Road to the play-offs: Down to the wire
Road to the play-offs: Down to the wireSHARE
Match 135 sees the Sharks host the Lions, who have already won the South Africa Two conference and who could finish as the top seed for the play-offs if they win and the Crusaders lose.
Indeed with all 18 teams in action in Round 17, the final positions of the eight quarterfinalists will be determined by the outcome of several games.
The four conference winners will be ranked one-to-four based on their final number of tournament points and the wild card teams will be ranked five-to-eight based on their final number of tournament points.
So it is still all to play for with some intriguing matches to be played.
The Crusaders (currently ranked first) are away to the Hurricanes (currently ranked fifth), with the reigning champions keen to maintain their ranking.
A Crusader win will put them first for the play-offs regardless of the outcome between the Sharks and Lions.
The Chiefs (currently ranked six) host the Australian conference winners, the Brumbies, but could finish fifth if they win and Hurricanes stumble.
The Highlanders lie in seventh spot and play the Reds and the South Island side will be eager to hold on to their ranking for the play-offs.
If they stumble, and the Sharks beat the Lions with a bonus point, they could finish seventh and the Highlanders eighth.
South Africa One conference winners the Stormers are away to the Bulls, but have already secured the third-place ranking ahead of the Australian conference winners the Brumbies – based on the fact they have won more matches should they lose to the Bulls and Brumbies win with a bonus point against the Chiefs.