While the Wallabies were squaring off with Italy, stacks of Super Rugby stars returned to Shute Shield in preparation for the run home.
Here's who caught our eye around the nation.
Reigning premiers Northern Suburbs were the side bristling with Super Rugby talent but they couldn't keep the Manly Marlins at bay in the Round 12 Shute SHIELD match of the rounD.
With no Super Rugby scheduled the Shoremen were able to welcome back five experienced hands in Angus Ta'avao, Will Miller, Hugh Sinclair, Bryce Hegarty and Cam Clark to their staring XV while coach Simon Cron also returned from his commitments with the Australian U20s side at the world junior championships in Georgia.
The Marlins could only boast Matt Lucas as a player of Super calibre in their starting lineup but the cohesion and time they have had together under coach Brian "Billy" Melrose was on show and they ended up winning 38-28 after a see sawing match that produced 66 points all up and oodles of running rugby.
The win keeps the Marlins at the top of the competition table and shortening in odds to take out this year's Shute Shield premiership.
Clark was the pick of the Shoremen crossing for two tries in his first game of the club footy since returning from Australian Sevens and Waratahs duties.
Elsewhere, two tries from Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan and a strong performance from Will Skelton for Sydney Uni wasn't enough to stop the rot in a 31-40 loss to West Harbour at University Oval.
Theo Strang returned from Australian U20s duties to start at halfback and he was replaced by Wallaby squad member Jake Gordon, while Dean Mumm also played in the upset loss.Jed Holloway, De Wet Roos and Alex Gibbon all started for Southern Districts in their big win over Eastwood, who had Hugh Roach starting at hooker.
David Lolohea's Parramatta side were bettered by a Gordon outfit without any Super Rugby talent but that couldn't be said for Randwick, who had Mitch Short, Andrew Deegan, Reece Robinson, Andrew Kellaway and Lachie Anderson in their star studded side.
They were too strong for Easts, while Harry Jones' Warringah were too strong for Penrith. Both Randwick and the Rats face-off this weekend for outright second spot on the competition ladder at Coogee Oval.
Northern Suburbs 28 Manly 38
Warringah 56 Penrith 12
Southern Districts 43 Eastwood 18
Eastern Suburbs 19 Randwick 28
Parramatta 28 Gordon 40
Sydney University 31 West Harbour 40
QUEENSLAND PREMIER RUGBY
With the Wallabies in town, there was a competition wide bye in Brisbane at the weekend.
A Presidents XV took on the Country Heelers yesterday instead, with the former cruising to a 57-27 win.
JOHN I DENT CUP
Darcy Swain and Andrew Robinson helped steer Tuggeranong to victory, while Nick Jooste returned from Australian U20s duties for Wests and started at fullback in their tight win.
Tuggeranong 34 Queanbeyan 20
Gungahlin 40 Easts 24
Wests 28 Uni Norths 26
Harlequins 52 Box Hill 19
There were no Rebels players in action for their clubs at the weekend, in which Harlequins and Melbourne continued their dominance, while Souths continued to struggle.
Harlequins 52 Box Hill 19
Melbourne University 67 Southern Districts 0
Moorabbin 23 Melbourne 33
Power House 12 Footscray 43
PINDAN PREMIER GRADE
Harry Scoble started at hooker in UWA's win over Joondalup, with Palmyra and Associates chalking up big wins in the West.
Associates 38 Nedlands 12
Cottesloe 29 Wests Scarborough 28
Kalamunda 22 Perth Bayswater 19
UWA 21 Joondalup 11
Wanneroo 0 Palmyra 63