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All to play for in penultimate round

The penultimate round of the Rugby Premier League takes place tomorrow with FNB Unam and FNB Rehoboth both in hot pursuit of a place in the knockout stages. 

Both have away matches with Unam travelling to the coast for a tough assignment against second-placed FNB Kudus, while Rehoboth have a seemingly easier task against seventh-placed FNB Grootfontein. 

FNB Western Suburbs are currently fourth on the log on 34 points, but they are inactive this weekend, and a win for either Rehoboth on 31 points and Unam on 29 can see a shake-up in the standings. 

The top three sides on the log – FNB Wanderers (53 points), Kudus (49) and Trustco United (44) – have already qualified for the semifinals, but the fourth spot will be hotly contested until the final round next weekend.

After some narrow defeats to Wanderers and Suburbs, Unam made a statement with a 36-19 victory against United on 22 July, but their inconsistency resurfaced when they suffered a 31-25 defeat to an inspired Rehoboth the following weekend.

Kudus have had a fine season, losing only two matches, and on their home turf will start as the favourites, but Unam will have to win if they hope to remain in the race. 

Kudus won their first round encounter 24-8 at the Unam Stadium on 10 June, but Unam will be fired up and on their day can beat any team. 

Rehoboth have a seemingly easier tie against Grootfontein, and will be targetting as many bonus points as possible. 

They gave a great performance to beat Unam two weeks ago and will be hoping to maintain that momentum against Grootfontein, who have blown hot and cold this season.

At their best they beat Rehoboth 23-17, and suffered narrow defeats to Wanderers (25-23) and Suburbs (32-25), but Wanderers thumped them 83-5 in their return match three weeks ago, and with Grootfontein now out of the race for a semifinal spot, their desire to win will be tested to the limit by a Rehoboth team that is on the march. 

In another match tomorrow, United host Wanderers in an apparent dead rubber since both sides are already through to the semis, but matches between these arch-enemies are always fierce affairs, while it will also be an important indicator of their strength ahead of the semifinals.

At this stage United seem set to meet Kudus in the semis, while Wanderers should face either Suburbs, Rehoboth or Unam.

Wanderers beat United 33-30 in a nailbiter in their first round clash at the Wanderers ground, and United will be out to even the score on their home turf.