Spanish side Castilla Y Leon Iberians and the Romanian Wolves have joined Black Lion from Georgia and Tel-Aviv Heat from Israel in the semi-finals of the Rugby Europe Super Cup.
The last four matches will be taking place on the weekend of December 2/3 and the Iberians and the Wolves made sure of their places at that stage over the weekend just gone.
With three sides going through from Pool A, the equation for Iberians and Lusitanos from Portugal on Sunday was simple: whoever went on to win the match between the two at the Stadium Pepe Rojo in Valladolid would secure the third spot.
A penalty from Lusitanos by their stand-off Jorge Abecassis put them 3-0 up in wintery conditions before, at the end of the first quarter, Iberians scored the first try.
It came via captain Pablo Rascon, the centre, and when stand-off Santiago Ortega converted it was 7-3.
Five minutes later a great team move saw full-back Victor Gavin scoring an unconverted try to make it 12-3.
A second Abecassis penalty for Lusitanos made it 12-6 at half-time.
In the second half Lusitanos suffered a yellow card and, on the hour mark with the extra man, Iberians kicked a penalty through Ortega.
With four minutes to go Lusitanos really put the cat amongst the pigeons when second-row Martim Belo went in for a converted try.
That made it 15-13 before Ortega kicked a late penalty to make it 18-13 and give Iberians the win and the all-important semi-final spot.
Iberians captain Pablo Rascon said: “It was a really, really hard game, the guys put in a lot of effort. Credit to the Lusitanos boys, they were dynamic and hard to defend against, but we kept working hard.
“We have to build on this and improve our attack ahead of the semi-finals, but we have the intensity and the work rate already, so we’ll be ready.”
Lusitanos head coach Joao Mirra said: “The problem was not the quality of the Iberians because they deserved to win, but the problem was our mistakes.
“We gave away two tries in the first half and when you are making individual mistakes regularly it is hard to build something from there".
“We didn’t deserve to win.”
Over in Pool B, on Saturday evening the Romanian Wolves really turned on the style to defeat the Brussels Devils on the road in Belgium.
Both teams were on 10 points from 10 before the meeting in the Municipal Stadium in Soignies and knew that the winners would grab the top spot in the section and the one semi-final place.
And the Wolves took it in spectacular style, taking the lead early on thanks to an unconverted try by winger Mihai Lamboiu and never looking back.
They led 32-0 at half-time and scored 28 points more in the second half.
Their final try came in the 75th minute when replacement Taliauli Sikuea burst through for a converted try, his second of the evening.
In the last few minutes the Devils scored a consolation try through replacement Brandon Faddar.
Eugen Apjok, the Wolves head coach, said: “Well done to our boys, they did a good job.
“We really won it in the first half, we got off to a great start and the forwards got dominance which made it easier for us to play our game.”
Sebastian Guns, the Devils head coach, said: “In the first half we made a lot of mistakes and we gave away a number of penalties.
“Our scrum was also struggling and in rugby if you aren’t going forward then it is very hard to compete and we found that here.”
Pool A was topped by Black Lion after they defeated Tel-Aviv Heat in a classic encounter 29-27 in Cyprus on Saturday.
They scored three tries and so did their opponents in wet conditions and the Georgians led 23-6 at half-time.
Then came a Heat fightback before a penalty from Black Lion in the 66th minute made it 29-20.
Stand-off Luke Matkava put it over to give him 100 points in Super Cup history before a converted try from replacement Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi with 10 minutes to go for the Heat set up a thrilling finale.
Black Lion held on and their player Grigor Kerdikoshvili said: “Credit to both teams for sticking at it in tough conditions.
“We stuck to our game plan, kept working hard and won in the end, so it worked out.”
Kevin Musikanth, the Heat head coach, said: “I am very proud of the team.
“They could have gone into their shells at 23-6 down, but they battled right to the end and we will take the momentum from the second half into the semi-finals.”
It means, in Pool A, Black Lion finished on 14 points, Tel-Aviv Heat on 11, Iberians on four and Lusitanos on one.
The other game in Pool B over the last round of group fixtures saw Delta from the Netherlands play some great stuff to win away in Czechia to Bohemia Rugby Warriors 74-0 on Thursday evening.
It means, in Pool B, Romania Wolves finished on 15 points, Brussels Devils on 10, Delta on five and Bohemia Rugby Warriors on 0.