The Sydney Roosters scored seven tries and held on for dear life to record a thrilling win over an emotional Wests Tigers, who had their seven-match NRL winning streak ended yesterday.
It was confirmed just over an hour before kick-off that Sonia Farah, the mother of Tigers captain and NSW State of Origin star Robbie Farah, had died, losing her battle with pancreatic cancer.
The players stood on the field for a minute's silence and Tigers stand-in skipper in Farah's absence, Benji Marshall, appeared to be in tears as a heavy mood set over a packed-out Leichhardt Oval.
However, it took Marshall only four minutes to break the match open, with a threaded grubber forcing an error in judgment from Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello for wing Matt Utai to score.
But from there the Roosters dominated, scoring four first-half tries to put them ahead 36-10 with just under 20 minutes remaining before they were forced to hold on in the face of an exciting last-ditch flurry from the Tigers.
The home side posted four tries of their own in the final quarter of the game.
Frank-Paul Nuuausala was central in the Roosters' rampaging first half, coming up with six offloads and two try assists to help the visitors to a 24-4 lead at the break.
The Tigers trailed by eight with six minutes left and should have got a penalty in front for a high tackle on Marshall - but instead the Roosters survived and prop Martin Kennedy ended any hope of a miracle comeback.
The win meant the young Roosters kept within two wins of the top eight, and their finals hopes remain alive.
Hard-hit by injury, Gold Coast posted a courageous victory over an inept Penrith at Skilled Park in Robina.
The Titans lost centre Beau Champion (ankle) and pint-sized hooker Matt Srama (shoulder) to injuries in the first half while NSW State of Origin back-rower Greg Bird left the field in the 45th minute with an arm injury.
Srama later returned and was involved in a 68th minute try to utility Luke O'Dwyer as the Titans recorded their fourth win from their past five matches.
Panthers fullback Lachlan Coote had a day he would rather forget. Coote threw an intercept pass that led to a David Mead try and fumbled a pass that resulted in the four-pointer to centre Steve Michaels that gave the hosts an 18-0 lead at halftime.
Coote was also brushed aside attempting to tackle try-bound forward Brenton Lawrence in the 49th minute as the depleted Titans all but wrapped up the two points after racing to a 30-0 lead.
This season, the Panthers have struggled to convert prime field position into points and it was a familiar story against the Titans.
Ivan Cleary's men continually butchered their opportunities through sloppy passes or poor execution.
It was not until the 59th minute that the Panthers finally got some points on the board with a try to Arana Taumata, who played off the bench a year after being stood down for stealing a prescription pad from the club's doctor.