That's the scenario facing the Cowra Magpies on Sunday.
Win and book a place in the finals or lose and play-off for the wooden spoon next week.
Although results could go in their favour this weekend, coach Craig Jeffries has simplified the task for his troops when they play Orange Cyms at Sid Kallas Oval.
"We may find ourselves in the same position next week, but with two weeks to go, you are beyond hoping for results to go your way - you have to control your own destiny at this time of year," he said.
"There is only one way to test whether you are worthy of being in the semis and that's beating someone like them."
For the Magpies to win against the back-to-back premiers they will also have to re-create recent history with Jeffries struggling to re-call the last time Cowra walked away from their clash with two points.
Although they have prevailed in pre-season knockout games, the Magpies have been on the wrong end of the scoreline despite being in the contests.
The 37-30 loss in the first round was such an example where Cowra were close but came up empty.
On the back of former NRL players Michael Sullivan and Pat Gibson Cyms have emerged the victor.
"It has been their pace," Jeffries said.
"The speed of their outside backs and the play the ball area - they're probably the fastest team in the comp. They are pretty sharp and that's where they seem to get us every time so we need to tighten up out wide.
"The forwards are pretty well matched - both packs are not overly big - and I don't think they will dominate us in the forwards."
Cowra will also have to turn around an "embarrassing" 64-12 loss to Lithgow last week.
Disruptions hampered the sides' preparation and, with Phil Ingram (suspended) and Warren Williams (family commitments) late withdrawals, Jeffries admits they lacked direction in the halves and finished the second half with 12 players due to injuries sustained in the match.
"Probably only 30 minutes of the contest wasn't up to standard," he said.
"There were some good efforts in the other part of it but overall the scoreline was pretty much an indication of the game.
“The last half hour was pretty poor.
"You don't have to sit there and rant and rave - they have played enough footy and you could tell by looking at them they understood to what had to be done to fix it this week.
"We have proven that we can be very good, but, at the same time, we have proven that we can be very bad."
Going on home form where the Magpies have lost only one match, Jeffries is "reasonably confident" that his side can return to their best on Sunday if their defensive efforts can improve.
"We have bounced back before from losses like this - the results went our way so we are still in the hunt," he said.
"There were a few egos bruised and our results at home have been pretty good.
"I think we'll turn up on the day - whether that will be enough to win is another question because they are a good side and they are starting to shape up.
"It's just the attitude this time of year, especially in defence. You've got to really want to put your body on the line and make the tackle. It is under 8s stuff but when you aren't willing to do that you can see what happens from the weekend result.
"We are desperate. The last two years have been tight tussles, they have won them all, but we've competed well so hopefully with a little bit of luck we'll be able to turn it around."
"Those close matches [earlier in the season] have come back to haunt us now - Oberon, Mudgee and Panthers where we went down by small margins - hurts at this time of year.
"Both Phil Ingram and Warren Williams are available this week with Dean Murray the player in most doubt with a hand injury.
A mini reunion of the '83 and '92 grand final sides in all grades should see a parochial crowd at Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday.