Souths Sunnybank left the field to a standing ovation after defeating Carina Tigers 26-24 in an epic Rugby League Brisbane Southside 1 showdown on Saturday.
The Magpies, who were on home soil at Jim Murdoch Oval, were on the cusp of losing to the marauding Tigers, but a try on the bell proved to be the difference between the two sides.
With exactly 43 seconds remaining on the clock, the Magpies received a get-out-of-jail-free card, when hooker Aminiasi Meo lunged over from dummy half to score the match winning try.
It was the Magpies who finished with the last laugh, but it was the Tigers who struck first after just four minutes of play.
Centre Chase Beckham burst through the defence and found his winger Simone Boscolo in support, who touched down in the corner for the first try of the afternoon.
Sunnybank returned serve with a winger special of their own, when Kalani Rewiti was handed a dream run to the line after some good lead up work by centre Chris Tauelangi.
Whilst Carina’s pack stood up gallantly to the Magpies side, centre Tauelangi was proving a handful out wide.
Within the blink of an eye, the Magpies hit the front courtesy of the powerful centre, as he stepped his way through some feeble defence to surge 55 metres upfield to score an outstanding solo try.
But Carina were not done, not by a long shot. Tigers fullback Luke Bramley would score one of the tries of the match after accepting a superb ball from hooker Ashley McIntyre to slide in beside the sticks.
Carina continued their charge with another rampaging try, this time to unheralded prop Tom Woolaston, who crashed his way over to score.
Yet, it was Sunnybank who had the last laugh with a try right on halftime, after a brilliant offload by Meo found hulking prop Matt Dunsmore.
The bustling prop skittled the defence to go in under the sticks to see both sides sharing a 16-16 scoreline at the break.
Tigers coach Anthony Hick’s rousing halftime speech was enough to spark the Tigers up a gear in the second half.
The visitors were the first to score through winger Jasbir Bhullar, who reached out and planted the ball in the corner with the attention of the Magpies cover defence.
The game continued to see-saw, with the injection of Magpies replacement Jayden Best enough to add some spark on the field, scoring a sneaky try in the corner to level up the scores once again.
Seconds later, a dropped ball gave the Tigers some great field position. Hooker McIntyre’s incredible vision saw him place a superb grubber for his centre Blaize Parter, who had some work to do before grounding the ball right on the tryline.
The Tigers had the advantage in the closing stages, but ultimately it was Meo’s last minute effort from dummy half that saw the home side secure a pulsating win.