The 2008 Absa Currie Cup semi-finalists will only be known after the very last match in the league phase of the competition when Western Province play the Xerox Lions at Newlands on Saturday.

Thanks to two poor kicks by Lions flyhalf Earl Rose on Saturday which directly led to the two match-clinching tries by the Sharks in Johannesburg on Saturday, the Lions have not secured their semi-final spot yet.

WP can still sneak in. They have a points differential of 101, which is 36 less than the Lions’ 137. A win by 19 points for WP will see their points difference improve to 120 and that of the Lions shrink to 118 -and WP could be on their way to the semi-final.

A WP win by 18 points would see the two sides tied on a points differential of 119.

There are also two other provisos, however: WP must also score four tries in addition to the 19-point win and deny the Lions a bonus point.

The Free State Cheetahs, barring the second biggest upset of the season, seem to be through to the play-offs. Should they, however, lose to the Boland Kavaliers on Saturday or not achieve a four-try bonus point, their spot will be in jeopardy. That is highly unlikely, however, against a side which has not impressed away from home.

The top of the log issue has been decided, one feels. For the Sharks to be toppled from their perch and a possible home final, Griquas have to beat them in Durban or draw the match – not a likely scenario.

What is certain, however, is that WP will have to improve beyond recognition from the stumbling outfit on show against the Kavaliers on Saturday and Griquas the previous week if they hope for a bonus point and a 19-point win against the Lions. The Boland Park field’s surface alone cannot be blamed for this poor performance.

Likewise, the Lions will have to use their opportunities. They squandered a certain try and gave 14 points to the Sharks on a plate.

That could be fatal at Newlands – assuming that WP fire on all cylinders.