Catalans Dragons edged an entertaining encounter with Leeds 26-18 to register a club-record eighth successive Betfred Super League victory.
Steve McNamara’s table-topping Dragons arrived at Headingley in outstanding form and having emerged as serious title contenders, but Leeds led 18-8 at half-time.
Yet the French visitors were not to be denied as three unanswered second-half tries from Matt Whitley, Mike McMeeken and Fouad Yaha maintained their position at the summit, ending Leeds’ four-match winning streak.
St Helens got the tough workout sought by their coach in their last match before the Challenge Cup final as they battled to a 30-14 win over Wakefield at Belle Vue.
Kristian Woolf opted to rest only scrum-half Theo Fages and prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook from his likely Wembley line-up and his side were expected to brush aside a Trinity team with just 17 fit players.
The game looked to be going according to the script when the champions raced into a 14-0 lead after 22 minutes, but Wakefield were in no mood to roll over and they got to within two points before the visitors finished with a flourish.
Full-back Lachlan Coote was again their chief contributor with one of Saints’ four tries and seven goals from seven attempts, 48 hours after Hull KR announced his capture for 2022.
Importantly for Woolf, his side appeared to emerge injury-free and he had the bonus of prop Matty Lees making a seamless return from a broken ankle sustained in his side’s cup win over Leeds in April to boost his chances of playing at Wembley.
Castleford paid the price for fielding a weakened side as they were thrashed 70-18 by struggling Salford in their final outing before next week's Challenge Cup final.
Coach Daryl Powell rested 14 members of his likely Wembley squad as the Red Devils visited on Sunday and Richard Marshall's men took full advantage of their inexperience.
Salford ran in 12 tries to claim a second successive victory and move further away from relegation danger.
Centre Krisnan Inu kicked 11 goals from 12 attempts on his return from a two-month ban imposed for bringing the club into disrepute over a social media post and debutant Dan Norman was among the try-scorers.
Full-back Morgan Escare and winger Rhys Williams both crossed twice while there were further tries for Jack Ormondroyd, Oliver Roberts, Ken Sio, Dec Patton, Matty Costello, Chris Atkin and Ben Davies.
All of this came after the Tigers had taken an early lead through veteran Grant Millington, who was hoping to prove his fitness for next week's showpiece against St Helens after a two-month lay-off.
Forward Brad Martin, who played on the left wing, and Alex Foster also touched down for a youthful Castleford side.
Wigan, meanwhile, came from behind to arrest their recent slump with a hard-fought 16-12 win over Huddersfield at the DW Stadium.
The Warriors were facing the unpalatable prospect of a sixth successive defeat after two tries in the space of four first-half minutes from Chris McQueen and Leroy Cudjoe put the Giants 12-0 up.
Liam Marshall got Wigan on the board before half-time and the hosts were a different prospect in the second period.
Mitch Clark found a gap to claim his first try for the club and, after a prolonged spell of pressure, Harry Smith finished off a swift move to score the decisive touchdown. Smith himself converted for his second goal of the afternoon.
Huddersfield's loss meant Salford climbed above them to 10th, although both retain a clear advantage over winless bottom side Leigh.
Sunday's two other scheduled fixtures, Hull v Leigh and Hull KR v Warrington, were both postponed.