AUDIO: 'We know we stuffed up'
The Sharks find themselves in a three-way tie for eighth spot – the final qualifying position and tied second in the South African conference.
The Jaguares are officially eighth (and second), courtesy of having won six of their 11 matches. The Bulls (five wins from 11 matches) and the Sharks (four from 11) follow them – with all three teams on 24 points, with five matches remaining.
The congestion in the South African conference follows the Bulls' 39-33 win over the Sharks last week – a result that still rankles with the Durban-based franchise.
"We know we obviously stuffed up," Sharks flyhalf Robert du Preez said, as they stepped up their preparations for their Round 14 Super Rugby encounters with the Chiefs.
"[There are] certain things we need to work on,"the No.10 said, adding: "We are looking forward to this week, [because] it is another chance to fix our mistakes."
Du Preez said, with such a tight race, there is a lot to play for.
"It's still in our hands," he said.
"We aren't in the situation where we have to depend on other teams to win or loser. We just need to win all our games, then we'll be home and dry,"he said, adding that they remain very positive.
The Chiefs are without several key players – including Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown.
"Without many of their frontline players, the Chief will still arrive in Durban fresh off a win over the Stormers and, like us, plenty to play for.
"I don't think their structures will change much, although they will have some new personnel.
"I can't see them changing the way they play in one week. But you never know with New Zealand teams.
"We've done our studies and analysis and we kind of know what to expect," Du Preez said.