Rebels v Lions Super Rugby Preview

Out of the last two Super Rugby matches that the Melbourne Rebels and the Johannesburg Lions have played the Johannesburg side have won both.

The Rebels and the Lions have only played each other twice even though this is the Rebels fifth year in Super Rugby as they missed each other in the draw and the Lions were replaced by the Kings in 2013.

Both matches between the Rebels and the Lions were played in Johannesburg so the Lions had home advantage which makes this match the first between the teams in Australia where the Rebels will have home advantage.

The average score when the Rebels play the Lions is : Rebels 25 Lions 36.

This year the Rebels have played just two matches at home in Melbourne and they have lost both matches. There were however against the current champions and the current tournament leaders. Ironically they have played two away matches (Crusaders and the Force) and they won both of those.

In 2014 the Rebels won 3 out of 8 home matches or 38% of their home matches. In comparison the Lions played 8 away matches in 2014 and they won one. Their one away victory was against the Cheetahs which is in South Africa.

The last time the Lions won on Australian soil was in May 2011 when they beat the Brumbies. Lions fans will be quick to note that they beat the Blues in New Zealand two weeks ago and before that their most recent win on NZ soil was also in 2011.

While history has a habit of repeating itself history also shows us that the Lions rarely win in Australasia and since 1998 they have only won two matches on tour (Australia and New Zealand) twice. The other time was in 2001.

The Lions have made an interesting selection call by starting both Elton Jantjies and Marnitz Boshoff as well as a host of changes in the forwards. This is the Lions third week away from home so the number of changes could be down to tour fatigue.

The Rebels have made just one change for this week with Mike Harris starting at flyhalf to win his 50th Super Rugby cap.

The Rebels will go into the match with some confidence after they comfortably beat the Force in Perth last weekend and looked to have found their mojo again. The Lions on the other hand were well beaten by the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend.

The Bookies have given the Lions an 8 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Rebels will have home advantage and will be less fatigued than the Lions in this. The Rebels should win by 6.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 1/HD.

Average score:Rebels 25 Lions 36

Last two results
04 Jul 2014 Rebels v Lions 17-34 Johannesburg
07 Jul 2012 Rebels v Lions 32-37 Johannesburg

Lions overall record against the Rebels
Played 2 , Wins 0 , Losses 2 , Draws 0

Match No.35: Rebels v Lions
Date : Friday 20 March 2015
Venue : AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick Off local: 19:40 local, 21:00 NZDT, 10:40 SAST
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1:Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 2:Will Houston
TMO : James Leckie

Teams

Rebels

1. Toby Smith ,2. Pat Leafa ,3. Laurie Weeks ,4. Luke Jones ,5. Lopeti Timani ,6. Sean McMahon ,7. Scott Fuglistaller,8. Scott Higginbotham ,9. Nic Stirzaker ,10. Mike Harris ,11. Tom English ,12. Mitch Inman ,13. Tamati Ellison ,14. Dom Shipperley ,15. Jonah Placid *

Replacements: 16. Tom Sexton #,17. Cruze Ah-Nau,18. Paul Alo-Emile,19. Steve Cummins ,20. Colby Fainga’a ,21. Luke Burgess ,22. Bryce Hegarty ,23. Sefanaia Naivalu

* Denotes Rebels debut
# Denotes potential Super Rugby debut

Lions

15. Jaco van der Walt , 14. Sampie Mastriet , 13. Lionel Mapoe , 12. Elton Jantjies , 11. Courtnall Skosan , 10. Marnitz Boshoff , 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley (c) , 7. Warwick Tecklenburg , 6. Derick Minnie , 5. Franco Mostert , 4. Robert Kruger , 3. Ruan Dreyer , 2. Armand van der Merwe , 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Replacements : 16. Robbie Coetzee , 17. Corne Fourie , 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Andries Ferreira , 20. Jaco Kriel , 21. Ross Cronje , 22. Harold Vorster , 23. Andries Coetzee

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