SA rugby fans would have entered last weekend with heavy hearts after the Stormers were annihilated by the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition in Dunedin.
It was Robbie Fleck’s side’s second heavy defeat on the road, and with the Lions and struggling Sharks playing away from home the following day, the Bulls enjoying a bye and the Kings and Cheetahs struggling to find continuity, it didn’t look promising.
But as quickly as the Highlanders put 50 past the Stormers on Friday morning, things started to change for the SA teams.
The Lions, by far the country’s most consistent team, fought their way to a gritty 24-15 win over the Force in Perth – a must win if they harbour any hopes of repeating their heroics of 2016.
The Cheetahs held their own against the Crusaders for the most part of the first half before the wheels came off. It was the only blip on SA’s Saturday, as the Kings produced the performance of the weekend with a 44-3 victory over the Rebels in Port Elizabeth, proving the week before’s win over the Waratahs in Sydney was no fluke.
And then the Sharks atoned for their dour draw to the Rebels in round 10 with a hard-fought 33-25 win over the Jaguares in South America.
The past weekend has certainly given South African fans hope.