Bulls captain Pierre Spies says that this week's Super Rugby match against the Sharks on Friday is an opportunity to keep their hopes of securing a home playoff match alive.
"Every season is different, last year we were in a situation where we had to win every game to make the playoffs," said Spies in Pretoria.
"Our motivation to win is still the same and we would like to get a home quarter or semi, we want to get the best result we can."
While the Bulls are in a stronger position than at the same stage in last year's competition, they did not want to fall into the same trap against the Sharks.
Last year the Sharks ended the Bulls' playoff ambitions by ousting the defending champions on their home ground with a narrow 26-23 victory.
"In the end you want to win your games and if you look at last year it was so close and yet so far losing that last game against the Sharks," Spies said.
"It is almost similar as there is a lot at stake this weekend with both teams gunning for that second place."
The weekend's results in the matches between the Cheetahs and the Stormers and the Sharks and Bulls could see the top position in the South African conference change.
The Cheetahs could do the Bulls a favour if they beat the Stormers on Saturday, provided the Pretoria-based side win their match.
The Sharks, who are in eighth place on the overall log, will be desperate to move back into the top six in the penultimate week of the Super Rugby knockout phase.
"We had a good roll against the Cheetahs last week and now it is another tough task waiting for us in Durban," said Spies.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the side kept a keen eye on the permutations and they would -- like their opponents -- be hell bent on winning their final matches of the series.
"It is a must win situation but our focus is on our plan and executing for 80 minutes and what will be required this Friday night," said Ludeke.
"I think we are also desperate. Everybody needs to win and that is what makes this contest such a special event on Friday.
"Both teams need to be successful and it is going to be a huge clash."