Blake Green's fitness will be assessed over the coming days - as the Warriors hope that the injury that ruled him out of Saturday's 28-24 to the Rabbitohs isn't a serious one.
Green was a last minute withdrawal after picking up a groin strain during the warm-up, leaving utility Peta Hiku and rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita as the halves.
With two games in the next 12 days, including the annual Anzac day trip to face the Storm, the Warriors can't afford to have Green sidelined for a prolonged period.
"He had a sore groin," said coach Stephen Kearney. "What that means we will have to wait and see. We will get some scans and go from there."
Kearney said Green had trained untroubled in the buildup to the game, and even after pulling up sore in the warm up, his participation was being debated minutes before kickoff.
"He was pretty keen to [play] but we didn't want to take unnecessary risks," said Kearney. "It was pretty unrealistic anyway…I don't think he was ever a chance."
The Warriors coped reasonably well in the circumstances, with Harris-Tavita showing his potential as he took on the mantle of chief playmaker, but the team missed Green's composure and organization in the final quarter.
Holding a 24-12 lead with 18 minutes to play, the Warriors couldn't manage the situation and lost their way completely.
They barely completed a set during that time, inviting constant pressure, and allowing the Rabbitohs to find their groove.
It didn't help that hooker Issac Luke was also off the field – concussed after a nasty high shot – and things began to unravel.
"It's the nature of this competition…you have to finish things off," lamented Kearney. "The frustrating and disappointing part for us is that we worked really hard to get ourselves into position but we weren't smart enough to close it out. We couldn't manage the back end of the game."
The coach was left to rue a final quarter where everything that could go wrong, did, allowing the South Sydney side to find some momentum, after Wayne Bennett's team had looked out of sorts at times during the match.
"It was pretty simple," said Kearney of the last 20 minutes. " I think we had seven sets with the footy and we completed one. You just can't do that. We had an error off a scrum, an error on halfway with Adam Blair, we had Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck] passing the ball over the sideline to Ken, and a seven tackle set off the attempted drop goal."
It's a defeat that will sting. Knocking off one of the Premiership favourites would have been a massive boost, but the Warriors are left to wonder what might have been.
On the plus side, the team looked like a genuine NRL team again on Saturday, after disappearing into some weird vortex during rounds two and three. They competed well physically, had some sharp moments on attack and at times showed real desire to defend their line.
"Given the circumstances, and the challenge that you face when you lose your chief playmaker the way they responded through effort and working hard for each other was a real positive," said Kearney.
Kearney had praise for Harris-Tavita ("his effort again was a positive one") and Tuivasa-Sheck, who again managed a superlative performance, only marred by a couple of late errors.
Luke will underway concussion protocols across this week while Solomone Kata (corked thigh) and Peta Hiku (knee) copped heavy knocks which will need to be assessed on Monday.