The Canberra Vikings scored a try of the year contender to put themselves in a position to host a final, but the one they conceded after full-time could be the most important.
The Vikings beat Sydney 36-26 at Viking Park on Saturday afternoon, scoring some dazzling tries and offloading at will in a crucial victory.
The Vikings are temporarily second on the ladder with just one game left in the regular season, and they have set their sights on winning the NRC title for the first time.
But they clocked off early against Sydney and let in a try after the full-time siren, robbing them of a bonus point which would have seen them level in first place with the Western Force.
The Vikings will have to wait for two matches to be played to know where they stand going into a last-round showdown with NSW Country. They will be either second or third, with the top two teams hosting finals matches.
"There was a bonus point up for grabs and the boys stopped playing," said centre Irae Simone.
"It's a mindset thing. When boys are yelling out, 'defend the bonus point', it turns players off. It puts them in a shell, but that's a learning thing.
"If the bonus point is there, we need to keep playing and keep attacking. It's all there for us, it's up for grabs. We have to back our process ... it's a good challenge for us."
Winger Mack Hansen added: "We're happy, but disappointed with the finish. To lose that bonus point is frustrating, we still think a home final is possible.
"We want to do what the Vikings haven't been able to do yet. We really want to win, finishing second just isn't good enough this year."
The Vikings looked like they were going to cruise to a massive when Darcy Swain and Hansen scored in the first 10 minutes, but that's where their charge stalled.
They spent most of the rest of the match defending with brief interludes of attacking brilliance, including an almost length of the field try.
Rob Valetini swooped on a loose ball on his own five metre line, starting a string of offloads which led to Tom Wright scoring at the other end.
Wright finished the game with a double while a penalty try and a Tom Banks special helped the Vikings to their 10-point win.
The match, however, also threw a curveball at winger Hansen, who had to spend 10 minutes playing scrumhalf after Joe Powell was sin-binned for collapsing a maul.
Hansen started the season as a fullback option, but has spent time on the wing and cut his teeth as a flyhalf as a junior.
His versatility will give the 21-year-old an edge as he tries to start his Super Rugby career in 2020.
"I was the world's lankiest halfback," Hansen grinned. "It is a strength [to be versatile]. It would to have one spot cemented in the team but I'm young.
"I'm just happy wherever they need me to go, even halfback. But hopefully not as often for halfback because I don't know what I'm doing there."
The Vikings have won four of their six games, but they have just two bonus points so far this season.
The Force are one point ahead on the ladder and can all but seal the minor premiership if they beat Brisbane City on Sunday.
NSW Country is now three points behind the Vikings, but can jump back into second if they beat Queensland Country before their trip to the capital next week.
"We'll take a lot of learnings into next week. Small things we can fix, we'll be ready to go," Simone said.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA VIKINGS 36 (Tom Wright 2, Mack Hansen, Darcy Swain, penalty try, Tom Banks tries; Bayley Kuenzle 2 conversions) bt SYDNEY 26 (Ryan McCauley, penalty try, Hugh Sinclair, Declan Moore tries; Will Harrison 2 conversions) at Viking Park on Saturday.