Samford Stags pull off remarkable comeback
A superb try in the last three minutes was enough to secure Samford Stags a stunning come from behind 32-28 win against Brighton Roosters at Alan Cash Oval on Saturday.
Stags five-eighth Jordan Hillhouse was the hero, combining with hooker Kye Mills to score beside the posts and snatch a late victory in a high-quality Northside Open 3 division game.
A try in the first minute to Brighton was all that was needed to set the tone for the highly anticipated match that saw Jamel Wall thunder over out wide and give the visitors an early 4-0 lead.
Rooster Matt Stirling then made an explosive break two minutes later, injecting his speed into the backline and racing away to score beside the sticks and extend the lead.
The Stags responded well with a try to blockbusting forward Warren Kerehi, closing the gap to four points when the conversion was slotted.
Brighton, who were superbly led by captain Cody Tupara, stretched the lead once again with another two quick tries to shootout to a healthy lead.
Kye Mills darted from dummy half to claw the deficit back a little bit for Samford, but Brighton continued the assault in the second half when Tupara used his strength to crash in from dummy half and extend the lead to 28-12.
The Roosters had a comfortable lead, but Nick Gale came off the bench for the Stags and kick-started the comeback with a powerful try.
Another Stags try was disallowed by a forward pass, but another sneaky lunge from Mills had the home side coming home with a wet sail.
Stags halfback Dane Watson scored a try out of nothing that was not only inspirational, but a definitive moment in the game as his solo run levelled the scores at 28-28.
The Roosters tried desperately to hang onto their lead as the Stags surged, but it was ultimately the work of Mills and Hillhouse with three minutes left which would prove decisive and complete a remarkable comeback.
*Mike Simpson is a QRL correspondent covering Rugby League Brisbane.