This weekends action in the South African leg of the Rainbow Nations Cup saw the competition open right up. The Lions come from behind victory against the Blue Bulls and the Stormers win over the Sharks, has given everyone something to play for as it is no longer a one horse race.
The Blue Bulls suffered their 1st loss of the competition after they blew a 33-20 lead, eventually going down 34-33 with a Fred Zeilinga's try sealing victory for the men from Johannesburg and their first for the competition. In the coastal derby, the Stormers pipped the Sharks 25 - 22 in a wet game in Durban, with Tim Swiel kicking the winning penalty for the second weekend in a row.
The Bulls currently lead the log with 4 points over both the Sharks and the Stormers, however they still have to face both teams in the remaining two rounds of the competition. Whilst the Lions aren't able to make it to the top, they definitely did their fellow South African sides a favor over the weekend.
Few would have expected the Lions to go toe to toe with the log leading Bulls, but they fronted up and dominated most of the forward battles, most notably the scrum and lineout battle. The loss for the Bulls is only the 4th one in 18 games under new coach, Jake White. Whilst the alarm bells won't be sounding in Pretoria just yet, his side know all too well that another slip up could mean they forfeit their spot in the North v South Final.
In the coastal derby, the Stormers were heavily reliant on their forward pack to outmuscle the Sharks and were successful in their endeavor. Pieter-Steph Du Toit was rightly named man of the match after a massive performance from the flanker. Springbok management will be more than pleased to see their prized, 2019 World Player of the Year getting his 3rd straight 80 minutes under his belt after a lengthy injury lay off.
With all to play for before the North v South final scheduled for the 19th of June, this weekends action upped the anti as all of the Sharks, Stormers and Bulls have a realistic chance of claiming top spot now. If the Sharks and Stormers can beat the Bulls, then they may just book their spot on the plane to Europe.