Despite occupying the bottom spot on the table, Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes his side can still reach the Currie Cup semi-finals.
The Cheetahs traded places with the Blue Bulls in the standings - after the Pretoria outfit beat them 34-30 in Bloemfontein on Saturday - but Drotske is optimistic about his side's play-off chances.
"There is a huge race for that fourth place in the play-offs between Griquas, the Bulls and ourselves," he said.
"Griquas are on 15 points, the Bulls are on 13 and we are on 12 - we are playing the Griquas next week in Bloemfontein and the Bulls are playing the Sharks in Durban.
"So it is a must win for us and there are three games to go and luckily we've got two in Bloemfontein."
The Cheetahs - known for their expansive style of play - looked flatfooted in the first half against the Bulls with makeshift fly-half Tewis de Bruyn struggling to get his back-line firing.
The introduction of Sias Ebersohn in De Bruyn's place saw the visitors attacking the line with greater fervour.
"On the positive side we had intensity on attack in the second half which we struggled with over the last two or three games," Drotske said.
"On the negative side the three penalties in the first half was unacceptable which was bad discipline."
Drotske admitted that the inconsistency in his selection at fly-half played a leading role in the Cheetahs' struggles this season.
"We have a problem on fly-half there is no doubt about that," he said.
"Sias lost form earlier in the season, credit to Tewis, it is always easier to come on when you are down 27-9 to try everything out and to try to get the game back.
"So there is no pressure when you come on at that stage."