Injuries and high-paying contracts have been a pain, but there is some comfort to be had.
Whatever happens to the Stormers on Saturday it is the New Zealand team that has been the most destructive this season.
The departure of rugby stalwarts opens the doors for younger players – and new coaches – to shine.
Saturday's pivotal Super Rugby derby is set to be a battle royal with the conference title at stake.
For several teams this weekend's rugby action will determine who can still secure a play-off spot.
The struggling Cheetahs have been tamed this season but the Lions have regained their roar.
Traditionalists will be happy to see that playing rugby the old-fashioned way pays off.
With the play-offs in sight, it's a tricky time for those teams that have worked consistently.
Getting the fans behind the team by playing pleasing rugby can be a recipe for success.
The season has shown a marked turnaround in performances, led by the indomitable Lions.