They left it until the dying seconds of the regular season, but the Wollongong Vikings have clinched the last spot in the finals series.
The Blueys were sharing fifth spot with Shoalhaven heading into final round.
When the dust had settled at 5pm on Saturday, Shoalies had been thrashed 57-7 by minor premiers Avondale at Gerry Cappetta Oval, while Vikings had snared a vital bonus point in their 29-23 loss to University at Vikings Field.
Blueys hooker David Capp barged over for a try in injury time before halfback Steve Sunderland calmly kicked the conversion in the last act of the game.
When word came through moments later the Wombats had taken care of Shoalhaven, it was beers and high-fives all round in the home team's change room.
"It would've been nice to get a win, but we've got all four grades into the semi-finals, so it's real pleasing for [co-coach] Shannon [Fraser] and myself to see some reward for all the hard work through the season," Vikings co-coach Mark Foster said.
"We'd prefer to go into the finals with better momentum, but the way we finished off the game was pleasing."
Vikings bolted to a 13-3 lead against Uni and were up 13-10 at half-time.
The Mallee Bulls took control with two quick tries in the second half for a 22-13 lead before a Blueys penalty goal made it 22-16.
Uni kicked on with another converted try, but the Blueys had the final say to grab the all-important bonus point.
Uni claimed fourth spot on the ladder and will meet Vikings again in this Sunday's elimination semi-final at Shoalhaven Rugby Park.
Camden host Shamrocks in the qualifying semi-final on Saturday.
"The talk among the guys is that we can mix it with University. The way we finished the game, we've got the belief we can do it," Foster said.
"We started well, our first 30 minutes was great. They're a good side and they came back and scored easy points on us because we went to sleep there for a little while."
Injuries to key players will keep the Blueys from fielding their top side in the post-season.
"What we've got now in the squad is pretty much what we've got, and we believe it's good enough to get us deep into the semi-finals," Foster said.
The Mallee Bulls were well below their best in the first half, but they crossed for three second-half tries and were happy to snap a two-game losing skid.
"It was a very slow first half for us. We made too many errors and weren't able to build any pressure," Uni coach Shaun McCreedy said.
"We'll be back against them next week and I think we'll be better off for today's hit-out.
"We'd come off a couple of losses and we needed a win for our confidence."
McCreedy said NSW Country rep Paul Tuala was unlikely to return from a long injury lay-off this weekend.
"We've had a lot of injuries in our forward pack. We got a couple of boys back today and hopefully we'll get a couple more back next week who should give us a bit more go-forward."
The Woonona Shamrocks finished third, wrapping up their regular season with a 76-10 trouncing of wooden spooners Kiama at Ocean Park.
Final standings: Avondale 53, Camden 48, Shamrocks 46, University 45, Vikings 37, Shoalhaven 36, Tech Waratahs 20, Kiama 11.