ONCE again this year's Super 14 goes down to the wire for the teams hoping to qualify for next weekend's semifinals.
Teams from all three nations - New Zealand, South Africa and Australia - are still in the hunt with only the Bulls guaranteed a home spot entering the final round.
And what a season it has been. From the highs of watching a resurgent Stormers become the first South African side to beat all five Kiwi sides in a season, to the lows of the Lions becoming the first team in Super 14 history to lose 12 games on the trot.
Those teams still in with a chance of a semifinal berth include the Stormers, the Waratahs, Brumbies and Reds from Australia, and New Zealand's Hurricanes. For rugby enthusiasts, this weekend is guaran-teed to be one of heartbreak and heroics as five teams scramble for three semifinal spots.
On Friday morning in Christchurch, New Zealand's seven-time Super rugby champions, the Crusaders, take on an ever-improving Brumbies side that will see the winners through to the next round and the losers watching the semis from the comfort of their homes.
The same goes for the Waratahs and Hurricanes in Sydney later that morning.
The Hurricanes have been loitering around the top four spot these past few weeks without actually stamping their authority on the competition. The Reds should win at home in Brisbane against the Highlanders but they will need other results to go their way.
The big game of the weekend without a doubt is the Bulls-Stormers clash at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
Other weekend fixtures:
Durban - Sharks vs Western Force
Auckland - Blues vs Chiefs; and Welkom - Cheetahs vs Lions.