Someone once said a draw was like kissing your sister but the stalemate meant much more than that to the Port Kembla Blacks on Sunday at Noel Mulligan Oval.
The win-starved Blacks salvaged a 16-all draw with Kiama after winger Josh Windisch kicked a penalty goal with two minutes to go.
Windisch's 70th-minute try closed a six-point gap to two and while he couldn't convert from the sideline, he made no mistake with the penalty shot.
The Knights caused a Blacks' turnover moments later and had one final chance to steal victory with a field goal.
But the shot sailed wide of the posts.
Injured Port captain-coach Mark Simon watched nervously from the sidelines as he urged his side to stay strong over the closing stages.
"For the effort they put in, we deserved to get at least one point," Simon said.
"Kiama play a quick game. It brought us unstuck a couple of times but we dug deep in our scramble defence.
"I can't fault the effort we put in for 80 minutes, and that's all I ask from the guys. It's something we haven't been able to do, but we did it today," Simon said.
"They had a lot of ball and we defended well. It was our best effort in defence this year. We worked together more.
"We were unlucky not to get the win but we'll take one point."
The Knights scored first with winger Jacob Dolan's solo effort before Port winger Sifa Hala's try made it 6-4.
The Blacks forged ahead with a converted try but Dolan crossed out wide for his second to make it 10-all at half-time.
Kiama hooker Brent Wade's converted try in the 55th minute made it 16-10 but the visitors failed to deliver a knockout punch.
Knights coach Simon Foster was fuming after the game and refused to shake hands with referee Paul Lees or the two linesmen.
Port Kembla have been stuck at the bottom end of the ladder all season.
Time is running out for the Blacks to make a run at the finals but Simon should return this weekend and optimism remains high.
"A committed 80-minute performance like that definitely helps our confidence, and if we can string a couple of wins together we'll be up there," he said.
"We're not far off the teams hanging around the five. Kiama are third, so we showed we can stick with the best sides."
In other results, Gerringong beat Albion Park-Oak Flats 50-10 at Michael Cronin Oval and Shellharbour defeated Milton-Ulladulla 22-12 at Mollymook.