Reds 14 Hurricanes 43
Brumbies 12 Highlanders 33
The Highlanders and Hurricanes are one and two on the trans-Tasman table after wins in Friday night's final round of games.
The Otago side will go through to next week's final if the Crusaders fail to beat the Rebels by a margin of 33 points in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Blues only need to win. The Aucklanders are at home to the Western Force. The Hurricanes are effectively out of the running after last week's loss to the Brumbies, as are the Chiefs after their round three loss to the Reds.
The Hurricanes were kept under the thumb by the Reds in the first half in Queensland, going into the break just 10-7 ahead. But in the second half, they cut loose running in five tries, two of these to Dane Coles off the bench.
The Highlanders got the big win they needed against the Brumbies in Canberra to ramp up the pressure on the Crusaders and the Blues in Saturday's games.
While the first half was close, the period after the break was all Otago who ran in four tries and for a second consecutive week conceded no second-half points.
The first half saw a solid effort from both sides with the Brumbies putting the first points on the board with a try to centre Len Ikitau inside the first 15 minutes. However, this was short-lived with the Highlanders picking up a bounce-back try to hooker Ash Dixon from a lineout drive and then another to halfback Aaron Smith from a sizzling backline movement to lead 14-12 at halftime.
The Crusaders play the Rebels in Sydney at 4:35pm, while the Blues host the Force at Eden Park at 7:05pm. The Chiefs are up against the Waratahs in Sydney in the late game, with kickoff at 9.45pm.
Reds 14 (Tate McDermott, Brandon Paenga-Amosa tries; Bryce Hegarty 2 cons). Hurricanes 43 (Dane Coles 2, Ngani Laumape, Ruben Love, penalty try, Devan Flanders tries; Jordie Barrett 4 cons, pen) HT: 7-10.
Brumbies 12 (Len Ikitau, Lachlan Lonergan tries). Highlanders 33 (Ash Dixon, Aaron Smith (2), Billy Harmon, Sio Tomkinson tries, Mitch Hunt 4 cons). HT: 12-14.