Rabbitohs on top as Wests stay in contention
South Sydney Rabbitohs climbed to the NRL's summit after winning a top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne Storm, while Wests Tigers boosted their post-season hopes.
The Rabbitohs and the Storm were tied on 30 points heading into Friday's clash, but it was South Sydney who came out on top, triumphing 30-20.
Hooker Damien Cook starred up against NRL great Cameron Smith, who left the field late on with an apparent ankle problem, as the Rabbitohs came through an end-to-end start to accelerate out of sight in the second half.
Tries from Josh Addo-Carr and Curtis Scott in the first half had Melbourne ahead after the two sides traded early scores, but Sam Burgess crossed to bring South Sydney back into contention before the break.
Adam Doueihi scored after 52 minutes as the Rabbitohs built momentum and then came Cook's moment, the hooker - struggling with an ankle injury of his own moments earlier - weaving through to cross from 45 yards.
Alex Johnston added some gloss to the scoreline, with Addo-Carr's late second merely a consolation.
Elsewhere, Wests closed the gap to the top eight to two points as they all but ended Newcastle Knights' play-off chances with a 25-16 away win.
The Knights, six points adrift, needed a result to retain any real hope of a late push, but Luke Brooks and Esan Marsters helped secure an ultimately comfortable Tigers victory.
Marsters kicked three first-half penalties, before Brooks' try on the stroke of half-time - the third of the match - secured a 16-4 lead.
Robbie Farah crossed after the restart and, although Newcastle came roaring back through Kalyn Ponga and Aidan Guerra, Brooks' drop goal and another Marsters penalty in the closing stages halted the Knights.