All four South African franchises will be desperate to restore some pride this week after a winless turn for the local sides in round 5 of the Vodacom URC.
The Sharks worked tirelessly against Connacht, but ultimately paid the price for too many mistakes as they went down 13-12 in Durban on Saturday afternoon.
It was the Sharks’ fifth successive defeat of the season, and Plumtree’s men extended their slump against the Irish provinces to nine losses to remain bottom of the log.
Munster then kept their unbeaten record against the DHL Stormers intact with a 10-3 win in a replay of last season’s Grand Final in Limerick.
As the Irish and Scottish clubs took control of the top six positions on the log, the Bulls dropped to seventh on the standings with 15 points, while the Stormers are ninth on 12, followed by the Lions (13th, nine) and the Sharks (16th, two).
Round 6 kicks off on Friday night, with the Stormers bringing the curtain down their tour against Cardiff in Wales, before the Lions host Zebre Parma at Ellis Park on Saturday in the first of three clashes in the Republic.
The Bulls then lock horns with Connacht in Pretoria, with the Sharks and Dragons set to clash at Kings Park.
Round 5 results:
Edinburgh 31-23 Bulls
Ulster 24-17 Lions
Sharks 12-13 Connacht
Munster 10-3 Stormers
Zebre Parma 22-22 Cardiff
Dragons 20-5 Ospreys
Glasgow Warriors 26-12 Benetton
Leinster 54-5 Scarlets
Round 6 fixtures:
Edinburgh vs Benetton (9:35pm)
Cardiff vs Stormers (9:35pm)
Lions vs Zebre Parma (2:55pm)
Bulls vs Connacht (5pm)
Sharks vs Dragons (7:05pm)
Leinster vs Munster (8:30pm)
Glasgow Warriors vs Ulster (9:35pm)
Ospreys vs Scarlets (5pm)