle against the All Blacks. The schedule is already stretched thin. If they get turned over again in the second test, support will dwindle further.
Will Lions set the record straight in Wellington? There was enough in the first half performance last week to suggest they could very well cause a stir, the sides going into the break with the score sitting at 13-8. The phrase must win is thrown around in sport all too often these days, but if this isn’t must win for the guests, it’s as close as they’ll get to it. There’s a chunky 5/1 about the underdogs winning to set up a decider, and if you want to give them the benefit of a 14-point head-start, we’ll give you even money.
Will Gartland’s gamble pay-off?
Fans and members of the press were caught off-guard as coach Warren Gartland gambled with his second test line-up, and the 53-year-old’s reputation as leader of the Lions will rest on the result of this weekend’s tussle. A tactical genius with balls of steel, or a coach out of touch with fans. We’ll soon find out.
The boss ruffled feathers when announcing he was calling on Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell to join forces. Sexton has been knocked up as a 13/2 shot to score a try at any time during the match, while teammate Farrell can be had at 9/2. Can’t see past another New Zealand win? They’re 1/6 to stick the boot in, or evens -14 on the handicap.