A collective sigh of relief echoed around Penrose tonight after the Warriors slammed the door on seven years of mediocrity with a terrific 36-16 NRL win over Penrith.
The club's long-suffering supporters can sleep easy after their side secured their first finals appearance since 2011 after treading a top eight tightrope many expected them to fall from throughout the second half of the season.
The confident nature of their victory at Mt Smart Stadium now gives them a springboard to launch into next week's final round clash against Canberra and keep alive hope of improving their ladder position.
The result also raises expectations they will replicate that precision and intensity and keep the momentum rolling to ensure retiring former captain Simon Mannering gets the hero's farewell he so richly deserves in what may be his last appearance in Auckland against the Raiders next Friday.
But regardless of what happens from here, the Warriors have already earned a pass mark for defying all expectations and breaking their finals drought when most critics had them fighting for the wooden spoon.
"We'll enjoy this moment and then focus on the improvements and what we did well tonight and what we need to improve on for next week and that's what we've done all year," said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney.
"It's just making sure we prepare well for a big performance next Friday. It's a significant week for our most decorated player but I'm sure he'd just want everyone to do their jobs and that's what we'll focus on."
The good news is they can get even better if they can bottle the attitude and intensity that marked their defence and the direct style that saw them power through the Panthers in the middle and burn them with skill and speed out wide.
Front rower Agnatius Paasi and James Gavet laid the platform early on and Tohu Harris was dynamic in his return from seven weeks out and showed no ill effects from consecutive knee operations.
Halfback Shaun Johnson took control of the game to continue what has been his best season since 2015, when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury that also killed the side's finals prospects.
Right wing David Fusitu'a was also at his best in scoring a hat-trick of tries to cap an all-round impressive team display.
The victory and strong showing from fill-in five-eighth Mason Lino also gives them some welcome breathing space in regards to injured playmaker Blake Green who is racing to recover from a calf injury to be fit to face Canberra.
Kearney may be tempted to give the 31-year-old another week to recover although Green will desperately want to be on deck for what could be his good friend Mannering's Mt Smart swansong.
Recalled centre Peta Hiku also made a strong contribution on the right edge and it remains to be seen whether Gerard Beale will be right to return from a hamstring strain.
"We'll see how [Green] pulls up," said Kearney.
"One thing Blake doesn't like doing is sitting on the sidelines. He was pestering me in the box there but we'll give him every opportunity to try and be right for next Friday."
Consistency has eluded them for much of the second half of their campaign but this showing may just provide the surge in belief needed for them to take their play to the next level in the coming weeks.
"It will just give the boys that edge and it was good just to back ourselves and trust in what we do," said captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
"Last week's defence against the Bulldogs - that wasn't us, and today we showed what we do works so just to help the boys get confidence and believe that what we do works.
"It's going to be good just to enjoy this moment and we're happy with all of the hard work we've put in through the year. This moment feels good but we'll get ready for the next one."
It should also dissolve the ingrained and somewhat understandable pessimism and distrust of their ability among the wider New Zealand sporting public and ensure they ride a wave of support and goodwill.
Strap yourselves in, because this Warriors rollercoaster is finally feeling like fun again.