Joe Stimson's late try snatched a 16-13 victory over Sydney Roosters which all but wrapped up the minor premiership for Melbourne Storm, while Penrith Panthers are up to sixth in the NRL after fighting back to beat North Queensland Cowboys.
A Luke Keary drop goal seven minutes from time put the third-placed Roosters in front for the first time in a pulsating contest at AAMI Park, but there was a final twist.
Second row Stimson proved to be the Storm's match-winner, crashing over with only three minutes remaining after passing a concussion test to put the leaders six points clear with only three rounds to play.
Melbourne started with gusto, scoring 10 points without reply courtesy of a controversial penalty try, awarded when Latrell Mitchell impeded Suliasi Vunivalu as he chased Cooper Cronk's kick, and six points from the boot of Cameron Smith.
Keary dotted down for a converted try 10 minutes prior to the interval and the Roosters were level midway through the second half when Mitchell Aubusson crashed his way over, Mitchell adding the extras following a Smith penalty.
Five-eighth Keary showed great composure to send a drop goal sailing through the posts in a tense finale, but it was Stimson who had the final say, taking a pass from Cronk to power his way over.
Nathan Cleary was in-form Penrith's match-winner at Pepper Stadium, scoring a second-half double and landing four conversions as they beat the injury-hit Cowboys 24-16.
North Queensland led 16-6 in the second half courtesy of four-pointers from Kane Linnett, Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo, but Clearly struck twice either side from a try from former Cowboy James Tamou as the Panthers stretched their winning run to six matches.
Morgan (concussion) and Justin O'Neill (dislocated elbow) left the field in the first half on a night which saw the Cowboys drop to eighth.
St George Illawarra Dragons are just outside the top eight after Kurt Mann, Jason Nightingale and Cameron McInnes scored two tries apiece in a 42-16 drubbing of Gold Coast Titans.
|Schmidt departs as Wolfsburg face relegation fight|
|Madrid, Barca & PSG are Champions League favourites, says Heynckes|
|I was at rock bottom – Brook opens up on depression battle|
|Rashid in form as Afghanistan rout sorry Zimbabwe|
|Toulon president charged over Bastareaud comments|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Faletau all fit as Wales given clean bill of health|
|Hughes availability ´absolutely huge´ for England, says Alphonsi|
|Former football coach Bennell sentenced to 31 years|
|Why didn´t Jimmy Butler play in NBA All-Star Game?|
|Returning Ringrose added to Ireland Six Nations squad|
|Hummels wary of ´top European team´ as Bayern prepare for Besiktas|
|In-form Kvitova withdraws from Dubai|
|WATCH: ´Crazy´ Evra drives to West Ham training in London cab|
|Barca clash a chance for Chelsea ´to do things right´, proclaims Rudiger|
|Lucas claims Tottenham can win Champions League|
|Federer the ´complete player´ with number-one return - Schuettler|
|LeBron relishes one more link-up with Irving|
|Barcelona tie will not decide Conte´s Chelsea future, says Deco|
|Cordner signs bumper deal with Roosters|
|Lewandowski won´t be distracted by Real Madrid rumours|
|Bennett signs on until 2019 with England|
|Man Utd must not underestimate Sevilla - Navas|
|Coleman demolishes 20-year-old 60m world record|
|Red Bull reveal ´special edition´ livery on 2018 car|
|Iniesta will not be made welcome at Stamford Bridge, warns Azpilicueta|
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Karmichael Hunt faces no conviction, but will remain sidelined|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in thrilling All-Star Game|
|McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera|
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|Mickelson ready for Masters after third straight top-six finish|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Dillon reigns supreme with overtime win at Daytona 500|
|Bubba Watson ends drought with third Genesis Open title|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|Anderson ends barren spell with New York Open triumph|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Overton replaces injured Plunkett for Blacks Caps ODI series|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|´Quick-healer´ Groves hopeful over shoulder injury|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Fit-again Hughes included in England squad|
|New number one Federer revels in ´unbelievable´ week|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Thiem regains Argentina Open title|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Racing beat La Rochelle to go second, Castres edge out Bordeaux|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|Banks boot pays dividends for Treviso|
|Lucky 13 and second successive title for Kvitova after Muguruza classic|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|