The Warriors' 2015 Telstra Premiership finals hopes are fading fast.

The balloon filled with the Warriors' hopes in the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership has a hole in it.

And unless something drastic is done very soon - probably in the next game or two - it's going to deflate beyond the point of rescue.

Gutsy Sharks beat Warriors
Warriors v Sharks: Five key points
Ladder Predictor: Who will make the NRL finals?

Following their latest loss - an 18-14 defeat to the Sharks which saw them surrender a 10-0 lead at half time - the Warriors are in danger of dropping out of the top eight by the conclusion of Round 21.

With five games to go Andrew McFadden's side are mathematically still well and truly in the mix, with three wins probably enough to secure them a spot in the eight.

But at this time of the year teams who go on to play in the finals aren't usually using words like 'soft' to describe aspects of their performance.

"We just came up with some soft tries in the second half and that’s what let them back in the game ultimately," McFadden said following the loss at Mount Smart Stadium.

"It hurts, they all hurt when you lose, and obviously it's an important time of the year and we want to keep in the eight.

"But we will draw on some of the positives of the game and things we did really well.

"We are just going to have to be a bit better defensively.

"Probably three [games] we will have to win I'd say, maybe four, I don't know but we will see."

 

Against the Sharks the Warriors dominated the first half, enjoying 68 per cent possession and running for more than double the metres of their opponents.

But they were only able to convert it into 10 points, something which prop Jacob Lillyman said proved crucial in the closing stages of the match. 

"With all that possession we had in the first half, it would have been nice to get at least another try and I guess capitalise on that," the Queensland State of Origin representative said.

"We needed to convert that possession into another try or two; that would have given us a bit of breathing space there. But it didn't happen.

"We defended really well, our line speed, our contact and our aggression was really good, but we let them off a couple of times.

"They got a couple of soft tries there which in the end was telling and contributed to our loss.

"For the most part we dominated the physical contest. We were driving them back there a fair bit, but just some lapses in mental concentration was what hurt us in the end."

On a more positive note the Warriors have no new injury concerns from the game, and expect to have veteran second-rower Ryan Hoffman back for next week's clash against the Dragons in Wellington.