SA Conference wide open as Super Rugby reaches business end
Cape Town - The South African Conference of Super Rugby is wide open after the Bulls emerged as the major winners of the weekend.
In beating the Sharks 39-33 at Loftus on Saturday, the Bulls were the only team in the Conference to secure a win in the 13th round of fixtures in the 2018 competition.
John Mitchell's men have now jumped straight into playoff contention, but a look at the Conference tells us that it is still wide open.
The Lions, who lost to the Highlanders earlier on Saturday, remain in top spot but there is just one point separating the Jaguares in 2nd and the Stormers in 5th.
Whoever wins the Conference will secure an automatic home quarter-final, but there is still a path to the playoffs by finishing in the top eight of the Combined Log.
At the moment, it is the Jaguares who occupy 8th place on that log.
It means that the final weeks of Super Rugby will be intense, with every match involving South African teams having an impact on the playoff race.
After 13 rounds of fixtures, this is how the SA Conference looks. Number of matches played and combined log positions are in brackets. All teams will have played 16 matches at the end of the group stages.
SA Conference standings:
1 Lions 31 pts (P12, 2nd overall)
2 Jaguares 24 pts (P11, 8th overall)
3 Bulls 24 pts (P11, 9th overall)
4 Sharks 24 pts (P11, 10th overall)
5 Stormers 23 pts (P12, 11th overall)