Wollongong Vikings coach Shannon Fraser took a veiled swipe at Illawarra refereeing standards after his side's 33-32 defeat of hosts Kiama on Saturday.
The Blueys showed no signs of mental scarring from the previous week's 50-point flogging by University in chalking up their fifth win of the season to jump into third spot.
While Fraser was pleased to see his side claim a crucial victory, he said both teams were occasionally left perplexed by some refereeing decisions.
"I was pretty happy with how we used the ball but we found some of the officiating a little frustrating. I'm sure Kiama did as well because it denied a bit of continuity for both teams," he said.
"Our consistency at the breakdown is an area we need to keep working on.
"It's an area that we're not so clear on how Illawarra District are managing it. There's a bit of inconsistency in that so we need to make sure that we do our best to clean that area up."
Kiama needed a win to revive their top four prospects but the Blueys showed they are serious about a finals berth.
"It gets the winning ways back," Fraser added.
"It was a very hard-fought game. They physically challenged us ... it was only our persistence and resilience and our belief that got us home in the end.
"The previous week was a little uncharacteristic. No disrespect to Uni because they played very well, but mentally we weren't there.
"The most pleasing thing about this week wasn't just the win and the bonus point, it was that we mentally stepped up, and that's what was required."
The Blueys are four points clear of fourth-placed Camden, but the race for finals spots is expected to go down to the wire.
Avondale remain unbeaten following a 46-17 road win over Shamrocks, Tech Waratahs beat Bowral 24-14 and University crushed Shoalhaven 77-7.