Springbok great Bryan Habana will play his last Super Rugby match for the Stormers. May he score a hattrick and may the Bulls win.
Victory for the Bulls would mean a league first place for the Pretoria-based franchise. It would ensure a home semi-final and, if successful, a home final. It would ensure a South African Super Rugby title victory because I don’t see any team going to Loftus and winning a play-off match.
It would also complete a remarkable season in which the Bulls have been unbeaten since losing three in succession on their Australasian tour.
The Bulls have been the best team in the tournament and deserve to hosting a play-off semi-final.
The Stormers have been among the most disappointing this season and while it will be close in Cape Town because of the derby element, I’m picking the Bulls to edge it by less than seven points.
In an ideal world I’d want Habana to score three tries and the Bulls to claim a Barbarians-type bonus point win. That won’t happen, but then neither will a Stormers win.
The right team on form will win in Cape Town, but don’t expect it to be pretty.
In Durban the Sharks will end with a victory margin closer to 50 than 30 points against the Kings who have made 12 changes from the side that held the Stormers for 70 minutes in Port Elizabeth.
The Kings focus has now shifted to the promotion/relegation home and away matches against the Lions and the coaching staff have sacrificed this last game to give the core of their side an additional week of rest in preparation for the two matches that will determine their 2014 Super Rugby status.
The Cheetahs have the bye and four league points that guarantees them a play-offs spot and some travel in a week’s time.
This weekend, though, is about the Bulls and one of the greats to have worn their jersey in Habana. So it makes for even more nostalgia that Habana will be facing the Bulls in his final Super Rugby outing in South Africa.
Habana counts among the greats in South African rugby and appropriately a capacity crowd to Newlands will bid him farewell.
Here’s a toast to the best man and the best team, even if they aren’t one in the same on Saturday.