Caledonian rugby will go into hibernation for a month but not before some of the most significant games of the season are played on Saturday.
This includes a mouthwatering Caley Division 1 derby clash at Thurso where third placed Caithness play host to league leaders Orkney.
The islanders’ head coach Garry Coltherd is aware of the challenge the Millbank side will bring.
He said: “Having struggled to get past a determined Blairgowrie (17-14) last week after losing 52-19 away to Ellon in the previous match we know we’ll need to raise our game away to Caithness if we are to claim the only promotion slot.
“If we can’t get up for our big derby challenge then there is really something wrong.”
His opposite number Ewan Boyd will be looking for an improved display after a disappointing 12-7 reverse at Hillfoots last week.
Elsewhere, Dunfermline will be on hand to take any advantage of an Orkney slip when they host Hillfoots.
Another significant game will be played in Grangemouth where Ellon are the visitors with both sides harbouring hopes of a run at the title but knowing a defeat would make such a prospect unlikely.
In Caley 2 North Aberdeenshire take on Moray at Woodside where head coach Charlie Catto has taken Shire to within touching distance of promotion, based on a strong pack who, after losing their first two games, have forced their way into second place.
A win would take them above leaders Moray who under their young, aspiring player-coach Cameron Hughes have been performing their own heroics, and have yet to taste defeat; their only disappointment coming in a 20-20 draw with 2nd Highland.
In the meantime, the Inverness side will be looking for another win against Mackie FPs when the Stonehaven side travel to Canal Park.
The outcome of the league will not be decided tomorrow but a win for Moray would set up a possible title decider with 2nd Highland in Inverness on January 8, but not if Charlie Catto’s men have anything to do with it.