The Roachedale Tigers piled on 30-points in the second half to clinch a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Stradbroke Island Sharks in their Rugby League Brisbane Southside 3 clash on Saturday.
Played in sweltering conditions at Ian Clarkson Oval, this was the comeback of all comebacks for the Tigers on home soil as they rallied from 22-0 down to eventually win 34-32.
It was one-way traffic in the first half to Stradbroke, with points being scored within one minute of kick-off through prop Gus Elisaia, who crashed over beside the sticks.
A 40/20 from playmaker Mark Jones gave the Sharks an opportunity to score their second when centre Jake Slade burst through from the scrum.
Sharks lock Joel McPhail probably deserved try of the game for his superb effort in the 22nd minute, after fielding a towering bomb and planting it down inches from the dead ball line.
Some sloppy defence by the home side let in yet another try in the 30th minute.
Elusive Sharks half Matt Borey stepped off both feet to go in under the posts.
At 22-0 and with the Tigers weary from the endless defence of their own line, they managed to get points on the board in the dying seconds of the half through Marcus Lavender, who clawed his way over the line.
It was a role reversal in the second half however, as Rochedale finally awoke from their slumber and were near unstoppable.
Lavender opened the scoring after only two minutes of play in the second stanza, breaking free of some tired Sharks defence to go in out wide.
Some clever vision by Andrew Hall saw the replacement forward run straight through a yawning gap to keep the Tigers dream alive.
There were strong words by Tigers coach Francis Bennett at halftime and it paid dividends as the Tigers kept the comeback moving when lock Dylan Cairns burst through a hole to slide in beside the sticks.
Stradbroke halted the momentum in the 54th minute when fullback Logan David-Ross left the Tigers floundering with a brilliant solo try of his own.
The Sharks went in once more with a double to prop Elisaia who barged his way over the line.
With the small band of Tiger supporters in full voice, it seemed to spur on the home side, when lock Cairns leapt in the air and regathered a towering bomb to score his second and restart the comeback.
Hall was terrorising the Sharks defence out wide for the entire second half and was rewarded with his second try after taking three Sharks players over the line with him.
In a pulsating final 30 seconds, Rochedale’s Cairns became the hero of the day when a short pass from hooker Beau Waerea found the rangy lock who powered his way to the line to claim his third try, completing a stunning comeback victory.