Melbourne Rising has a big opportunity to finish the National Rugby Championship on a high in Ballarat on Sunday.
Rising takes on Sydney Rays at St Patrick’s College in the seventh and last home and away round in Australia’s second tier competition.
Melbourne has had a tough season – winning just one game and sitting sixth of the eight teams.
Sydney has had an even bigger struggle on its hands.
The Rays are yet to get a win and consequently find themselves on the bottom of the ladder.
Despite its season record, Rising makes the trip to Ballarat after just failing to bring off one of the upsets of the year at Geelong.
Melbourne led second-placed Western Force with four minutes to go, only to concede a try and frustratingly lose 31-28.
Melbourne Rebels’ Tom English will again be expected to be a key player for Rising against Sydney.
He was among Melbourne’s best against Force, scoring a try to take his season tally to an NRC high of eight.
Isi Naisarani will be another player to watch in Ballarat.
He leads the NRC in carries with 91 and was another score trier against Western Force.
While Melbourne is coming off an encouraging performance, it is a different story for Sydney.
Queensland Country handed the Rays a thrashing at the weekend, winning 64-24.
Melbourne lost to Queensland by just one point when they meet early in the season.
Kick-off on Sunday is 1pm.