SEA EAGLES 16 BRONCOS 6

Running wild ... Daly Cherry-Evans skips clear of the defence.

Running wild ... Daly Cherry-Evans skips clear of the defence. Photo: Getty Images

Petero Civoniceva last night refused to contemplate the possibility that his illustrious career could come to a premature end next Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Civoniceva, who is retiring at the end of the season, will play his last game unless Brisbane beat Penrith - and even if they do, he is likely to have to wait until after the weekend to know whether his career is over.

Glenn Stewart is held up.

Glenn Stewart is held up. Photo: Getty Images

The match had already been planned as a farewell for Civoniceva as it is the last time the 36-year-old prop will play at Suncorp Stadium, but the Broncos' sixth successive loss last night has ensured it will be now an even more emotional occasion.

After walking off Brookvale Oval following last night's 16-6 defeat by the Sea Eagles, Brisbane players were told that Canberra had upset the Bulldogs, and they are likely to be out of the top eight by the end of the weekend.

Civoniceva acknowledged that how his career ends might be out of his hands, but insisted it wasn't a concern as he tries to help the Broncos keep their finals hopes alive.

Brett Stewart plants the ball over the line for a try.

Brett Stewart plants the ball over the line for a try. Photo: Getty Images

''It is probably the last thing on my mind at the moment,'' Civoniceva said. ''The focus is just on the boys here and we have had a great season, but we find ourselves in a tough situation. That is where my mind is at. I couldn't really care less about the way it is supposed to end.

''We are going through a bit of a tough period but if we get some luck and maybe a few results go our way, we will be there with a shot. It is a must win for us next week but I guess when you walk the tightrope this is what happens. It was always going to be a big game, I guess, but I suppose it has got more onus on it now.''

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin said Civoniceva's farewell would not be a distraction for his players, who have now suffered narrow losses to the top three teams, Canterbury, Melbourne and Manly, in successive weeks.

While he acknowledged that their fate might now be out of the their hands, Griffin remained positive and believed the team could still be a force in the finals if they make it. ''Six weeks ago we would have rolled over and got done by 30,'' he said.

Griffin said the team's recent form was a lesson for the club. ''We were in control six weeks ago,'' he said. ''We're getting what we deserve. We're not blaming anyone. We played the Titans, Parramatta and Canberra, and if we'd come up with anywhere near the efforts of the last couple of weeks, no disrespect to those teams, but we would have squeaked a win somewhere, maybe two. It's a lesson for us. We've dug ourselves in a hole.

''We've been fighting like hell, but we just can't get a win at the moment.''

Despite the Broncos now equalling the third worst losing run in the club's 25-year history, Civoniceva said the mood in the dressing room was upbeat.

''All we can do is regroup and have a good preparation and be right to go next week,'' he said. ''The effort is there, the boys have been fantastic and tonight we just didn't have much momentum. All we have to do is keep doing is keep chipping away and hopefully things will turn for us.

''I think that is a real positive for us, even though it has been tough for us we have been holding the top teams. We just have got to make sure we hold strong as a group and fight our way through this.''

MANLY 16 (B Stewart 2 J Lyon tries J Lyon 2 goals) bt BRISBANE 6 (A Glenn try P Wallace goal) at Brookvale Oval. Referees: Tony Archer, Jason Robinson. Crowd: 12,886