Halfway through the competition and three Australian teams are positioned to qualify for the Super Rugby finals for the first time in history.
The Brumbies in 2004 and the Reds in 2011 are the only Australian sides in the past decade to have won a Super championship, but now the Waratahs and Force are threatening to challenge for maiden titles after climbing into playoff contention.
Runners-up last year to the Chiefs, the Brumbies (25 points) are second overall in the standings and clinging to a one-point lead over the Waratahs in the hotly contested Australian conference after the Waratahs' gritty 19-12 win over the Bulls on Saturday night.
The Waratahs (24) leapfrogged the fifth-placed Force (23) into fourth with the Perth-based outfit's 22-16 loss to the Rebels earlier in round 10.
The Rebels (16) and Reds (16) are each six points adrift of the top six but not completely without hope of pushing for the playoffs.