The Sharks host the Stormers before the Bulls make the trip down the N1 to face the Lions this weekend's Rainbow Cup SA action.
Take a look at the hightlights from last week's game between the Bulls and the Sharks.
The Rainbow Cup SA will enter its second half this week with the Bulls controlling things atop the table following theirs 43-9 win over the Sharks. The KZN franchise lie second, followed by the Stormers and the winless Lions.
This weekend’s action features Coastal and Inland Derbies, let’s get to it!
Sharks v Stormers
Saturday 22 May
To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks (-4.5) 9/10
Stormers (+4.5) 9/10
We head to Durban for our first clash of the weekend which sees the Sharks tackle the Stormers in the second coastal derby of the tournament. The first clash between the sides was a highly entertaining one with the Sharks edging a high-scoring thriller in Cape Town 30-33.
Since then, the Sharks were solid against the Lions in a comfortable enough 34-26 victory and were in with a shout against the Bulls last week, before a calamitous second-half showing saw them suffer a 43-9 defeat.
The men from Durban may well have struggled in the altitude of the Highveld, but coach Sean Everitt would not have been happy shipping 40 unanswered points in the second half. Certainly, the Sharks’ defence is better than this result suggests and a big showing will be required against the Stormers to get their campaign back on track.
The Stormers, meanwhile, had no business beating the Lions last week at Emirates Airline Park. They trailed the Jo’burg franchise by 8 points with fewer than four minutes to play. Dan du Plessis crossed for a try before Tim Swiel kicked an 83rd minute penalty to bag the win.
Certainly, the Sharks won’t be as charitable as the Lions this weekend, but the Stormers will smell blood. the KZN side will be without the services of Sikhumbuzo Notshe who will be unavailable for “a few months” after rupturing his patella tendon. Dylan Richardson is also out for the remainder of the round-robin phase of the tournament.
The Stormers, meanwhile, welcome back a host of stars this weekend. Locking pair JD Schickerling and Marvin Orie are back in the starting line-up along with Pieter-Steph du Toit and centre Ruhan Nel.
Verdict: Stormers (+4.5) 9/10
These fixtures have had a strange theme of going the way of the away side in recent years and I think we may get a decent showing from the Stormers after their morale-boosting come from behind victory over the Lions.
Take a look at the hightlights from last week's game between the Lions and the Stormers .
Lions v Bulls
Saturday 22 May
Emirates Airline Park
To Win (80 Mins)
Lions (+9.5) 9/10
Bulls (-9.5) 9/10
Moving on now, and the Lions will be looking for their first win of the campaign when they take on the table-topping Bulls in the second of the tournament’s Jukskei derbies.
The hosts have played some decent rugby during the Rainbow Cup SA but are yet to string a full 80-minute performance together. They fell to pieces during the latter phases of last week’s clash against the Stormers to eventually go down by two points.
The Bulls, on the other hand, have been a model of consistency this term winning all three of their fixtures. And while their fixture against the Sharks last week proved to be a first-half arm wrestle, the Bulls would run away with things in the second stanza.
What was even more impressive about the performance was that it was the second time this season that the Bulls have kept an opponent from scoring a try in a game.
Verdict: Bulls (-9.5) 9/10
I can see another late blitz from the Bulls seeing them past a Lions side that has really struggled on defence this term.