CROSS Keys have no margin for error when they welcome fellow Premiership playoff hopefuls Llanelli to Pandy Park this evening, writes Chris Kirwan.
Fourth-placed Keys head into the game on the back of a 22-12 defeat to Bedwas at a sodden Bridge Field, their first league defeat since October 5.
Head coach Greg Woods has admitted that his side were outpowered by their Gwent rivals and bemoaned their execution of the basics in poor conditions.
With the going certain to be heavy at Pandy Park this evening an improvement will be necessary against fifth-placed Llanelli.
Victory would ensure Keys keep the heat on Pontypridd, Llandovery and Carmarthen Quins while also landing a blow to the hopes of the Parc y Scarlets team.
Defeat will leave them playing catch-up as games run out in the second half of the season.
"This is a massive game," said Woods. "Llanelli are right next to us in the table and it will be a big blow for whoever loses.
"We have some good recent form against them at Pandy Park but we were pretty bad at Bedwas and need to up our game.
"We haven't spoken too much about Llanelli in training this week and that's not through disrespect – they are a quality side – it's just that our own performance was so disappointing at Bedwas.
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves and need to be ready to bounce back this evening. We have to be more physical up front, improve at the set piece and do the basics much, much better."
Keys have won eight out of 10 home encounters this season with champions Pontypridd and Leinster A the only sides to lower their colours at Pandy Park.
They also have a formidable record against Llanelli in Gwent; the west Walians have lost all five games since their triumph at Cross Keys in October of 2008.
Adam Powell will continue to lead the side from number eight in the absence of captain Leon Andrews, who is sidelined with an elbow injury.