Cape Town – With the Lions top of the South African Conference and the Bulls resurgent, this weekend’s clash between the Sharks and Stormers in Durban is massive for both sides’ playoff ambitions.
It is not quite make or break just yet, but with the season at its half-way stage, neither side can afford too many more slip-ups.
The Sharks have won just two of their eight fixtures so far in 2018 to sit third in the SA Conference on 14 points.
The Stormers have won three of their eight matches, but still find themselves a point behind the Sharks in fourth.
Whoever loses on Saturday will make an already difficult task even tougher as the race for playoff places intensifies.
“There is no doubt that this is an important match for us. If we lose we will be making it very hard for ourselves, but whether or not you could say everything hinges on this game depends on how you look at it,” Stormers assistant coach Paul Feeney said.
“We have eight games left, but we have five home games after this and just two away against the Jaguares and the Sunwolves.
“You have got to look at the draw. Last year we did well early on when we had four home games in our first six matches in the competition. This year we had six away matches in our first nine.
“There will be lots of looking out at how other teams do in the next couple of weeks. The Lions still have to tour and have four games in Australasia. A lot can happen.
“But if we lose on Saturday against the Sharks and then go on to win our next seven games I would reckon that (regardless of what happens elsewhere) we’d be strongly in the mix.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:15.