The Manly Sea Eagles have temporarily soared into fourth position with a comprehensive 32-12 win over a wounded Wests Tigers outfit at Lottoland.
The Tigers, who entered Thursday's night's must-win game without Robbie Farah and Moses Mbye, also lost replacement hooker Jacob Liddle in the opening five minutes.
The 22-year old's season is likely over with reports suggesting he suffered a serious leg injury after collecting the bodyweight of debuting teammate Tommy Talau in a tackle.
Elijah Taylor filled in admirably with 50 tackles as the Tigers struggled to stay in the contest due to a lopsided possession count, which ended with them only having 35% of the ball and making 170 more tackles than their opposition.
They were also on the wrong end of an 8-2 penalty count.
While Manly bounced back from last week's shock loss to the Warriors, they weren't at their best making 12 errors in the victory.
Addin Fonua-Blake impressed up front for the home side with 216 running metres and eight tackle busts from 54 minutes.
Manly's back five also stepped up with 829 running metres of their own, helping their side run 800 metres more than the Tigers.
It was a surprise that Michael Maguire's men held the Sea Eagles scoreless early given their lack of possession.
Jack Gosiewksi almost had Manly's first of the night when he went over off a Daly Cherry-Evan's pass only for the ball to be called forward.
Gosiewski couldn't be denied later though when he steamed onto a lovely grubber from the Manly halfback to score in the 19th minute.
The Tigers hit back through David Nofoaluma to lock things up at six points apiece despite having little ball.
But they conceded two late tries in the dying stages of the first half.
The first saw Cherry-Evans link with Gosiewski once more. Off the ensuing set, Dylan Walker put Tom Trbojevic through the middle before backing up in support to cross over under the posts.
Much like the opening to the first half both sides struggled to execute early in the second.
And as they did in the first forty, the Tigers faded late to concede two quick tries.
Jorge Taufua barged over out of dummy-half in the 65th minute before two minutes later Moses Suli went over, the pair of tries seeing them extend their lead to 20 points.
Chris Lawrence ran a great line to break through and put Luke Brooks over in the 72nd minute to give the Tigers a late glimmer of hope.
It proved a mere consolation as Fonua-Blake capped off a barnstorming display up front with a try in the 77th minute to reinstate the 20-point deficit.
Manly travel to the nation's capital to take on the Raiders next week in a game that could decide their top-four hopes.
Meanwhile, the Tigers battle Newcastle with the loser likely to say goodbye to their finals prospects.