A fascinating weekend awaits in the Super 14 next week, with six teams in line for semi-final berths. And by a quirk of scheduling, they are all involved in matches amongst themselves.
Friday night will be a cracker; first-up, the Crusaders play the Brumbies in Christchurch. The winner will almost certainly make the play-offs, although the Crusaders could do with a five-pointer. Attention then turns to Sydney, where the winner of the Hurricanes vs Waratahs match will also make the play-offs. The Hurricanes will take momentum into the match after four consecutive wins, but the 'Tahs looked pretty handy last night against the Chiefs. That match should be a ripper, and by the end of the night, one of the teams could be in second place.
The final match of the round worries us; the Bulls host the Stormers in Pretoria. Until the Sharks upset the Stormers overnight, it seemed assured that the two Saffer teams would host semi-finals. Now, there's the possibility of a semi-final in any of Canberra, Sydney, Wellington or possibly even Christchurch. D'ya reckon the SARU will allow that to happen?
We won't ignore the elephant in the room. We are 100% sure that SARU will ensure that whatever needs to happen to ensure two SA-based semi-finals happens. Both teams will know the state of the table before the match kicks off. Form would suggest that the table-topping Bulls would win, and win well at home, at altitude, in front of rugby's most die-hard fans. But needs must.
Get down to the TAB, and get your money on the Stormers early. And remember; we picked this a week out!