Last week saw the competition come to life after the Rebels shocked the previously unbeaten Brumbies in Sydney, before the Waratahs stunned the Reds in a hammering win in Sydney. This week, we'll be hoping for more of the same.
Yet to secure a win, the Force will be hoping to make an impression of their own when they host the Waratahs on the Gold Coast, but the high flying Tahs will be determined to stay in the hunt for a finals spot.
Meanwhile, the Rebels head to Brisbane to take on the Reds who will be licking their wounds after their abject performance.
Read on for the team lists, odds and analysis of both this weekend's fixtures.
Friday, August 6
Force: Jake Strachan, Byron Ralston, Kyle Godwin, Richard Kahui, Brad Lacey, Jono Lance, Ian Prior, Brynard Stander, Kane Koteka, Henry Stowers, Fergus Lee Warner, Jeremy Thrush, Kieran Longbottom, Feleti Kaitu'u, Pek Cowan
Replacements: Andrew Ready, Chris Heiberg, Tom Sheminant, Johan Bardoul, Ollie Atkins, Nick Frisby, Nick Jooste, Jack McGregor
Waratahs: Jack Maddocks, James Ramm, Lalakai Foketi, Karmichael Hunt, Alex Newsome, William Harrison, Jake Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Lachlan Swinton, Rob Simmons, Tom Staniforth, Tet Tera Faulkner, Tom Horton, Tom Robertson
Replacements: Robert Abel, Angus Bell, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Ned Hanigan, Hugh Sinclair, Mitch Short, Ben Donaldson, Joey Walton
Odds [tab.com.au]: Force $3.30 (+8.5 $1.90), Waratahs $1.34 (-8.5 $1.90)
Verdict: Winless so far this season, the Force will need to put on a full 80-minute performance if their to get the victory over the Tahs. They've been close on several occasions this season, and have played some impressive rugby, but despite coming out of the blocks firing in several games to take a solid lead, they've fallen away towards the pointy end and have yet to seal out a match. The Waratahs, meanwhile, looked like a completely different side on Saturday night when they trounced the Reds in Sydney. Their set piece was on song, while their backline sliced through any hole. Consistently inconsistent, it's hard to know which Waratahs team will turn up on Friday night, but if they put on a similar performance to last Saturday, the Force will be waiting another week for victory. Waratahs by 15
Saturday, August 7
Reds: Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia, Hunter Paisami, Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, James O'Connor, Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Jack Straker.
Replacements: Alex Mafi, Jethro Felemi, Zane Nonggorr, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Angus Scott-Young, Scott Malolua, Bryce Hegarty, Josh Flook.
Rebels: Reece Hodge, Andrew Kellaway, Campbell Magnay, Matt To'omua, Marika Koroibete, Andrew Deegan, Frank Lomani, Isi Naisarani, Brad Wilkin, Josh Kemeny, Trevor Hosea, Matt Philip, Pone Fa'amausili, Jordan Uelese, Cameron Orr
Replacements: Eftusi Maafu, Cabous Eloff, Charles Abel, Esei Ha'angana, Michael Wells, Richard Hardwick, James Tuttle, Billy Meakes
Odds [tab.com.au]: Reds $1.77 (-1.5 $1.90), Rebels $2.05 (+1.5 $1.90)
Verdict: With the race for a finals place heating up, Saturday night's clash will be key to determining whether the Reds will make the finals or not. Impressive so far this season, they looked off the pace on Saturday night as they were overrun by the Waratahs in Sydney. Jordan Petaia's return will be integral, while the Reds lineout must find some accuracy. The Rebels, though, shocked the competition when they put on a show against the Brumbies. Matt Toomua's shift to inside centre paid off last week and he will return there with Andrew Deegan again taking charge at fly-half. The Reds will have plenty to prove on Saturday, while the Rebels will need the victory to close the gap on the Brumbies on the ladder. Reds by 3