The British and Irish Lions are 3/5 to boost morale by winning the final midweek game of their New Zealand tour against the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Saturday’s 30-15 defeat to the All Blacks has left the Lions facing a daunting task to win the series and they are now 3/10 to suffer a 3-0 whitewash, compared to 16/1 to win the last two Tests.
They are favourites heading into Tuesday’s match against the reigning Super Rugby champions in Wellington at least, with the hosts priced up as the 27/20 underdogs. Saturday’s defeat means places could be up for grabs in the Lions team for the second Test and that gives the players extra incentive to perform, with the Lions available at 33/25 to win by at least eight points.
Liam Williams and Elliot Daly set the tone last week, starring in an impressive victory over the Chiefs and then securing first Test starting places as a result. Full-back Jack Nowell, wing George North and lock Courtney Lawes could be the players who make a statement to Lions head coach Warren Gatland this time round as the tourists look to end their midweek schedule with another victory.
The Lions have already lost two midweek fixtures on tour, being beaten by the Blues and Highlanders, and the Hurricanes are certainly capable of completing a hat-trick for New Zealand's Super Rugby teams. Jordie Barrett and Julian Savea start after being released from All Blacks duty while 2015 World Cup star Nehe Milner-Skudder is another player ready to test the Lions' defence.
Wellington's Westpac Stadium is sold out for the first of two visits by the Lions in five days and the crowd could be in for a thrilling encounter. Either team to win by seven points or less is available at odds of 11/9 while the Hurricanes are 21/20 with a 2.5-point start on the handicap.