Warriors coach Andrew Webster has hailed his side's "unbelievable" top-four finish after an 18-6 win over St George Illawarra locked them in for a double chance in the post-season.
Writing another chapter in their redemption story after last year's 15th-place finish, the win guaranteed at least one Australian side will face the challenging task of competing at the Warriors' New Zealand fortress in the finals.
A stifling defensive effort carried them to their seventh straight win, although it came at a cost with five-eighth Luke Metcalf leaving Mount Smart Stadium on Friday night clutching his hamstring in what could prove a huge blow just a fortnight from the finals.
Coach Andrew Webster didn't know the extent of the injury post-game but said it wasn't the same hamstring that sidelined Metcalf until round 13 this season.
Metcalf's absence didn't help a Warriors side that lacked attacking creativity. They were held try-less for 55 minutes after two early scores before a late four-pointer sealed the win.
Webster said his side's stellar defensive showing separated it from other scrappy wins they've had in recent weeks.
"The boys defended unbelievably tonight, that was the best part of their game," he said.
"They scored a try from a kick, not from breaking us down, and I never felt like they really looked like doing that.
"Top four is an unbelievable achievement for the club, the whole club should be really proud. But we go to another goal now."
The hosts led 10-0 at halftime after landing an early one-two punch.
Adam Pompey cruised in for the game's opening points before fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad stepped his way through the Dragons' line, making the most of a bad missed tackle from Zac Lomax.
But they were vulnerable to a shock turnaround when Lomax crossed on 61 minutes via a Ben Hunt bomb, rubbing in the fact Warriors front-rower Addin Fonua-Blake had butchered an easy chance that would have put them 16-0 ahead.
Fonua-Blake got his redemption five minutes from time, scoring after a sloppy effort from Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan when he failed to ground an easy ball in-goal.
The Dragons lost debutant winger Sione Finau (leg) and centre Lomax (head knock) within seconds of each other in the first half, forcing a complete reshuffle of their left edge.
Hooker Jacob Liddle had to have a run on the wing and compete in the air with Warriors flyer Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, and held his own, before Lomax returned for the second half.
Warriors have some high-quality cover at five-eighth if Metcalf faces a lengthy absence, with New Zealand international Te Maire Martin returning from a broken fibula in NSW Cup on Saturday.
St George interim coach Ryan Carr praised another solid fight from his side but said execution stopped them winning their sixth game of the year.
"It's like Groundhog Day for us at the moment," he said.
"We're giving ourselves the best chance to win games and we're finding ways to not win in key moments."