League's NRL top eight is more or less locked in with two rounds to play after Manly's finals charge fell apart with an error-ridded effort against Parramatta on Sunday at Brookvale Oval.
Heading into round 24 after six wins in their last seven games, the Sea Eagles were likely going to need three more to be a chance of qualifying for an 11th successive finals campaign, but their 20-16 loss to the Eels leaves them very much up against it.
Manly will have to win their final matches and rely on seventh-placed Canterbury or eighth-placed St George falling over if they are to qualify for the playoffs.
Both the Bulldogs and the Dragons have relatively easy home runs.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey launched a scathing attack on his side, claiming they did not deserve to play in the NRL finals based on their performance against Parramatta.
"We were lucky they were as bad as us to keep us in the game," Toovey said.
"I think we were 21 sets from 40 completions which is just diabolical and our worst all year."
"I thought all the luck was in our hands, the last three games if we kept winning, I thought we were a really good shot, but now we need some luck," he said.
"But the performance we put on tonight, we don't deserve to be there."