St Helens moved level on points with fourth-placed Catalans Dragons after beating Huddersfield 34-18 in Rick Stone's first game in charge of the Giants.
The result means Huddersfield remain rooted to the bottom of the table and, with only one match remaining before the split, appear set to face four away games in the Qualifiers.
Saints were 22-12 up at the break after tries from Joe Greenwood, Jack Owens, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Jordan Turner in an entertaining first half.
Adam Swift and Alex Walmsley crossed after half-time while Mark Percival landed five goals in all as St Helens eased to their fourth straight First Utility Super League victory.
Stone, who officially took over at the start of the week, saw Huddersfield reply with tries from Danny Brough - who added three goals - Tom Symonds and Jermaine McGillvary, but it was a losing start for the Australian.
Stone only arrived in the UK on Wednesday morning and admitted his first taste of live Super League action was an eye-opener, saying: "We showed some real good things, plenty of bad things and everything in between.
"We fought hard but gave away some soft tries.
"The first 15 minutes of the second half put us in a position to put some pressure on Saints but we couldn't maintain that pressure.
"They play differently in the Super League to what I'm used to (in the Australian NRL) and there was some real frivolous stuff from us - the degree of difficulty of some of the options we took was way too high and the outcomes weren't always great and we paid for that on the scoreboard.
"There is going to have to be a change in mentality and mindset from our players if we are going to start improving."
Big shout out to another large away support backing the Saints today. Sang throughout & after the game too. Thank u! pic.twitter.com/V7lpj5XoPi— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 17, 2016
Saints coach Keiron Cunningham praised his side's work rate after they continued their recent upward surge.
He said: "I'm elated. I'm proud of how hard the group are working for each other and generally in rugby league you get what you deserve and I think in our last four victories we've worked exceptionally hard and got what we deserved."
Cunningham highlighted the importance of finishing the regular season in the top four, adding: "Fourth get more home games than you get away games and we've always targeted top four, although a few weeks ago it seemed it might have got away from us.
"We are still reliant on other teams in the final game but all we can take care of is what we do - the variables away from that we can't do anything about.
"All we can do is prepare for the final game (away at Wigan)."