Manly moved a step closer to their first NRL league minor premiership since 1997 after cementing their place at the top of the table with a 16-4 win over Brisbane at Brookvale Oval.
A stubborn Broncos side did their best to stay with an out-of-sorts Sea Eagles for much of the contest before a Brett Stewart try, his 76th in 82 games at the venue, sealed the win for the hosts in the 69th minute.
Man of the match, the Manly and Kiwis playmaker Kieran Foran, who had lifted himself out of his sick bed to play, had threatened to break the Broncos' line all night and finally did before handing off inside to the ever-present Stewart.
Meanwhile the return of Michael Jennings has helped the Sydney Roosters steady their NRL title defence, with the NSW centre scoring two tries in their 30-22 defeat of St George Illawarra in Sydney.
Jennings scored a double as the Roosters moved into the top four with their five-tries-to-four win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night in front of 13,083 fans.
And the NRL top four is within reach for the sixth placed North Queensland Cowboys after a commanding 28-8 win over Gold Coast in Townsville, which delivered a hammer blow to the Titans' own finals aspirations.
Elsewhere Penrith's fortunes swung both ways when they scored a 22-16 win over luckless Canterbury in a physical affair at ANZ Stadium.
The Panthers kept their top-four hopes alive, but they were the beneficiaries of the video referee denying two tries to the Bulldogs while their injury crisis deepened even further.
Penrith backrowers Bryce Cartwright and Elijah Taylor both left the field with potentially serious leg injuries in a victory which lifted the Panthers to second on the ladder and snapped a two-game losing streak.