If the NZ Warriors are to make the NRL playoffs, they might have to win six of their remaining seven clashes - a strong indication that the club's playoff drought will be extended for another season.

Their 34-22 defeat to the Penrith Panthers last night put the season on life-support and downgraded their chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 2011 from unlikely to slim.

A general rule of thumb is 28 points will be enough for eighth place, but this season it might be more than that.

The Warriors currently sit on 18 points with seven rounds remaining, meaning they need to win five of their last seven games ... possibly six, just to make sure.


At the end of Round 19, the St George Dragons will be sitting in the final playoff spot on 22 points. The Parramatta Eels currently sit in eighth, also on 22 points, but have the bye this week and will move to 24 points at the end of the round on Sunday.

The Dragons, who the Warriors will most likely be contesting the eighth spot with, play four of the bottom five teams - Newcastle Knights, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Gold Coast Titans and Canterbury Bulldogs - in their final seven games.

The Eels have a much easier final run, with clashes against the five worst teams.

The Warriors also don't have the hardest run home, but they're now nearly at the point where they can't afford to drop a game, a daunting prospect when they've only won one game away from home this year.

The most difficult clashes are probably the next two, meaning their season could be done in the next fortnight.

The Warriors have won just once on the road this season and don't have the strongest record in Townsville - just five wins from 16 clashes. The NOrth Queensland Cowboys have also looked in fine form the last two weeks, despite losing playmaker Johnathan Thurston to a shoulder injury for the season.

The following week the Warriors host last year's premiers - Cronulla Sharks - who currently sit second.

There's also the worrying stat that the Warriors have won just one game in August over the last two seasons (1-8 record).

After hosting the Sharks, the final five games all look "winnable", but with half Shaun Johnson set to be ruled out for the season following a knee injury in last night's defeat, it suddenly looks most likely another September where the Warriors are left out in the cold.

Warriors' final seven fixtures

Cowboys (10-6) away
Sharks (11-5) home
Knights (2-14) away
Raiders (7-10) home
Rabbitohs (6-10) away
Sea Eagles (10-6) home
Tigers (4-12) away