Six into four won't go. That's the equation facing those teams still in contention of making the Jubilee Cup semi-finals in a fortnight's time. Results on last weekend's fifth round set of matches realistically mean five teams are still right in the hunt for semi-finals places, with a sixth, Hutt Old Boys Marist, still in the mix if the stars align for them.
Defending champions Oriental-Rongotai remain top of the table with 20 points, despite losing to Northern United in the gloom at Porirua Park last week, but Marist St Pat's (19), Norths (17), Tawa (15) and Wainuiomata (15) can all still hope to make the top four and can also still hope to host home semi-finals.
In the Hardham Cup, unbeaten Old Boys University and Poneke have both already qualified for home semi-finals, and they clash this Saturday at Kilbirnie Park to effectively decide who grabs top spot for the 4 August playoffs.
Below OBU and Poneke, four teams including MSP B are left chasing the remaining two spots for the Premier 2 semi-finals.
As part of a new initative this year in all the top grades, teams finishing the Jubilee and Hardham Cup round-robin series in positions 5-8 will playoff during semi-finals and finals weeks to determine their finishing order.
Week one of these playoffs will see the fifth placed finishers from the round-robin play teams play team 8 while team 6 will play 7. The winners of these two games will then play each other in a play-off for fifth while the losers will play-off for seventh and eighth.
In the Hardham Cup, this means the promotion-relegation battle for the 2013 Swindale Shield will be decided in this post-season play not at the end of the round- robin. Heading into the penultimate round, the Wests Roosters (13), Rimutaka (10) and Johnsonville (9) are locked in the promotion-relegation battle so there's much to play for at both ends of the Hardham Cup points table.
It all adds up to a massive round of matches across the region this weekend and here are the calculations for each side:
Currently: first on 20 points (four wins and a loss)
Road home: Tawa (home), MSP (home)
After losing for the first time in the second round last week to Norths Ories are a solitary competition point off making the playoffs. Ories will guarantee themselves a home semi-final if they beat Tawa this weekend and if Norths lose to Petone and Wainuiomata miss out to MSP.
However if they lose to Tawa on Saturday, Ories could be leapfrogged by MSP and Norths and be as low as fourth by the end of this round. In the first round Swindale Shield Ories beat Tawa 22-10, but that was back in week two.
Marist St Pat's
Currently second on 19 points (four wins and a loss)
Road home: Wainuiomata (home), Ories (away)
The 2008 and 2009 champions could finish this weekend as high as first if results go their way or as low as fifth if they lose to Wainuiomata at Evans Bay Park and Norths and Tawa also win their matches. Regardless of other results, if MSP wins this weekend they will still be in a home semi-final position heading into the last round.
Whilst MSP are in a home playoff calculations, they have two tricky matches to come in Wainuiomata and Ories. In the first round they overcame a halftime deficit to pip Wainuiomta 21-16 at William Jones Park, while they defeated Ories 32-10.
Currently third on 17 points (three wins, a loss and a draw)
Road home: Petone (away), Wainuiomata (away)
Norths did themselves a massive favour by beating top dogs Ories last week at home. A loss would have put them back on their heels and probably needing to win their last two away matches to make the top four.
With a two-point buffer to Wainuiomata and Tawa below them, Norths can probably drop one of their two remaining games and still make the semi-finals. But this is not guaranteed.
To qualify for a home semi-final, Norths must win their last two games and hope that either of Ories and MSP lose one of their two matches. If they lose this weekend, Norths could either still be in third place or they could be leapfrogged into fifth by both Tawa and Wainuiomata.
They might be playing a Petone side on Saturday that is coming off consecutive heavy defeats, but in the first round Petone beat Norths 27-20, while their opposition in the last week, Wainuiomata, held them to a 15-15 draw in the Swindale Shield.
Currently fourth on 15 points (joint with Tawa, but would currently proceed in the tiebreaker by virtue of their round two 10-5 win over Tawa)
Road home: Marist St Pat's (away), Northern United (home)
A historic first ever Jubilee Cup semi-finals berth is in Wainuiomata's grasp if they win they win their last two matches.
If they beat MSP this week at Evans Bay Park and then hold off Norths at William Jones Park in week seven they will also be line for a home semi-final where they have proven to be extremely hard to bear. Should they lose to MSP this weekend they will probably need to beat Norths the following week in what could be a virtual semi-final.
Currently fifth on 15 points (joint with Wainuiomata, but would currently dip out in the tiebreaker by virtue of their round two 5-10 loss to Wainuiomata)
Road home: Ories (away), Hutt Old Boys Marist (away)
Tawa have a massive clash against Ories this weekend. If they win they'll be right in the mix for the semi-finals and if other results go their way in the hunt for a historic home semi-final at Lyndhurst Park.
