A dark cloud may be hovering over the Western Force and Southern Kings, but it didn't stop the two endangered franchises from producing a 12-try thriller in Sunday's Super Rugby clash at nib Stadium.
Kings fullback Malcolm Jaer scored a hat-trick, but the Force overcame a 13-point deficit with just 15 minutes remaining to secure the 46-41 win. The two teams played the exact style of rugby that fans love - fast and attacking and with plenty of spectacular running tries.
Force winger Alex Newsome scored a double to underline his credentials as a star in the making. Newsome's second try was particularly special, with the 22-year-old smothering a kick, soccering the ball and then beating an opponent to touch down.
But the most spectacular moment of the match belonged to Kings flyhalf Lionel Cronje. Cronje did his best Harlem Globetrotter impersonation by manoeuvring the ball 360 degrees around his body to confuse the Force defence, before dribbling a perfect ball for Jaer to collect for his third try.
That try gave the Kings a 38-25 edge with just 15 minutes to play, but the Force fought back through Newsome's try and hit the lead in the 72nd minute, courtesy of a penalty try from a dominant scrum.
However, the joy of the entertaining display could soon be replaced by utter despair for players and fans alike. Both the Force and Kings entered the match facing the very real prospect of soon being cut from next year's competition.
Those nerves were amplified, when SANZAAR announced they would release a significant statement about the structure of the competition after the match.
A crowd of 8474 turned out for the contest, with some fans displaying "Save the Force" banners and posters.
If Super Rugby reverts to a 15-team format next season, the Force, Kings and Cheetahs appear to be the three most likely teams to be axed.