Lions to sneak it by 2 - bookies
Cape Town - The Lions will beat the Highlanders in a tight Super Rugby quarter-final on Saturday, if local bookmakers are to be believed.
The defending champions beat the Lions 34-15 in Dunedin earlier this year but Saturday’s clash is a home game for the men from Johannesburg.
Local bookmakers, Sportingbet.co.za, have backed the Lions to win by 2 points.
In the last eight duels between the two sides, the winner has alternated each time.
Earlier on Saturday (09:35 SA time), the Hurricanes host the Chiefs in Wellington, with the bookmakers predicting a 4-point win for the 'Canes.
The Lions though will hope the Chiefs upset the apple cart as that scenario would see them host the final - provided they beat the Highlanders.
Saturday's clash at Ellis Park is scheduled for 15:00.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith
Substitutes: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Steph de Witt, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Jaco van der Walt
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Substitutes: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Dan Pryor, 22 Te Aihe Toma, 23 Marty Banks
Lions v Highlanders Super Rugby head-to-head (home team first):
1996: Highlanders 29-15 Transvaal
1997: Gauteng Lions 47-29 Highlanders
2007: Lions 11-6 Highlanders
2008: Highlanders 29-20 Lions
2009: Lions 27-22 Highlanders
2010: Highlanders 39-29 Lions
2011: Highlanders 22-26 Lions
2014: Highlanders 23-22 Lions
2015: Lions 28-23 Highlanders
2016: Highlanders 34-15 Lions
Notes: Matches between 1998 and 2006 are not taken into consideration by SANZAAR as the Lions were part of the Cats franchise.
In 2006, the Lions were still called the Cats, despite the Cheetahs participating on their own in the competition. For the record, the Highlanders beat the Cats 16-14 in Invercargill that year.
The Lions were called Transvaal in 1996 and Gauteng Lions in 1997.