If Tawa lose to Ories and fail to pick up a losing or four try bonus point, Norths beats Petone and Wainuiomata beats MSP with a bonus point then it will be the end of the road for Tawa. Like Wainuiomata, it could all come down to next week where their clash against the Hutt Old Boys Marist could take on a virtual quarter-final feel.
Hutt Old Boys Marist
Currently sixth on six points
Road home: Upper Hutt (away), Tawa (home)
Of the six teams still in the mix for the Jubilee Cup semi-finals HOBM's calculations are the most straightforward. Their situation is also the most tenuous.
To make the semi-finals, HOBM must win their last two games with bonus points, which would put them on 16 points. They would then have to rely on both Wainuiomata and Tawa (both currently on 15) each losing their last two games and failing to gain any bonus points.
This has happened before, with Avalon coming back from being down and out win their last three matches in the 2010 Hardham Cup to scrape into fourth. They then upset the Wests Roosters 12-11 in their away semi-final before losing to Wainuiomata in the final at Westpac Stadium.
The highest HOBM can finish is fourth, but equally they could yet be overtaken by Upper Hutt and Petone and finish eighth and last.In the first round HOBM beat Upper Hutt 27-22.
Currently seventh on three points
Road home: Hutt Old Boys Marist (home), Petone (home)
Upper Hutt may be out of the running for top four contention, but they can finish the regular season with a flourish by winning their last two matches at home at Maidstone Park against Hutt Valley opposition.
If they win their last two games with bonus points they will probably climb above both HOBM and Petone and finish sixth. Upper Hutt is likely to then meet either Petone and HOBM in the first week of post season play.
Currently eighth on two points
Road home: Norths (home), Upper Hutt (away)
Petone can play the role of spoilers this weekend against Norths at Porirua Park, whom they beat there in the first round. If they can repeat that victory then not only will they be putting Norths' campaign on the back foot, they will also be assisting Wainuiomata and Tawa.
Currently: First on 25 points
Road home: Poneke (away), Johnsonville (home)
Old Boys-University can rest on their laurels over the next two weeks safe that they have already earned a home semi-final on 4 August.
This week they meet fellow unbeaten side Poneke at Kilbirnie Park, and with Poneke also assured of a home semi-final and these teams favoured to meet in the final, both will likely keep their playbooks tight in this match.
In five games, OBU have scored 164 points and conceded 28. This time last year when they had also won five from five they had scored 158 and let in 45. Last year they won every match en route to the final, only to be tipped up by Tawa.
In the first round OBU came back from a 5-20 halftime deficit to beat Poneke 22-20.
Currently second on 24 points
Road home: OBU (home), Rimutaka (away)
Like OBU, Poneke are safely through to a home semi-final at Kilbirnie Park with this match against OBU a likely dress rehearsal for the final and next week's match a possible firecracker against a fired up Rimutaka at Maoribank Park.
Heading into round six, Poneke have scored 204 points and conceded just 22, a turnaround at the attacking end of the field from the Swindale Shield when they struggled to find the tryline.
Currently third on 13 points
Road home: Johnsonville (home), MSP B (home)
The Wests Roosters are probably just one win away from making the Hardham Cup semi-finals, with two wins guaranteeing them third place.However if they lose their last two games to Johnsonville and MSP B and both Rimutaka and Wainuiomata B win their last two games then Wests could tumble and finish as low as seventh.
This week's clash against Johnsonville promises to be a spicy affair, with Johnsonville sure to throw everything at the Roosters in this local derby clash. The last time these sides clashed at this level was in 2010 and Wests won 21-20.
Marist St Pat's B
Currently fourth on 11 points
Road home: Wainuiomata B (home), Wests Roosters (away)
MSB B are eyeing up a top finish and a spot in the semi-finals, which they should achieve on their own if they win their last two matches.
In the first instance, MSP B will be eyeing up a win from their clash this week against Wainuiomata's second team at Evans Bay Park or they could fall down the field from fourth to sixth and be leapfrogged by Rimutaka and Johnsonville if these two sides win.
Currently fifth on 10 points
Road home: Northern United B (home), Poneke (home)
Rimutaka will climb back into a semi-final position if they beat winless Northern United B at home at Maoribank Park and MSB B falls over to Wainuiomata B. Rimutaka could be as high as third at the end of this round if the Roosters also lose before turning to host Poneke in the last round and then possibly playing them again the next week in the semi-final.
