Just one more win.
That, in the end, could be all that separated the 2021 Warriors from grabbing a special place in the club's history.
Making the NRL finals is never easy. It's something the Auckland club have only managed twice in the last 10 seasons. But making the playoffs, amid the Covid chaos of this year– that would have been an achievement for the ages.
And the Warriors could have done it. Maybe should have done it. They have put in so much effort, in unbelievable circumstances, but will end the season as nearly men.
That's the bitter cost of the frustrating 24-22 defeat to the Broncos on Sunday.
The team had worked so hard, against the odds, to get back in top eight contention and a victory at Suncorp Stadium could have built almost unstoppable momentum, with winnable games against the Raiders and Titans to come.
The Warriors are still a mathematical chance of making the finals, but it's unlikely.
That will sting, because they were poised to pounce, while a few other clubs seem to be unravelling, unable to deal with the pressures of the recent relocation.
But what hurts the most is the 'what might have been' factor.
It's hard to remember a Warriors team that has endured so many close games. Half of their matches have been decided by four points or less.
There have been some memorable wins among that lot, but what will linger most are the losses.
The double defeats to the Knights. The Townsville heartbreak after an epic comeback. Daly Cherry-Evans' last second field goal for a misfiring Manly team. And worst of all, that crazy loss to the Dragons, with St George scoring after the hooter, when the Warriors had the game wrapped up.
Had any of those results been different, the Warriors would probably be heading for post-season football.
Of course there are 'if onlys' in every campaign, but this year was a great chance, with such a bottom-heavy competition and so many inconsistent teams.
Coach Nathan Brown has lamented their conservative start, kick defusals and problems off the tee (only one conversion from five attempts) against the Broncos, but some of his decisions will also be debated.
They endured a messy first quarter, possibly a product of a reshuffled spine, with Jazz Tevaga starting at hooker and Chad Townsend brought back.
Townsend was a big call.
There is no doubting his quality or pedigree and he is obviously a superior all round performer to Sean O'Sullivan.
But the rookie half is a wholehearted player and had been part of three consecutive wins. His combination with Reece Walsh, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Wayde Egan was humming, while Townsend hadn't played for a month, battling a shoulder injury.
Prioritising time in the middle for the tradesman-like Bayley Sironen over Tevaga was also curious, as was Jack Murchie's 11 minute stint from the bench.
But Sunday's match also cemented the sense of hope for 2022.
Addin Fonua-Blake had another outstanding game (207 run metres and a game high 38 tackles) and has been a wonderful recruit.
There is the makings of a solid pack around him, with the recent form of Josh Curran and Eliesa Katoa, the experience of Matt Lodge and the pending arrival of Storm youngster Aaron Pene.