The Warriors have notched up a third consecutive win for the first time this season defeating the last-placed Canterbury Bulldogs 24-10 in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon. The victory puts the Warriors two points off the top eight.
They remain in 12th spot after the win over the Bulldogs and still a long shot for the top eight. However, their chances have received a significant boost over the weekend after losses by the Canberra Raiders (beaten 26-16 by the Melbourne Storm), St George Dragons (who lost 16-34 to the Penrith Panthers) and the Gold Coast Titans (defeated 36-6 by the South Sydney Rabbitohs).
Today's win gives the Warriors 18 points and keeps them in the outside mix for the top eight, with three further rounds left in the regular season. The Titans, Raiders and Knights (in 7th through 9th places) all currently sit on 20 points, although the Knights and Sharks (10th, with 18 points)) play each other Sunday evening after the Warriors have finished their game. The NZ side just missed the chance to move up to 11th spot ahead of St George as they needed to beat the Bulldogs by 19 points or more to do so.
The Bulldogs went into the game with the worst defensive record in the NRL having conceded 628 points in 20 games, and recording only five wins in their last 40 games stretching back to last year.
Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett says their goal is to end the season well, starting with "a result" against the Warriors.
"To finish the year well, that's our main focus. It has been a challenging year no doubt about that, but we'll be better for it."
The Warriors have won four of their past six games against a Bulldogs side which Canterbury assistant coach David Furner said has been "beating ourselves".
"We're putting ourselves in situations where we're not building the pressure, we're not getting into situations where we're making probably less tackles," he said.
Furner said they are expecting the Warriors to bring the same competitiveness they have shown in back-to-back wins over the Tigers and Sharks.
"In the last couple of weeks, they've been able to come away with wins with disruptions to their team, so we believe they won't be any different to what they've done in the last two weeks.
"They've obviously lost a couple of players as well but they've also got some replacements that are going to fill in a void for the team, that they're going to be nice and aggressive."
Warriors centre Peta Hiku will make his 150th NRL appearance in Sunday's game. Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was also set to mark the same milestone but has to wait out a one-game suspension for contrary conduct. Rookie winger Edward Kosi has been named as his replacement.
Prop Jackson Frei will make his debut for the Warriors.
Kick-off is at 3.50pm Sunday (NZ time).