With at least 26 points needed to make the top eight, even in a season where the table is very tight, the Bulldogs and North Queensland are all but gone, needing a run of at least 10 wins from the last 11 rounds.
The Sharks and Roosters stay part of a four-team share of the lead after both had 16-14 wins yesterday over the Eels and Knights respectively.
But the Sharks have lost Greg Bird for between two to six weeks with cruciate knee ligament damage. He was dragged down just short of the tryline and his left knee buckled under the weight of himself and Eels tackler Brett Finch.
Video referee Bill Harrigan awarded a contentious penalty in the 79th minute to the Sharks just 10m out and in front of goal after Eels prop Fuifui Moimoi collided with Brett Kimmorley after his long-range drop goal attempt.
Kimmorley suffered from contact to his chin from Moimoi and stayed down, allowing time for Harrigan to review footage and tell whistleblower Shayne Hayne to award the penalty, ending the 14-all deadlock.
There couldn't have been a greater contrast between the two results from Friday night and the two on Saturday.
The Tigers threw everything at the Broncos for 73 minutes and the scores were locked at 18-all. Then fullback Karmichael Hunt slotted a field goal, with the Tigers coach Tim Sheens later complaining about the way he was shielded by others.
Three Tigers' field goal attempts went wide, the last by John Morris from right in front.
Halfback Jamie Soward settled things between the Dragons and Panthers with a field goal eight minutes from time, the 13-12 win Saints' fifth in a row. Both teams lost star players, Panthers fullback Rhys Wesser scoring an early try under the bar and leaving shortly afterwards with an abdominal tear. Dragons centre and captain Mark Gasnier suffered a back injury that threatens his place in State of Origin III on July 2.
The Bulldogs were hammered 58-18 by the Raiders, the first of two capitulations on Saturday.
The Storm consigned North Queensland to their eighth-straight loss, 48-20, Greg Inglis bagging three of their nine tries.
Bad news for the Warriors was a season-ending shoulder dislocation for their new signing Jacob Lillyman, who requires surgery.