If they lose to Norths B, Rimutaka could slip from fifth to seventh behind Johnsonville and Wainuiomata B (on a tiebreaker) if these two teams win in round six, and their clash at the end against Poneke would be a must-win.
Currently sixth on 9 points
Road home: Wests Roosters (away), OBU (away)
Of the five teams vying for the four Swindale Shield places for 2013, Premier hopefuls Johnsonville have the toughest run home.
Realistically, they'll need to beat the Wests Roosters this weekend at Ian Galloway Park, which would at least lift them to fifth and possibly as high as fourth if MSP B and Rimutaka lose. If they then beat OBU in the last round they could finish as high as third, and they will also automatically win promotion for next season.
Should they fall to the Roosters then their chances of making the playoffs are remote; they will need to beat OBU in the last round and also rely on at least two other results going their way in round seven.
Currently seventh on 5 points
Road home: MSP B (away), Norths B (home)
With matches to finish against fellow B teams, Wainuiomata B can't directly influence the outcome of the five top sides around them, but they can indirectly affect both Rimutaka and Johnsonville's chances if they win their last two games.
Mathematically, Wainuiomata B can still finish fourth and make the semi-finals, but will need two bonus point wins and for MSP B, Rimutaka and Johnsonville to lose their last two games.
Northern United B
Currently eighth on 0 points
Road home: Rimutaka (away), Wainuiomata B (away)
Northern United B can avoid the wooden spoon at the end of the round-robin if they win their last two games - the second against seventh placed Wainuiomata B.
They can play spoiler to Rimutaka's chances if they beat them this weekend at Maoribank Park.
This weekend is round of six of nine in round-robin play in the Senior 1 Ed Chaney Cup. With a maximum of 20 competition points still up for grabs over the final month, the Ed Chaney Cup still has a long way to run.
Petone (on 19 points), Wellington (18) and Poneke (16) lead the way with four wins from five, with Avalon (14) and HOBM (13) back in fourth and fifth with three wins respectively.
The three frontrunners all have home games this weekend. Leaders Petone host OBU (one win, 6 points) at the Petone Rec at 1.15pm, Wellington hosts Avalon at Hataitai Park at 3.00pm and Poneke entertain Paremata-Plimmerton (two wins, 10 points) at Kilbirnie Park at 1.15pm;
In the other two round six matches, Upper Hutt (one win, 6 points) hosts HOBM at Maidstone Park at 1.15pm and Ories (one win, 4 points) hosts Tawa (two wins, 12 points) at the Polo Ground.
It's also round six of nine in round-robin play in the Senior 2 HD Morgan Memorial, and like in the Ed Chaney Cup, there's still plenty of rugby to be played before the semi-finals.
After five rounds, HOBM (on 23 points) remain unbeaten and hold a healthy buffer at the top of the table to the rest of the field which is headed by OBU (19).
HOBM will be favoured to register their sixth straight victory this weekend and all but book their semi-final spot with three weeks to spare when they play bottom placed and winless the Wests Roosters (2 points) at Ian Galloway Park at 1.15pm.
OBU can considate second if they overcome Ories (one win, 7 points) at Nairnville Park at 1.15pm and MSP (third on 17 points) can finish the weekend in no lower than third if they topple Avalon (one win, 6 points) at Kilbirnie Park at 1.15pm.
In two important mid-table, mid-round clashes, Petone (three wins, 15 points) play Poneke (two wins, 10 points) and Stokes Valley (two wins, 10 points) meet Norths (two wins, 10 points) at Delany Park.
Round nine of 10 in the Premier Women's Tavern Trophy sees a tightly contested race to the playoffs with only winless Stokes Valley likely to be outside of the playoff race.
After defaulting to Eketahuna last week, leaders Norths (on 30 points) can be overtaken by both second placed Wainuiomata (28) and third placed OBU (26) if they lose to OBU this weekend at Prince of Wales Park at 11.30am.
In other games Wainuiomata travel to play Ories (13) at the Polo Ground at 11.30am and Eketahuna (18) host Stokes Valley (3) at 11.130am.
The last round of the Premier 1 First XV got underway on Wednesday with St Pat's Silverstream beating St Pat's Town 22-20 at Evans Bay Park.
The win for Silverstream temporarily lifts them to second place on 24 points behind leaders and unbeaten Wellington College (27), but they can be overtaken by Scots College (21) who play St Bernard's (16) on Saturday in a crunch match.
In other last round regular season matches on Saturday, Wellington College hosts HIBS (9) and Rongotai (6) hosts Aotea (1).
Next week's matches see quarterfinals, ahead of knockout semi-finals and then the final on Sunday 12 August at the Hutt Recreation Ground.