But there is little doubt in my mind that the Sharks clash against the Stormers could very well be the pivotal game of the competition. And it’s not just a game which will attract purely South African interest, the Australian and New Zealand conferences will be watching the result just as keenly.
The Stormers have dominated the South African Super Rugby conference for the past two years, ending on top of the combined log last season. They also went to Durban and upset the Sharks 25-18 in the Currie Cup final last October.
The pressure will certainly be on them to turn the things they have promised for so long into the reality of winning the southern hemisphere championship.
The Stormers need a win at Kings Park especially coming off a loss to the Bulls at Loftus last weekend and they face three extremely tough matches at Newlands to come over the next four weeks, the champion Chiefs then a bye, but closely followed by the Brumbies and Crusaders.
The pressure will be just as much on the Sharks this evening.
They made it all the way to the final last season before falling to the Chiefs at the final hurdle.
And remember that they were away for all their play-off games last time round.
Coach John Plumtree is right in saying that his Sharks side will need no extra motivation for the match.
They know you have to win your home games and, even though they have to face the Stormers in the return at Newlands in round nine, a victory today could have huge implications later on.
The Sharks have what looks on the face of things, an easier month ahead than their arch-rivals from the Cape.
Next week they travel to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to face the Kings, then have the Brumbies and Rebels in two games at Kings Park.
This match will have two added facets which could have an impact on just how the Sharks and Stormers do deeper into the competition.
Selection will be vital for this game to set the tone for the rest of the season.
You want to be fairly settled on your best combination and not have to start chopping and changing after a handful of outings That unsettles the players and often leads to a drop in confidence that can cost a side dearly and both coaches will be well aware of this.
But for the other coaches in Super Rugby, the match offers an open window on what style the two South African sides will use. And whether the game has moved on or stood still.
The conservative approach the Stormers adopted has worked very well for them.
The Sharks were far more expansive towards the end of last season and opening up the game paid dividends for the side.
So the rest of the coaches will be waiting to see if the Stormers take a softly, softly approach and if the Sharks go at it hammer and tongs. Either way, it is all set up for a huge contest.
? Jake White is South Africa’s World Cup-winning coach of 2007 and is now coaching the Brumbies.