Super Rugby: Derby day in SA; Rebels hope to close gap to Lions

It’s a crunch South African derby when the Sharks host the Bulls. Kick-off between the Gauteng and Natal sides is at 5:15 PM.

Pat Lambie in action during a Super Rugby match. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Super Rugby season continues to provide exciting rugby with some of the most entertaining sides still in action this weekend.

The Lions and Stormers have byes this weekend before the former head out to Australasia for their outgoing tour.

They return in May.

In the opening match on Saturday, the last-placed Sunwolves host the Blues. Sonny-Bill Williams and his team will be hoping to get past the Sunwolves on the day, and past the Jaguares on the log.

The Blues have just one victory this season so far – against the Lions at Ellis Park following some poor game management from the Johannesburg side.

Then the Rebels host the Jaguares at AAMI Park. The visitors are in for a hard match, taking on a team that has lost just two of their six opening games.

The Rebels will be rejuvenated following a bye last week with the Jaguares coming off a 14-40 home defeat to the Crusaders. Kick-off is at 7:15 AM.

Its seventh-place vs eighth when the Highlanders host the Brumbies at 9:35 AM. Win for either side may not be enough to leapfrog the Waratahs in sixth – who host the Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Kick-off in that one is at 11:45 AM.

In the final game of the day and the round, it’s a crunch South African derby when the Sharks host Pretoria-based franchise, the Bulls.

The Bulls – who had a bye in the previous round – go into the game rested but will be hoping for a more convincing performance after their 33-23 victory over the Stormers at the end of March.

The Sharks were agonisingly close to a victory over the Hurricanes but conceded a try in the 80th minute – which was converted, with the Natal side losing 37-38.

Kick-off between the Gauteng and Natal sides is at 5: 15 PM.