South African Super Rugby teams the Stormers and the Bulls have both made "emergency" player signings early in the season.
The Cape rugby team have something to prove after a public dressing down from captain Jean de Villiers.
The Lions have beaten the Stormers 34-10 for their first victory against the coastal side since the Cats franchise dissolved before the 2006 season.
The Stormers denied the Bulls top spot in the Super Rugby table with a 30-13 win at Newlands on Saturday, the last match of the regular season.
The Stormers have made seven changes to their team for the final match of their Super Rugby overseas tour against the Rebels in Melbourne, Australia.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was pleased by the opportunities his side created in their 18-17 loss against the Blues, despite his criticism.
As the team reels from the Cheetahs' jaws into Shark bait territory, a golden era has been tarnished.
The banning of the ever-improving prop Steven Kitshoff will hit the Stormers hard when play against an All Black front row, says the Stormers' coach.
It might look impossible, but things are beginning to stack up in favour of the Sharks in the Super Rugby tournament, writes Andy Capostagno.
The Sharks wrapped up another superb performance, securing a 26-19 win over the Stormers in the Super Rugby semifinal at Newlands.
The Stormers have ended the league phase of the Super Rugby tournament at the head of the table, above the Chiefs, with a 26-21 win over the Rebels.
The Stormers managed to edge out the Cheetahs 13-6 in their Super Rugby tie at a wet Free State Stadium.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has no concerns over his players' mentality going into their vital Super Rugby match against the Stormers.
South Africa and New Zealand's derby matches will determine which team holds the lead in the Super 15 when the competition goes into recess in June.
SA teams occupy three of the top six places in the Super 15 after the 12th round as the campaigns of New Zealand and Australian teams began to falter.
Take your pick from the Stormers, Bulls, Chiefs or Crusaders to lift the Super Rugby championship in 2012.
The Blue Bulls have lost only once this season and are ready for a Stormers side that is on a season-long unbeaten run.
Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke has backed his side to overtake the Stormers and lead the South African Super Rugby conference at the weekend.
Replacement flyhalf Peter Grant slotted a penalty three minutes from time to give the Stormers a 15-12 win over the Sharks.
Schalk Burger will captain the Stormers in Friday's Super Rugby warm-up clash against the Lions at Newlands.