Currumbin Eagles survived a miraculous late fight-back to defeat Runaway Bay 32-28 at Bycroft Oval on Sunday.
Currumbin led 28-10 with 15 minutes remaining, but it almost crumbled before their eyes as Bay scored three quick tries to level the scores.
Bay had all the momentum in the dying stages, but Currumbin found a way to rally and Savern Rapana scored the match-winner with just three seconds left on the clock to give the Eagles a dramatic win, their second of the season.
Melbourne Storm legend and current Eagles five-eighth Matt Geyer was relieved after the game and said his young side is still learning to close out wins.
“We shouldn’t have had to save that game at the end there, we should have won by 40,” he said.
“(Bay) will be happier than us after that game after showing that courage. They needed to win that game as much as us, but it was disappointing that last 20 minutes letting them score three tries.
“We got ourselves in a good position and we’ve just got a lot young boys that need to get used to winning. We needed to win that one and that keeps us in touch. It would have put us six out of the top five if we lost that.”
Geyer was not the only former NRL star on display, as Kiwi International Clinton Toopi and Dally M Medallist Preston Campbell both led the way for Runaway Bay.
It is a terrific endorsement for the local competition that players such as these continue to be a prevalent part of rugby league on the Gold Coast.
“I really enjoy working with the young kids,” Geyer said.
“They’re keen and if there is any little bit I can help them with that can make them a little better or more experienced or add something to them, then it’s worth it.
“I’m not out here to re-live former glories or anything like that; I’m just trying to pass on some of the things I’ve learned to these boys.”
Best on ground for the Eagles was their captain-coach James Griffiths.
Griffths played nearly the entire 80 minutes in the front row producing countless tough runs and giving great leadership to his young squad.
He also produced two crucial second half tries which put the Eagles in a position to win the game.
“He gets a bit hungry near the try-line and we needed that,” Geyer said.
“At that stage in the game our big boppas were rolling through and because we were presenting a bit of shape on the edge and they were a man down they were really looking at that outside shoulder so those straight runs were always going to bother them.”
The win keeps Currumbin alive in the race for the finals as they now sit just two wins adrift of the fifth placed Bay with six weeks remaining in the regular season.
Elsewhere in Round 11 of the Coast-2-Coast Earthmoving Cup the Tweed Seagulls snapped a four-game losing streak with an emphatic 34-18 win over the Tugun Seahawks and the Bilambil Jets came from behind to defeat Southport 18-14.
Round 11 Results
CURRUMBIN EAGLES 32 (James Griffiths 2, Blayze Gonzalez, Scot Taufa, Sam Kurukitoga, Savern Rapana tries Brian Flanders 4 goals) def RUNAWAY BAY SEAGULLS 28 (Jacob Paul, Vili Tuli, Reece Clarke, Clinton Toopi, Gene Ropoama tries Michael Davis 3, Preston Campbell goals)
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 34 (David Sheridan 2, Michael Burgess, Sam Foster, Tim Cassidy, Villi Junior Ireu tries Michael Burgess 5 goals) def TUGUN SEAHAWKS 18 (Corey Morris, Jake Williams, Drumayne Dayberg, Chris Thomas tries Sam Harrold goal)
BILAMBIL JETS 18 (Luke Jagger, Cory Blair, Tauryn Lawerenson tries Nic Burns 3 goals) def SOUTHPORT TIGERS 14 (Nathan Wilson, Remus Gentless, Dylan Lagerstrom tries Remus Gentles goal)
BURLEIGH BEARS - Bye
Burleigh Bears 20, Tugun Seahawks 16, Tweed Heads Seagulls 14, Bilambil Jets 14, Runaway Bay Seagulls 11, Currumbin Eagles 9, Southport Tigers 4
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