Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has urged his side to prove they belong in the Currie Cup when they take on the EP Kings in the next fortnight.
Defeat to Western Province at Newlands on Saturday saw the Cheetahs finish at the bottom of the Currie Cup standings, which means that they will face the Kings in a home and away promotion/relegation play-off in the next two weeks.
Although there will be significant pressure to keep their place in South Africa's premier domestic competition, Drotske said that his team's fate is in their own hands.
"Obviously the pressure is up but like I said to the guys after the game, if you can't beat the Kings home and away then they deserve to play in the Currie Cup.
"We need to focus, we will be back on Monday and work really hard," he said.
Drotske said that his side had battled to get any proper momentum going against a Western Province side that forced them to spend most of the match defending.
"Credit to Western Province, their defence is awesome and today they were really good at the breakdown as well so we couldn't get momentum and quick ball.
"The way we play we need that, especially from the middle and the tight forwards - there was no momentum from their defence," he explained.
The Cheetahs coach was left bitterly disappointed at the way his team faded towards the end of the competition, but pointed to the congested log as evidence that they remain a competitive outfit.
"Four of the teams could have finished as high as third or end up playing in the promotion/relegation play-off so at the end of the day there were some chances that we wasted and we lost games we had to win but that is in the past and we need to focus on beating the Kings over the next two weeks," he said.
By Michael de Vries