The Warriors head into the most important week of their season nursing plenty of scars from a 46-12 thrashing at the hands of the Roosters.
After conceding five second-half tries in their biggest defeat of the year, the New Zealanders have left themselves almost certainly needing to win their remaining two games, and may have also surrendered the right to control their own finals destiny if other results go against them.
“Obviously we are not in the ideal position… but we know the situation we are in and we will do everything we can to make the eight,” said fullback Sam Tomkins.
“We have no choice have we? It’s going to be a tough one.
“We have made that tougher now but we will regroup and stay strong.
“There were lots of things we will have to look at in the review and go through, there was no one thing or one play that cost us that game; they scored far too many points.”
In front of 19,676 fans – the largest attendance at Mount Smart Stadium in 2014 – the Warriors should have been motivated and clinical, but instead looked tired and clumsy on both sides of the ball.
Utility Ben Henry, who was forced to shift from the back row to left centre after five minutes when winger David Fusitu'a left the field with a dislocated shoulder, said his side’s mentality was soft.
“There are many things we need to look at and address, one of them is our mentally towards the game,” Henry said.
“We weren’t physical – we got beat up – and that is something we have to address this week.
“We didn’t turn up with the right mentally, we knew it was going to be a physical battle and we didn’t turn up with that enthusiasm that we had in previous weeks.
“We spoke about it midweek – how this was an important game for us – and plain and simple we didn’t turn up.
“I think collectively all 17 players… there were a lot of errors from the team and we didn’t show up. That is what happens in the NRL, if you don’t show up you get beaten pretty bad.”
The Kiwi side now host the Titans, who themselves come off a 34-6 beating at the hands of the Dragons, before taking on the Panthers at Sportingbet Stadium, where last year they copped a club record 62-6 loss.
“Cappy just said we have got to learn from it and that is something we have to do this week going into the Gold Coast Titans game,” Henry said in regards to his side’s mindset.
“That’s the NRL, you could be riding high one week and then have a couple of weeks and a couple of losses.
“But we just have to train this week like our lives depend on it, every game is a must win for us in the last two weeks, we just have to be better next week.”
The toll from Sunday’s game might end up being more than just physiological for the Warriors too, with a number of injury concerns emerging for key players.
The club has now run out of specialist wingers following Fusitu’a’s forced exit, while strike centre Konrad Hurrell left the game late with a lower arm complaint.
Halfback Shaun Johnson, who was repeatedly put under duress by the Roosters’ forward pack, also picked up a knock, but according to McFadden the initial diagnosis suggested it was not serious.