The race goes down to the wire on Saturday when 10 clubs fight it out for the six remaining places in the Community Cup play-offs.
Going into the final round, only defending champions Rustenburg Impala and Pretoria Police are assured of a place in the quarter-finals, with points difference and other tie-breakers likely to decide the other pools come Saturday night.
In Pool A, Impala lead with 14 points going into their final match in Cape Town against second-placed Durbanville-Bellville, on 10. The champions must win to guarantee top spot in the group, while Durbell must pick up at least two log points to guarantee qualification and shut out third-placed Old Selbornians (six points), who can keep their hopes alive with an away victory over Springs.
With Pretoria Police safely through, second place in Pool B is a straight shootout between Raiders and College Rovers at the Bill Jardine Stadium in Johannesburg, with one point separating them at the moment.
Pool C is also too close to call. Second-placed Wanderers will most probably qualify should they pick up a bonus-point victory at home against bottom-placed Sishen.
This scenario will likely reduce the group’s other match, between two unbeaten sides in Hamiltons (12 points) and Evergreens (10 points) in Cape Town, into a knockout game for the other spot.
And in Pool D, third-placed Durban Collegians have the Herculean task of having to beat Despatch with a bonus point in their own backyard, while denying the 2013 champs any bonus points, to leapfrog Wesbank into the play-offs.
A victory under these circumstances and by 16 points or more will see Collegians top the group, while a bonus point of any kind for Despatch will see them and Wesbank go through, regardless of what Collegians do.
This is due to the tournament rule which states that, in the event of two teams being tied on log points, the winner of the match between the two teams will progress. If three teams finish tied on log points, and no one team has beaten the other two, then points difference will decide who qualifies.
The Easter quarter-final lineup will be confirmed on Saturday evening at the conclusion of the final round.
Round 4 fixtures (all 16:00 kick-offs unless otherwise stated):
Durbanville-Bellville vs Rustenburg Impala (Durbell Rugby Club, Durbanville)
Springs vs Old Selbornians (Springs Rugby Club, Springs)
Noordelikes vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane, 16:30)
Raiders vs College Rovers (Bill Jardine Stadium, Johannesburg, 15:30)
Hamiltons vs Evergreens (Stephan Oval, Green Point, Cape Town)
Wanderers vs Sishen (Kent Park, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg)
Ferros vs Rovers Welkom (Puma Stadium, Emalahleni, 15:00)
Despatch vs Durban Collegians (WJ de Wet Stadium, Despatch)
Byes: PE Police (A), Pretoria Police (B), Villagers Worcester (C), Wesbank (D)
Photo: Richard Huggard/ImageSA/Saru