Why the Lions will roar & Sharks will soar – the Fans’ call invited Sharks and Lions fans to tell us why their team will win this weekend’s Super Rugby opener.

The mood was one of optimism from both camps and also one of respect for the quality of opposition. The general theme was it would be tight and a converted try would separate the teams.

We picked one contributor from each team to give us their insight and preview to the game.

Byron C Stewart: Lions View

This will be Thomas du Toit’s first serious game at tighthead. He will struggle against a powerful forward pack.
The Lions rarely lose at home and (Warren) Whiteley will be back on the field and leading.

The pace of the game will be too much for the against a super fit (as always) Lions team at altitude. The
Springbok centres of the Lions (selection should be on merit) for Lions will give scoring opportunities out wide and (Elton) Jantjies knows how to control the game with Lions brand of rugby. The new defence and forward’s coaches want to prove their worth.

Lions to win 30-25

Mark Barndard: Sharks View

The opening game of the Sharks’ Super Rugby campaign should see them take a win out against the Lions, given a number of factors that were evident in their warm-up matches against the Bulls and Racing 92 (Both away, so Jo’burg shouldn’t prove too much of a factor!).

The Sharks traditionally boast a solid forward pack, and that will again be the case this season as shown by the two 31-14 wins gained off the aggressive, physical performances the big men put in for those fixtures. However, that’s not the primary thing giving the Sharks an edge this season – some astute recruiting and hard work among the backs rewarded the hard work done up front with better finishing than was previously the case, with smart hands unlocking the defence on both occasions.

Variation off the boot also seems to be something they’ve worked on, and their own defence remains a key pillar of their game.

Sharks to win 24-20

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