The 2021 Rainbow Cup rugby action reaches the third round of fixtures in South Africa this weekend, with two more fixtures this Saturday.
Something has to give at Loftus Versfeld as the competition’s two unbeaten sides face off when the Bulls host the Sharks.
They follow on from the lunchtime kick off down the road in Johannesburg that sees the Lions and the Stormers battle it out for a first win of the campaign.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Rugby predictions for 15 May
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based on publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Due to the notoriously unreliable nature of consistent statistics for rugby union fixtures, the points margin prediction will draw from a variety of sources – including Rugby Vision, Rugby4Cast and Stats Chat NZ. Additionally, because of the restricting of so many competitions, Rainbow Cup predictions does not use the Usual Win % metric as some other competitions do and use win % of the team’s last ten fixtures instead.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Lions vs Stormers
The Lions and Stormers go toe-to-toe at Ellis Park on Saturday lunchtime, with both sides itching to seal the first win of their respective Rainbow Cup South Africa campaigns.
It’s a much-depleted Stormers side that heads to Johannesburg off the back of home defeats to both the Sharks and the Bulls.
Pieter-Steph du Toit is rested as he eases his way back into action, while Marvin Orie has joined the ranks of injured players which already includes the likes of Nama Xaba and Kade Wolhuter.
The home side have fallen prey away to the same opposition in the opening two rounds, losing out at Kings Park and Loftus Versfeld.
Burger Odendaal will captain the hosts from inside centre, while Jordan Hendrikse gets the nod at fly-half and Springbok international Willem Alberts makes it as far as the bench.
Lions Starting XV: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 André Warner, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 MJ Pelser, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.
Replacements: 16 PJ Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Dan Kriel.
Stormers Starting XV: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Allister Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Johan du Toit, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Tim Swiel.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Bulls vs Sharks
At least one perfect record will bite the dust on Saturday evening, as the Bulls host the Sharks in the third round of Rainbow Cup South Africa action.
The Sharks head to Pretoria off the back of a comfortable home win over the Lions, following their 33-30 burglary of the Stormers at the Cape Town Stadium on the opening day.
Two ticks in the win column also belong to the Bulls, who saw off the Stormers last weekend having already breezed past the Lions in the Jukskei Derby.
Returning Arno Botha brings his experience to the flank in place of Elrigh Louw, while Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane finds a spot among the replacements.
Bulls Starting XV: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Janse van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Zak Burger, 22 Chris Smith, 23 James Verity-Amm.
Sharks Starting XV: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok.