Pirates captain Conrad Starr scored two second-half tries to propel the reigning premiers to a come-from-behind 28-23 win over Gunnedah at Ken Chillingworth Oval on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon.
The inspirational No.8's second try was the match-sealer - crashing over from a tryline ruck in the 69th minute. In doing so, Pirates snapped a two-game losing run.
Gunnedah - who beat Pirates 36-24 in round four - led 15-14 at halftime after scoring three tries to two.
Both sides scored four tries for the match, but Gunnedah missed all four conversion attempts.
Red Devils manager Stan Gaynor said the side paid the price for poor goalkicking and second-half "ill-discipline".
However, he said there were positives to take out of the game - chiefly the "domination" of Gunnedah's forwards in the first half.
"We didn't really do much wrong, to be honest, especially in the first half," he said.
"In the second half a bit of ill-discipline, and sort of switching off when we got ahead with the penalty goal, was probably our only real downfall."
Gunnedah picked up two bonus points.
Pirates moved past the Red Devils into fourth place on the ladder, with Starr saying: "It was a really important game for us to come away with the victory.
"It was scrappy but we ground it out, which was the most important thing," he added.
Pirates opened the scoring in the seventh minute when No.15 Sam Collett showed good hustle to cross from close to Gunnedah's tryline.
But then Gunnedah scored three unanswered tries.
The first was a long-range effort by No.11 Oscar Hunt and the second and third were close-range efforts by No.8 Iliesa Navatu and No.6 Ray Spradbrow, who had plenty to do to cross.
Pirates hit back in the 39th minute when No.4 Jack Shelton crashed over.
Starr scored both Pirates' five-pointers after the break, while the Red Devils' sole try of the second half was posted by hooker Brad Hobden.
Starr said: "They got us in the first round, so it was important that we hit back and got them in the second round ... I'm pretty sure we'll probably see them again at some stage."