Billy Slater shone in his final NRL game in Queensland as Melbourne Storm all but secured a top-four finish with a 10-8 win over Gold Coast Titans.
Queensland-born Slater, who has confirmed the 2018 season will be his last, ran for a career-high 298 metres to help the Storm clinch their 16th win of the season.
Slater’s side had to do it the hard way as they found themselves 8-0 behind at the interval, but tries from Curtis Scott and Cameron Munster after the break earned the NRL leaders the victory.
The prospect of Melbourne winning a third consecutive minor premiership title was enhanced by defeats for nearest challengers South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters.
Brisbane Broncos beat the Roosters 22-8 to ensure their progression to the finals as they took full advantage of Dylan Napa’s spell in the sin bin.
Napa was punished for a dangerous tackle on Andrew McCullough in the 24th minute, when the score was 8-8, and the Broncos responded with two quick tries through Jamayne Isaako and Kodi Nikorima.
Souths slipped to a third loss in a row despite racing into a 12-0 advantage in the opening half-an-hour against Canberra Raiders.
Michael Oldfield crossed twice either side of half-time and further tries from Sia Soliola and Nick Cotric helped the Raiders to a surprise victory.