A late Tyrone May try saw Penrith Panthers all but end Canberra Raiders' hopes of a top-eight NRL finish with a 26-22 victory at GIO Stadium.
May barged his way over by the posts with just seven minutes remaining to effectively clinch a spot in the Finals for the Panthers, with Canberra - who eliminated Penrith in the semi-finals last year - now needing to win their last two fixtures and rely on results elsewhere going their way to do the same.
Nathan Cleary became the youngest player to score 200 points in an NRL season when he touched down following a burst down the right from Waqa Blake, whose opening score was answered in kind by Nick Cotric.
The human wrecking ball that is Dave Taylor supplied a magnificent offload for Josh Papalii to go over and close the gap, but Josh Mansour's solo effort sent Penrith into the break with a 10-point lead.
Jack Wighton and Joseph Tapine brought Canberra back from behind, but their late push for a Finals spot was brought to a grinding halt by May - Cleary converting to take his personal haul to 14 points - as the Panthers made it seven wins on the spin.
Victory for the Raiders would have put them just two points behind Manly Sea Eagles, who were resoundingly beaten 30-16 by Canterbury Bulldogs.
Marcelo Montoya notched a pair of first-half tries before scores from Brenko Lee and twin Morris brothers Josh and Brett, the latter with his second, closed out the victory.