There is no turning back for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Durban on Friday when they take on The Sharks in an Absa Currie Cup match.
The fifth-placed side take on the second-placed home side in a match where they cannot afford to lose if they want to have hosting rights once the play-off stages are reached in a couple of weeks.
Their season has been a one way road, with no more chance to turn around. They need to keep on going forward and keep on winning and are effectively playing 'knock-out' rugby for the next few weeks and will need a repeat of last week's heroics against the Cheetahs.
The Bulls, like The Sharks, are missing a number of key players - mostly due to national team call-ups.
The Sharks and Blue Bulls always bring the best out of each other, but it will have to be the very, very best from the Pretoria side if they want to win.
Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar admitted that.
"My biggest concern is that we had soft moments again in the game," Pienaar told rugby365.co.za earlier this week.
"There was a knock-on on our 22, from that scrum they [the Cheetahs] attacked [and eventually scored from]. The third try, which they scored through Marcel van der Merwe, two minutes from time, we lost the ball from a short restart.
"It is more individual focus that we have the get right. They are a very dangerous team with turnover ball - players like Keegan Daniel, Cobus Reinach and Louis Ludik are the kind of players that will make you pay.
"That is why it is vital that we cut down completely on the turnovers [we concede] and penalties in the game."
The teams are:
The Sharks: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Louis Ludik, 10 Meyer Bosman, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Dale Chadwick. Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Lubabalo Mtembu, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 S’bura Sithole.
Vodacom Blue Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Morné Mellett. Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Frik Kirsten, Grant Hattingh, Warwick Tecklenburg, Ruan Snyman, Lionel Cronjé, Ulrich Beyers.
Front Row Grunt: Sharks by 7
Rugby 365: The Sharks have the fire power to go all the way, but they have been erratic at times. Last week was a classic example of a team with all the potential, but unable to land the killer blow. The Bulls have been vulnerable, a team that lacks experience in key positions. If the Sharks strike early they can knock the Bulls out of the play-off race. The Sharks to win by 10 to 15 points.
Referee: Mark Lawrence
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Johann Meuwesen