The semi-finals of the Rugby Europe Super Cup for 2022 take place on Sunday and they promise to be two cracking matches.
First up at 4pm local time (noon UTC), reigning champions Black Lion from Georgia take on Iberians from Spain at the Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi.
Black Lion made it this far by finishing top of the Eastern Conference while Iberians finished runners-up via points difference in the Western Conference.
This is a repeat of the 2021 semi-final when Black Lion ran out 43-40 winners in an amazing game and neutrals will be hoping for the same kind of entertainment this time around.
Many of the Black Lion squad head into this match off the back of a strong November with the Georgian national squad, including the famous Autumn Nations Series win over Wales in Cardiff.
The hosts will start as favourites in this game, but do not discount Iberians who, on their day, are a match for anyone.
Iberians head coach Miguel Velasco said: “The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: the semi-finals.
“Everyone involved with the team, both players and staff, are very excited for Sunday to finally come.
“We believe strongly in our abilities and want the victory. We’ve shown to ourselves that we can win against any rival.
“So, now we’re focusing on having a good rest on Saturday and being at a high level on Sunday to make it possible to qualify for the final.”
“We are playing the semi-final and I will not speak on its importance anymore,” Levan Maisashvili, head coach of Black Lion, said.
“We had a one month break out of the Super Cup during which time some of the players were actively engaged in the national team and some of them played in the Georgian domestic Championship during this time.
“We gathered at the beginning of this week and had some good preparations and I expect a good game on Sunday. If we don't count a few injuries, we have the strongest line-up in the current squad.”
The second semi-final is also a repeat of a last four meeting in the inaugural playing of this ever-growing competition last year.
When Portugal’s Lusitanos met Israel’s Tel-Aviv Heat back in April it was 42-26 to the former who went on to just be edged out in the final by Black Lion 17-14.
Lusitanos topped the Western Conference while the Heat were second in the Eastern Conference in this year’s group stages.
A number of players who helped Portugal reach their first Rugby World Cup since 2007 by playing very well at the qualifiers in Dubai recently will be in the Lusitanos ranks on Sunday.
The Heat are coming into the match having beaten top English side Saracens as recently as last Sunday in a friendly, so this one is too close to call.
Ahead of the clash in the Car Jamor Stadium in Lisbon at 3pm local time (3pm UTC), Heat head coach Kevin Musikanth said: “We are very much looking forward to the business end of the Super Cup.
“While we enjoyed the opportunity last season in Portugal where we played and lost to the Lusitanos - via an emergency acceptance of being a semi-finalist - this season is different.
“Once again, we were in a very tough Conference, but we managed four great wins and a draw and were happy with that performance.
“Our squad came together as individuals during that period and now the question is whether, at the business end of things, we can make the step onwards, moving from a team to a family.
“Our culture is one of the person behind the player and acknowledging that people play this game, not just players. Everyone needs to feel comfortable and be able to express themselves within the group.
“We aim to be different and embrace the many cultures that we have within our squad.
“We now face the high flying Lusitanos - many of whose players have just qualified to play for Portugal at the World Cup - and we will need to bring our ‘A’ game to the field.
“A wonderful, hard fought win against Saracens helped us build momentum for this match, but in the end the 80 plus minutes on the park will dictate who makes it all the way to the final.
“High energy, big smiles and togetherness in our camp promises an ‘all in’ approach on Sunday.”
Both games will be on rugbyeurope.tv with the finals announced at the conclusion of both matches.