It’s all to play for in the last round of Rainbow Cup South Africa fixtures, as the Bulls and Sharks do battle for a place in the North – South final.
Jake White’s side are the men in possession as they head to Durban on Saturday evening, with a four-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Stormers and Lions, meanwhile were due to meet at the Cape Town Stadium a little earlier in the day in their last hit out before the new Currie Cup campaign.
But a Covid-19 outbreak among the Johannesburg side put paid to the fixture, with the home side instead awarded four meaningless points.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Rugby predictions for 12 June
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based on publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Due to the notoriously unreliable nature of consistent statistics for rugby union fixtures, the points margin prediction will draw from a variety of sources – including Rugby Vision, Rugby4Cast and Stats Chat NZ. Additionally, because of the restricting of so many competitions, Rainbow Cup predictions won’t always use the Usual Win % metric as some other competitions do. Instead, win % of in last ten fixtures will be used.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Stormers vs Lions [CANCELLED]
The Rainbow Cup South Africa clash between the Stormers and Lions has been cancelled after a Covid-19 outbreak in the visitors’ camp.
SA’s bottom two teams were due to polish off their campaigns at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
But Friday’s announcement saw four points awarded to John Dobson’s men.
It caps a frustrating competition for the pair, with the Johannesburg side out of the reckoning early doors thanks to defeats in their opening three matches.
The hosts, meanwhile, continued the theme of late drama last weekend as they slipped to a loss away to the Bulls that put the kibosh on their own ambitions of topping the log.
Rainbow Cup South Africa: Sharks vs Bulls
A place in the Rainbow Cup final awaits as the Sharks host the Bulls in the South Africa conference’s final round of fixtures on Saturday.
Kings Park is the venue for the showdown, with the Bulls jetting down to Durban with a four-point lead at the summit.
That leaves the home side needing a bonus point victory to pip Jake White’s men at the top and book their flight to Italy for the North – South showpiece.
A second last-gasp win over the Stormers in the competition kept the Pretoria side out in front, while the Sharks cruised past the rock bottom Lions at Emirates Airline Park.
Marcell Coetzee will have a bash in the number eight jersey following last weekend’s injury to Duane Vermeulen.
Janko Swanepoel gets the nod in the locks, while Marco van Staden comes on to the flank for the do-or-die encounter.
The home side are dealing with a number of absentees, some on enforced rest ahead of their Springbok commitments, although skipper Lukhanyo Am and Bok leader Siya Kolisi will both start.
Fly-half Curwin Bosch and Aphelele Fassi also return to give the backline a boost.
But they were dealt a further blow when World Cup-winning wing Makazole Mapimpi pulled out on the eve of the game thanks to a calf problem.
Sharks Starting XV: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Marius Louw, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 JJ van der Mescht, 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 James Venter, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Bulls Starting XV: 15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 7 Ruan Nortje, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Muller Uys, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Gio Aplon, 24 Robert Hunt, 25 Jan Uys, 26 Dawid Kellerman, 27 Richard Kriel.