THE message from Ebbw Vale chief Greg Woods ahead of his side’s game at Bridgend tomorrow (kick-off 2.30pm) couldn’t be clearer – lose to the Ravens and the Steelmen’s title challenge is over.

His men, fourth in the Principality Premiership, may be 14 points adrift of leaders and reigning champions Merthyr but Woods believes they are still in with a shout of lifting the trophy.

They go to the Ironmen in the National Cup next weekend, after which comes games against Neath, Swansea and Cross Keys.

Ebbw are on a seven-game unbeaten run in the Premiership and handsome wins in the next four league fixtures would be ideal going into a huge clash with Pontypridd on St David’s Day.

“We know we’ve got a battle coming our way on Saturday because Bridgend are fighting for every point,” said Woods.

“We’ve got to be really on the money and this week we’ve been making sure that no-one is looking at the Merthyr cup game, it’s all about Bridgend.

“They know the challenge any time you play a team in the bottom half of the league, and with 12 games to go it’s going to be a right battle.”

He added: “I’ve made it abundantly clear that we have four big league games coming up against Bridgend, Neath, Swansea and Cross Keys.

“We’re seven unbeaten in the league and it’s a massive opportunity for us to build on that.

“I’ve challenged the lads to go on a really long unbeaten run and the next four or five matches will determine if we are going to challenge for the title or not.

“If we lose at Bridgend then our title challenge has gone, so there is a lot at stake for us.

“Bridgend is a good opportunity to keep our run going, but we’ve got to keep playing well and keep looking up.

“If we fall back any more then it will probably be too hard to catch Merthyr.”

Woods said that he will “freshen things up” tomorrow in terms of selection following last Friday’s 27-26 victory over RGC 1404.