Following this weekend’s results in which the Lions saw off the Bulls 38 – 12 while the Sharks registered a crucial win against top side; Jaguares in Durban. The results meant that the Sharks sneaked into the playoffs where they will be travelling to Christchurch to play a highly lethal Crusaders team with the home faithful behind them.
Tries from hooker Akker van der Merwe and a second-half score by wing Kobus van Wyk propelled the Sharks into the the quarters in what was the last game of the regular season.
The vibrant Lions host the Jaguares at Ellis Park where a convincing win sees them have a semi final berth at home still against either the Highlanders or the Waratahs providing them with the more realistic route to the finals where anything can happen.
This means that South Africa (Africa’s super rugby representatives) have two franchises in the playoffs which could be bad or good basing on what point of view you choose to look at things from.
The Lions, who have made it a habit to be in the play offs from the South African conference, are the more fortunate with the front foot in their path to the final whereas the Sharks find themselves in the trickiest of positions that require incredible courage to pull off a win against the favorites and defending champions.
THE FULL DRAW
Friday, July 20
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Saturday, July 21
Crusaders v Sharks
Waratahs v Highlanders
Lions v Jaguares