The Cronulla Sharks snapped a five-game losing streak with a hard-fought 16-14 win over a gritty North Queensland Cowboys outfit.
The victory temporarily brings the Sharks up to ninth position on the ladder while it leaves the Cowboys in 13th place with their top-eight hopes fading fast.
Things don't get any easier for Paul Green's men, who face the Broncos, Knights, Panthers and Storm in their final stretch of six games to finish the year.
They made a strong start though, leading 14-4 early in the second half. This was despite being without centre Javid Bowen for the entire game and winger Kyle Feldt in the second half.
Scott Drinkwater sliced over for the first try of the night when he got on the outside of Chad Townsend in the fourth minute.
Shaun Johnson was impressive for the Sharks, finishing with two try-assists and three line-break assists.
He almost also set up Cronulla's first when he took on the line on the last, stepping back inside and finding space before linking with Josh Morris.
Despite having Sosaia Feki unmarked on his outside, Morris chose to go himself and was held up.
North Queensland then returned serve with a missed opportunity of their own.
An air swing from Josh Dugan left Feldt with the task of simply grounding a Jake Clifford grubber but the Cowboys winger fumbled it.
Eventually Cronulla hit back as Ronaldo Mulitalo strolled over off a lovely cut-out pass from Johnson in the 36th minute.
But an error from Braden Hamlin-Uele off the following set handed possession straight back to North Queensland and they made them pay as Matt Scott spun over in the dying moments.
The Cowboys pushed further ahead in the second half as Francis Molo dived onto a Granville kick, the hooker's second try-assist of the night.
Like they did last week, North Queensland eventually tired and conceded two quick tries to fall behind for the first time in the match.
It was Johnson again starring, sending Briton Nikora charging through before Chad Townsend turned it inside to Bronson Xerri who went over a couple of minutes later.
It proved to be enough as the Sharks held on for a scrappy win.
They play the Rabbitohs next week while the Cowboys travel to take on the equally desperate Tigers.