A dramatic 12-9 win over the Stormers secured the Sharks’ spot in the Super Rugby play-offs, where they will be joined by the Bulls.
The Lions are used to reaching the Super Rugby showpiece match but a 37-17 defeat to the Hurricanes has endangered their play-off hopes
The Lions overcame South African rivals Stormers 41-22 in an exhilarating Super Rugby clash in Johannesburg.
Springboks playmaker Elton Jantjies will miss the Lions’ Super Rugby meeting with the Stormers due to a “breach of team protocol”.
The Blues have now suffered 10 consecutive losses to the Crusaders after Super Rugby’s leaders edged a tense Christchurch encounter.
The Jaguares trail the Bulls and the Sharks by only a point after clinging on to defeat the Stormers.
The Stormers have now won eight consecutive home matches against the Bulls after outscoring their South Africa rivals by three tries to two.
Thomas Banks’ second-half try, converted by Christian Lealiifano, secured the Brumbies a 19-17 victory over the Stormers.
Ben Smith marked a milestone appearance with an early try for the Highlanders, but they were soon swept away by the Crusaders.
The Hurricanes withstood huge late pressure to beat the Highlanders, while the Stormers were beaten by the Reds.
Quade Cooper made an impact on his return to Suncorp Stadium as the Rebels saw off the Reds, while the Blues claimed a third successive win.
Crusaders lost for the first time since March last year as Israel Folau secured a piece of Super Rugby history in a Waratahs win.
The Jaguares started well and caused the Stormers problems throughout on Friday but were ultimately soundly beaten.
Handre Pollard scored 20 points with his boot as the Bulls tamed the Lions, while the Sharks tasted defeat for the first time this season.