And then there were four with Western Province, the Sharks, Free State Cheetahs and Golden Lions left to fight it out for the famous Currie Cup trophy, while the Blue Bulls are languishing in the wilderness and Griquas might be excommunicated altogether if they fail to see off First Division champions, the Pumas, in a promotion/relegation series.
The picture's rosiest for Western Province, the defending champions, who beat the Sharks 17-13 in Durban to finish unbeaten and top of the log, ensuring that they will host their semi-final against the Lions and the final should they qualify.
The same fickle Capetonian supporters who were getting in a tizz over coach Allister Coetzee after the SuperRugby competition now look favourites to celebrate back-to-back Currie Cup titles, something Western Province haven't enjoyed since 2001.
And the return of Springboks Duane Vermeulen, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers has certainly added more fang to their bite.
The Springbok front row of Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis were at the vanguard of the Sharks team at King's Park, but the home team's scrum never got into gear and the lineout was a mess under severe...