Kiwis half Shaun Johnson has helped guide the Cronulla Sharks to their fourth-straight NRL win, holding on to beat North Queensland Cowboys 26-24 in Townsville.
After last week being told he was no longer wanted by the club beyond this season, Johnson responded with a clinical attacking display, particularly with his boot, laying on a try and nailing all five of his shots at goal to repel the fast-finishing Cowboys.
The former Warriors playmaker has been linked to a move to Canterbury Bulldogs from next season, with the Sharks unwilling to match his contract demands.
With eight minutes remaining in the contest, the Sharks led 26-12, before wing Kyle Feldt led another trademark Cowboys comeback.
The Origin wing crossed twice in the space of as many minutes to close the gap to just two points.
That set the stage for Valentine Holmes to kick his second 40-metre field goal of the season - having broken Warriors hearts back in round 12 - only for his attempt to drop short.
In Friday's second match, Penrith Panthers bounced back from a slow start to maul Sydney Roosters 38-12.
Half Nathan Cleary backed up his star hand in Origin I with a virtuoso performance, showcasing his masterful kicking game, setting up two tries and scoring one himself to put the contest beyond the Roosters' reach.
Cleary was also involved in the most controversial moment of the match, as Roosters prop Siosiua Taukeiaho was sin-binned for collecting him in a high shot.
Referee Ashley Klein claimed there were "no mitigating factors" in the high shot, despite Cleary slipping significantly into the tackle on the wet Penrith turf.
The decision helped the Panthers swing the match in their favour, going from 12-6 down to 20-6 up while Taukeiaho was off the field.
NSW wing Brian To'o was also prominent, bagging a brace of tries to help his side cement second place in the NRL ladder.
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