The Warriors coach Andrew McFadden concedes their chances of making the NRL top four are all but over, following yesterday's 28-22 away loss to the lowly Knights.
The defeat drops the Auckland based club to 8th on the ladder, still just two wins outside the top four but also only one loss away from falling out of the playoff places.
Hooker Nathan Friend admits the Warriors lacklustre performance was hardly a good omen heading into their final three games, in which they'll face the third placed defending champion Roosters and the fourth placed Panthers.
The Knights, who started the round in 14th place on the ladder, jumped out to a 14-nil lead with 3 early tries before the Warriors clawed their way back with tries to David Fusitua and Manu Vatuvei to go to the break 14-10 down in Newcastle.
The Warriors then got on level terms early in the second half with a try to Nathan Friend, but the Knights finished the stronger with 2 more tries to score a deserved win.
Fusitua and Vatuvei scored their second tries late in the game, but because the Warriors only managed 1 conversion from their 5 tries, they were always playing catchup.
McFadden says they were guilty of failing to sustain pressure and poor discipline.
Manly are back on top of the table, two points clear of South Sydney.