It’s a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride for the Lions, who’ve finished as runners-up three years in a row. Is 2019 the year they finally win that title, or will the departure of key players see them derailed?
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Sharks vs Lions
Super Rugby, 1 July, 2018
|Kings Park Stadium|
|Fulltime - Sharks 31, Lions 24|
|Referee: Jaco Peyper|
|Touch judges: AJ Jacobs & Stuart Berry|
|TMO: Marius Jonker|
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The Sharks will be attempting to keep their finals chances alive when they face the Lions in the first week back from the June international window. Join The Roar for live scores from 1:15am (AEST).
The one thing going for the Sharks as they come into this crucuial fixture out of the international window is their record at Kings Park.
They have more or less turned their home ground into a fortress, winning five of six games there this season.
Despite that, it hasn’t been a season to remember for the Robert du Preez coached team. They come into the final three weeks of the season sitting in ninth place, six competition points behind the eighth-placed Rebels with an abysmal away record bringing about their undoing.
While the Durban-based outfit have been strong in their attack throughout the season, the same can’t be said for their defence, with a majority of their games proving hard to control and stay in.
On the other hand, the Lions have been the best South African team by a considerable distance. That doesn’t necessarily mean excellence with eight wins from 14 games, but they have all but secured the stop spot int he conference, a win here confirming it.
It comes as little surprise either. They won two straight heading into the international break and will be keen to keep pressing forward afterwards, building form ahead of the finals series.
The Lions have the best attacking record in the competition, with 457 points to their name and it should be enough to push them over the line in plenty of games at the business end.
The Sharks struggled in the lead-up to the break, yet have been really strong at home this season. Still, it’s hard to see them picking up the win over the Lions as they wrap up the South African conference and a home quarter-final in a couple of weeks time.
Lions by 12.
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