The Wests Tigers' nine lives have kept their finals hopes afloat for another week after a clutch Luke Brooks field goal sunk cellar dwellers Canterbury in a 29-28 thriller.
The Tigers find themselves in the all-too familiar ninth position on the ladder and four points adrift of eighth-placed South Sydney, and only after the almightiest of scares against the last-placed Bulldogs on Sunday at Bankwest Stadium.
Brooks, as maligned a player as any in the Tigers' nine-year finals absence, nailed the 32-metre drop goal that keeps them in the top-eight hunt with six rounds remaining.
With 10 minutes to play though former Tigers cub Jeremy Marshall-King had the joint-venture on the ropes, engineering two second-half tries that turned an early 16-point Tigers lead into a six-point deficit.
A 74th-minute Joey Leilua try and clutch Moses Mbye goal save the Tigers' blushes.
Match: Wests Tigers v Bulldogs
Round 14 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
And after Benji Marshall, Brooks himself and Jack Cogger traded unsuccessful attempts, Brooks never looked like missing when he lined it up with two minutes to play.
Having led 22-6 after less than half an hour, the Tigers then simply imploded.
Their fade-out threatened to take their slim finals hopes with them in the face of a plucky Dogs outfit.
Joey Leilua fends his way over to get the Wests Tigers back level
By the time the clock struck 55 minutes Canterbury were back at level pegging, albeit in the most controversial of circumstances.
Having drawn to within a converted try Marshall-King split the Tigers up the middle, only to nearly bomb the four-pointer by being too selfless with the line looming.
But having lost his bearings in a desperate tackle Marshall-King offloaded to Aiden Tolman – a man oft accused of popping up too often in attacking real estate – for him to find the line.
Tolman did so, but lost possession in the process.
Senior video referee Steve Chiddy admitted as much but found "the ball shifts but then [Tolman] pins the ball to his chest in the grounding", awarding the try for a 22-22 deadlock.
Blows were traded for another 15 minutes, with Canterbury copping a hefty one as Kieran Foran limped off with an ankle issue, only for Marshall-King to land another.
Sniping again on the last, Marshall-King looked to be wrapped up for all money, only to slip an offload for Kerrod Holland to sneak over.
From there it was a mile-a-minute. Not that proceedings beforehand had been sedate.
Seven tries were rattled up in the first 40 minutes as David Nofoaluma had himself some fun to start, jagging a first-half try and playing critical roles in the lead-up to two more by bouncing through tackles like Roger Daltrey's Pinball Wizard.
Brooks nails the field goal for the win
A 50-metre jaunt from Nofoaluma led to Moses Mbye's opening try, before Cogger made a similar mockery of the Tigers' ruck defence to send Nick Meaney away.
Nofoaluma's next act came much closer to the Bulldogs' tryline, with three left-foot steps in peak-hour traffic before offloading for Luke Garner to dot down.
Marshall then helped himself to a well-struck 40-20, followed by sumptuous hands from he and Leilua to give Nofoaluma his own well-deserved four-pointer.
Unselfish Marshall-King hands Tolman a try
It took another touchdown from Garner before the Bulldogs got going, with Foran instigating a shortside raid and Marcelo Montoya try to give Canterbury a sniff.
In Foran's next foray, he got those battered pins into gear, dummied and beat Leilua for pace to get into the backfield, then finding first-gamer Matt Doorey for a try before the break.
Afterwards the grind came first, then the madness.
And as much as things threatened to change in a see-sawing affair, the Tigers find themselves in ninth place – where they have finished the past two seasons – and battling for a finals spot once more.