Matt Dufty starred as St George Illawarra Dragons dispelled talk of unrest to claim a first NRL win of the season with a 30-16 derby defeat of Cronulla Sharks on Sunday.
Paul McGregor was given a vote of confidence this week, with the Dragons bottom of the ladder after losing their first four matches of the season.
The players stepped up to ease the pressure on their coach at Campbelltown Stadium, getting up and running at the fifth attempt by scoring five tries in a richly deserved victory to nudge off the foot of the standings.
There had been further reports that all was not well in the camp this week, with Issac Luke bound for Brisbane Broncos, and the alarm bells might have been ringing when Mawene Hiroti's early try put the Sharks in front.
Yet Mikaele Ravalawa levelled with a finish in the corner after taking a brilliant pass from the influential Dufty, who touched down a try of his own after Sione Katoa went over at the other end.
Ben Hunt threw a dummy and reached out to put McGregor's men in front on the stroke of half-time and Cameron McInnes went under the posts to give them breathing space.
Wade Graham's try gave the Sharks hope, but another pinpoint long Dufty pass put Ravalawa in to seal a double right at the end and Zac Lomax slotted over his fifth conversion to put the icing on the cake.
The clash between Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters was put back to Monday due to a coronavirus scare.
There were concerns over Aiden Tolman, as a staff member at a school that one of his children attends tested positive for COVID-19, but the Bulldogs forward was later given the all-clear.