With the Stormers sweating over injuries and the Bulls needing early momentum, the Sharks look likely to have the best chance of winning Super Rugby.
The man who coached the Stormers to successive South African conference titles in the extended Super 15 in 2011 and 2012 is to coach a Japanese team.
Jake White admits his players have gone into their shells, and all the stops will have to be pulled out against the on-form Crusaders.
Given the mixed performances, it's impossible to predict who the top six teams will be for Super Rugby, writes Andy Capostagno.
Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper has kicked the Queensland Reds to a slogging 22-17 win over South Africa's Western Stormers in Brisbane.
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.