Johannesburg - With three of their remaining Currie Cup round-robin matches played on home soil, the Pumas still cherish hopes of securing a semi-final berth.
The Mpumalanga side will be looking to end a two-match losing streak when they host the resurgent EP Kings in Nelspruit on Friday.
The Pumas are currently in sixth place on the log with the Kings and Griquas two and three points adrift respectively.
Pumas coach MJ Mentz said the team would do everything in its power to secure a playoff spot.
"We are still in the picture and we are still within reach of our goal of making it into the top four to ensure a semi-final berth," Mentz said.
"We haven’t done ourselves any favours with the defeat against Griquas and we know they like the Kings are biting at our heels."
Although the Pumas won the teams’ previous encounter in Port Elizabeth, the Kings will pose a different challenge following their 32-24 victory over the Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth.
The Pumas are only four points behind the fourth-placed Sharks but they face an uphill battle with matches against Western Province, Cheetahs, and the Blue Bulls remaining.
"Every weekend from this point onwards is like a final and we can’t afford to lose a match and should we slip we could finish at the bottom of the log," Mentz said.
"Our focus is not on that, it is on the processes and the small things we need to pay attention to.
"We are confident that we’ve put things in place over the last few days for us to play a good match."
Mentz said it would require a concerted effort to keep their dream alive.
"We have four matches left of which three are at home and we needed to go back to basics that worked for us in the past," he said.
"The senior players need to make the step up and show the experience in the remaining four matches.
"Every player has that responsibility as it is do or die for us and everyone has to be at their best."
15 Hoffmann Maritz, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Francois de Klerk (captain), 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frank Herne , 1 Corné Fourie.
Substitutes: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Marné Coetzee, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Hennie Skorbinski, 22 Marcello Sampson
Eastern Province Kings:
15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (captain), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Cornel Hess, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Elgar Watts