Parramatta Eels fought back to beat Wests Tigers and seal a top-four finish as Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders claimed contrasting victories in Saturday's NRL action.
Will Smith and Reed Mahoney scored tries in the last 15 minutes at Bankwest Stadium as the Eels rallied for a thrilling 28-24 triumph, lifting them into third place in the ladder to book a qualifying final against Melbourne Storm.
The defeat meant a disappointing end for Tigers duo Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence in their farewell appearances for the club, with the former's outing painfully cut short by injuries suffered in the first half.
The Raiders had briefly moved into the top four in the ladder thanks to a 38-28 win over the Cronulla Sharks, aided by 14 points from captain Sam Williams.
However, there was a setback for much-changed Canberra as prop Ryan Sutton suffered a knee injury that is set to rule him out of the play-offs.
Final stop. pic.twitter.com/b9wfXHYvwJ— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) September 26, 2020
Meanwhile, minor premiers Penrith made it 15 straight victories as they thrashed Canterbury Bulldogs 42-0 at ANZ Stadium, Kurt Capewell and Brent Naden both crossing twice in the rout.
Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson was placed on report for a possible eye gouge on James Tamou, though the Panthers captain revealed the pair had discussed the incident after the game.
"He [Thompson] said after he was just trying to get something to try and get me down, which was fair enough," Tamou said. "In the scheme of things, you're trying your best just to do your job and try and win the tackle.
"He said there was nothing in it. I've been keeping my eye on Luke and I don't think he's done anything like that throughout the year. From my point of view, I don't think there was much in it."