Following an impressive performance against the Sharks on Wednesday night, Owen Farrell showed how valuable he can be as lead playmaker for the Lions. But with two other contenders for the position, who will coach Warren Gatland opt for?
The British and Irish Lions beat a fairly young and inexperienced Sharks outfit 54-7 Johannesburg’s empty Emirates Airline Park. The match went ahead despite concerns over coronavirus infections within the touring group.
Duhan van der Merwe scored a hattrick against his countrymen while Josh Adam scored twice.
Farrell was influential as ever, putting through a neat grubber for Van der Merwe as well as standing up on defence. His performance showed that even though he’s been favoured at center in international rugby, he is a hugely valuable asset at flyhalf.
The Supersport panel of former Springboks debated if Dan Biggar or Finn Russell should get the nod ahead of him.
“Whether it’s 10 or 12, he has to start. Farrell.. he’s a winner and he’s got to be in that starting lineup, so it’s about who they sacrifice,” said former Bok captain John Smit.
“Ten is unbelievably competitive. There’s three really good choices there.”
Announced today, the Sharks will get another chance to face the British and Irish Lions after it was decided that they will replace the Bulls on Saturday.
The fixture against the Bulls was cancelled after they were ruled out because of COVID-19 infections.
“The choice of the Cell C Sharks was dictated by the fact that they have been in a bubble, have returned negative tests throughout and were prepared to take on the fixture,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“No other team in the country could meet those conditions right now – without going into a five-day lockdown. It is not an ideal situation, but COVID-19 has made sure that we do not live in an ideal world.”
Highlights from the Sharks vs British & Irish Lions game: