In comparison, the Warriors finished eighth last year with a 15-9 record.
The eighth-placed team this year will be just the second side this decade to reach the finals with a losing record after the Gold Coast did likewise in 2016.
Parramatta in 1975, Gold Coast in 1997, St George Illawarra and Canberra in 2002, the Raiders in 2004 and Brisbane in 2007 are the other teams to have done so since the finals were introduced in 1926.
Of those sides, only the Eels of 1975 and Gold Coast in 1997 have advanced past the first week of the finals.
The Broncos’ effort to make the finals is, however, notable considering they were 14th just after the halfway point of the competition.
But coach Anthony Seibold warned they would just be cannon fodder for Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium next week if they repeated the performance they put in against the Bulldogs.
“If I look at the second part of the year we have made some really big strides,” he said.
“But I am annoyed because now we hope tomorrow doesn’t go into a golden point draw. And that’s not a good strategy.
“And if we are fortunate enough to get into the top eight we will be playing Parramatta away.
“And if we turn up like that they will beat us and beat us convincingly.”
It comes after the NRL suggested the idea of introducing a wildcard weekend for teams placed seventh to 10th earlier this year.
At the time, there was backlash against the idea as critics claimed it would reward mediocrity.
Bulldogs coach Dean Pay on Saturday night joked he would like to advance via the system, given his team has won five of their last six to finish the season.
Making the finals after a losing season
- Gold Coast, 2016: 11 wins, 12 losses, 1 draw – 27 pts
- Brisbane, 2007: 11-13 – 25pts
- Canberra, 2004: 11-13 – 26pts
- Canberra, 2002: 10-13-1 – 25pts*
- St George Illawarra, 2002: 9-12-3 – 25pts
- Gold Coast, 1997 (ARL): 10-11-1 – 21pts
- Parramatta, 1975: 10-11-1 – 21pts*
* Parramatta in 1975 and Canberra in 2002 both qualified after rivals were stripped of points.