Easts has been left to walk the finals tightrope after suffering a 48-18 defeat at the hands of Burleigh in the last fixture round of the Intrust Super Cup.
The Tigers are now likely to be away from home in the first week of the finals, with another loss ending their season.
Although extremely unlikely that the Easts would miss the finals altogether due to a strong for-and-against, the defeat at the hands of the Bears means it is mathematically possible with six games to play in the final round.
Northern Pride, PNG and Ipswich are the other three clubs all vying to leapfrog the Tigers, but Ipswich would require a 33-point win over Norths for Easts to miss out completely.
Conversely, Burleigh has submitted a claim for the minor premiership, but needs Redcliffe to lose to the Sunshine Coast Falcons tonight to confirm that equation.
Townsville now cannot finish any higher than third, with the Bears and Dolphins set to have the first week off in the finals.
Neither the Easts nor Burleigh coaching staff would be pleased with their defence from Saturday's contest at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
Six tries were scored in a breakneck first half and, though emerging on top, there were some worrying signs for the Bears in a scrappy start to the game.
Prolific Easts winger Linc Port played a part in just nine minutes of the duel, spending a significant amount of time receiving medical attention after a tackle by Bears playmaker Dylan Phythian.
In his 100th Intrust Super Cup game, Bears enforcer Luke Page crossed for a try in the second half, while Sami Sauiluma, Josh Berkers and Kurtis Rowe ended the match with doubles for Burleigh.
Representative half Jamal Fogarty featured in a runaway try after scooping up a loose ball out the back of the Tigers' ruck.
Kea Pere nabbed two tries for Easts, but the Tigers converted just one from four to make the final losing margin seem more comprehensive.
BURLEIGH BEARS 48 (Sami Sauiluma 2, Kurtis Rowe 2, Joshua Berkers 2, Jamal Fogarty, Luke Page tries; Jamal Fogarty 8 goals) def EASTS TIGERS 18 (Kea Pere 2, Kelma Tuilagi, Shane Neumann tries; Brayden Torpy goal) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.