Brisbane City has leapfrogged the NSW Country Eagles into second place on the NRC ladder, with the top four reshaped after a round of upsets.
The Western Force retain their lead after remaining unbeaten, with Saturday's win over the Canberra Vikings reinforcing their position as competition favourites.
But Brisbane's effort to knock off the previously unbeaten NSW Country on Sunday afternoon showed they will be in the finals hunt, while the Fijian Drua found the form that took them, to the premiership last year in their win over Sydney at Lautoka on Saturday.
With two draws already to their credit, the Drua's first win pushed them into the top four, with the Vikings dropping out after their loss in Perth.
Melbourne Rising gave themselves a glimmer of hope for a sprint to the top four after registering their first win of the season on Sunday, beating last year's grand finalists Queensland Country in Ballarat.
Catch highlights and full replays of all games below.
BRISBANE CITY VS NSW COUNTRY
Brisbane City have inflicted the NSW country Eagles' first loss of the NRC season to move into second place on the ladder and one step closer to a finals place.
City survived an opening arm wrestle and late fightback from the Eagles to win 24-19, although Country picked up a bonus point courtesy of two late tries to sit in their place, just a point behind Brisbane in third place on the ladder.
Brisbane did plenty of work in the opening quarter, an effort that told in the final minutes when they allowed Australian schoolboys star Joey Walton to score in the 80th minute, before Jack Grant crawled over in the 81st minute to ensure the bonus point.
But they repelled the Eagles early, shutting down some of their stars before running in three tries in an 11-minute period in the first half that changed the game.
Brisbane City 24
Tries: Paenga-Amosa, Chapman 2, Naivalu
Cons: Lucas 2
NSW Country 19
Tries: Nawaqanitawase, Walton, Grant
Cons: O'Shea 2
MELBOURNE RISING VS QUEENSLAND COUNTRY
Melbourne Rising have kept their slim NRC finals hopes alive with a comprehensive 49-7 demolition of a disappointing Queensland Country.
It was the Rising’s first victory of the season and while they still find themselves rooted to the bottom of the NRC ladder, they’re now only one competition point behind the sixth place Queensland Country.
Country entered the clash desperate to rebound from last week’s loss to Sydney. Victory would have placed the Queensland outfit on the cusp of the top-four but they never stood a chance, blown away by a dominant Rising set piece.
Melbourne Rising 49
Tries: Marsters 2, Tupou 2, Potter, Iona, Sooaemalelagi
Cons: So’oialo 7
Queensland Country 7
WESTERN FORCE VS CANBERRA VIKINGS
The Western Force have confirmed their position as NRC favourites, maintaining their undefeated record after beating a stacked Canberra Vikings outfit 45-28.
In an anticipated clash between two of the competition favourites, it was the Force who showed they are the team to beat this season, notching a comfortable win.
The return of fullback Tom Banks from Wallabies duty and promotion of Joe Powell to the starting line-up gave the Vikings a stacked team full of representative players.
But they were no match for the Force, who not only played the smarter game but are showing the benefits of their cohesion through a season of Global Rapid Rugby.
Western Force 45
Tries: Ralston, Thrush, Placid 2, Stander, Feke, Kaitu'u
Cons: Prior 5
Canberra Vikings 28
Tries: Muirhead, Lonergan, Ikitau, Enever
Cons: Lolesio 4
Yellow card: Pete Samu 58'
FIJIAN DRUA VS SYDNEY
Defending champions Fijian Drua have finally notched their first NRC win of the season, breaking the shackles with a 11-try performance that keeps their finals hopes alive.
After two draws and a home loss in their first three rounds, the Drua looked to have lost some of the sparkle that took them to the 2018 title.
But just an hour before the Flying Fijians kicked off their World Cup campaign against the Wallabies, their second-tier side showed they were not ready to throw away their finals chances, beating Sydney 76-29 to underline the threat they pose when on song.
Fijian Drua 76
Tries: Matawalu, Nasova, Dyer 2, Radrodro 2, Wainiqolo 2, Kurumudu, Tikotani, Viriviri
Cons: Tikotani 9
Tries: Craig 2, Foketi 2, Gamble
Cons: Harrison 2