The Maitland Mustangs can take a huge step to avoiding the first week of the play-offs with victory at home on Saturday against the Central Coast Crusaders.
Victory would give the Mustangs a game's break on the Crusaders and ensure they hold the head-to-head advantage in the event of both teams finishing on equal wins for the season.
However, while the Magpies can probably afford to drop one game and go directly to the semi-finals or at the least host a semi-final, Mustangs coach Luke Boyle is taking the simple approach of it's best to win their last three games and guarantee a week off.
"This week against Central Coast it is so important we double up on them," Boyle said of Maitland's match-up against the Crusaders at Maitland Federation Centre.
"It gives us a game break. It will push them to six losses and we will have five and we will have the tie-break advantage..
"We hold tie-break advantage over a few side in play-off contention but it's important that we just win out for the rest of the season and just don't put ourselves in that situation."
Boyle said things were starting to fall into place for the Mustangs going into their final three games before the play-offs with another strong showing from their bench in Saturday night's 81-68 win against bottom-placed Hornsby Spiders at the Federation Centre.
Jack Edwards led the scoring with 18 points, with skipper Terrell Turner (16 points), Daniel Millburn (15) and Isaiah Ellis (14) all making double figures.
"It was a good win, we started off pretty strong and it set the tone for the game.," Boyle said.
"It allowed us to rotate pretty heavily. It was good to get those guys some important minutes before play-offs. Sam Huggins for instance has been hurting a bit over the past few weeks so we didn't have to play him.
"Terrell was pretty sick so we had to keep pulling him out all the time,
"The bench is huge in play-offs and this is where some of the other teams who are playing guys for 38-40 minutes a game are going to struggle.
"it's not feasible to keep running guys like that, even in a normal game it just reduces productivity.
"You don't know who is getting in foul trouble either, having those guys coming out off the bench with confidence if vital.
"The bench was fantastic. Riley Markovich came out and scored six points in 10 minutes.
"The great thing is we are getting a really good contribution from the bench, but if it doesn't happen we can rotate and push the lead back out."
Boyle said great defensive games from Ellis and Josh Clifford were complemented by great figures at both ends of the court by Edwards and Turner.
"The one who keeps the energy going is Jack Edwards. He can pick the tempo in defence and offence and stop opposition runs. That is why we are so strong. Having him and Cliffy in the starting five we have two guys who are high energy all the time."