After seven rounds of entertaining rugby, this weekend sees the National Rugby Championship head into its semi-final stage as the Canberra Vikings, Fijian Drua, Western Force and Queensland Country are all gunning for silverware.
The road to the semis has been long and hard, but let's take a look at each sides progress towards the competition’s knockout stage.
The Vikings will take on Fiji Drua in the first NRC semi-final on Saturday after a narrow 13-10 victory over Brisbane City, which secured them the fourth position on the table. The side from Canberra has scored 31 tries until now and have won five out of their seven league matches.
Standout Performer: Wharenui Hawera – 59 points (1 try, 4 penalty kicks and 23 conversations)
The Pacific Islanders have been the standout team in this year’s competition as they managed to top the overall log with 27 points. The Drua, who played their home games in Lautoka and Nausori, have lost only once in the 2018 campaign against Queensland in September. This season sees the Islanders dominate the attacking statistics as they have managed to claim 5319 metres, make 931 carries, produce 182 clean breaks and offload 112 times.
Standout Performer: Apisalome Waqatabu – points 81 (7 tries and 23 conversations)
The defending champions will host the NRC’s second semi-final on Sunday against the Western Force. Queensland had a bit of scare in round four and five of the competition as they suffered back-to-back losses to the Force and Brisbane City, but they finished strong in their final two fixtures against the Sydney Rays and the New South Wales Eagles.
Standout Performer: Jordan Petaia 35 points (7 tries)
The Force will be kicking themselves after last weeks 33-28 loss to Fiji Drua, especially after being in control for most of the match. The defeat saw the Ex-Super Rugby franchise drop down from second to third on the table and will now have to face Queensland away. The Force won five of their seven games this season and managed to score 42 tries along the way.
Standout Performer: Rod Davies – 35 points (7 tries)