Gavin Hastings' 3rd Test Predictions: Lions to seal dramatic series win



Make no mistake: Saturday's decisive test match is the biggest game of rugby to take place in Australia for ten years. It's almost like a World Cup final. It's the biggest game these Lions players will have in their careers, and the same could be true for many of the Australians too. The atmosphere is going to be phenomenal.

The Lions just didn't play well enough in the second test last week, but I'm still convinced we will win if we can match the Australians in try scoring. Doing that would allow the Lions' superior goal kicking to come to the fore but it won't be easy, as we saw last week. The key will be playing with more attacking intent. The selection of Jamie Roberts should help in that respect: he will bring some extra impetus to the side in attacking areas.

Australia could be lifted by the return of George Smith, who will become the first Australian player to face two different Lions sides since the four-year touring cycle was adopted. It's an incredible achievement to still be going strong 12 years after his first taste of rivalry with the Lions. The Aussies will hope his experience and guile will be crucial.


It's going to be an incredibly close game once more; the margins in this series have been so small and I can't see that changing on Saturday. Because there is so much at stake, we're unlikely to see an open, flowing game, so the series could be settled by the odd kick.

Warren Gatland has put a lot of faith in Welsh players on this tour and will be hoping that they produce the kind of performance they did against England in the Six Nations. If the Welsh contingent can match the intensity they showed in that victory, the Lions will feel confident of dominating Australia.

Gatland's decision to leave out Brian O'Driscoll is undoubtedly a brave one. The Irish centre has a wealth of experience and would love to be involved on Saturday, but I'm sure he will accept Gatland's choice should the Lions get the all-important victory. O'Driscoll is a model professional and has the respect of every single player on the tour - there's no way he will be upsetting the morale of the squad, even though he will be massively disappointed.

I'm backing the Lions to sneak a narrow victory. Matches of this importance are usually nail-biters and I think this series will go right to the wire. I think Mike Phillips will have a huge game for the Lions on Saturday - he'd be my pick to score the opening try. 

Now, sit back in your armchair and enjoy the match!

Scottish rugby union legend Gavin Hastings captained the British Lions in the 1993 tour to New Zealand and top scored in that series with 38 points. He is a Unibet Armchair Expert and will be providing us with his thoughts on this year's tour as part of Unibet's UK Summer of Sport.


Back the Lions to win by 1-5 points at 5.50.

Back Mike Phillips to score the first try at 21.00.