Wales' agonising one-point defeat against world champions South Africa in Wellington has effectively rendered their appointment with Samoa next Sunday a Pool D survival fixture.
Victory for Wales would keep them on course for the quarter-finals, but any repeat of defeats suffered against Samoa during the 1991 and 1999 tournaments would leave them facing a pool stage exit.
That prospect seems inconceivable on the evidence of their display against a Springboks side that was outplayed for long periods.
And with Wales reporting no fresh injury concerns after leaving their Wellington base to fly north, this week's regrouping exercise should be relatively straightforward.
"There were a couple of times when we didn't look after the ball," said Wales skipper Sam Warburton.
"When we kept the ball for a few phases longer, that's when the penalties started coming.
"At this level, it's just tiny mistakes that can make the difference in the match, really.
"Samoa is a must-win game now, which has put a little bit more pressure on us, but we play well under pressure.
"We have to be optimistic we can get out of the group."
As Wales departed Wellington, so the debate continued surrounding James Hook's "missed" first-half penalty.
The Wales full-back's strike appeared to go over, but assistant referees Vinny Munro and George Clancy kept their flags down and match referee Wayne Barnes did not opt for assistance from the television match official which, it is thought, Barnes could have done.
To their credit, the Wales camp have not made an issue of an episode which ultimately cost them dear, preferring instead to concentrate on what lies ahead.
"Sport can be very cruel times," said centre Jamie Roberts, after Wales were undone by Springboks substitute Francois Hougaard's converted 65th-minute try, losing 17-16.
"When you lose by one point to the world champions in your opening game of the World Cup, it's a pretty bitter pill to swallow.
"But this tournament is too short to dwell on a result like that, and there is no doubt we need to take the positives from the game.
"We just need to pick our heads up. It is a week's turnaround until we play Samoa, and we need to win our remaining three games (against Samoa, Namibia and Fiji).
"There is a huge amount of self-belief in this team, and if we win our remaining pool games we will be in the quarter-finals, so that's the aim for us now.
"As a team, we can be very proud of the performance. It's all about next week now, and we know Samoa will provide formidable opposition."
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