Northern Pride bounced back to the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a thrilling 24-22 win over Souths Logan Magpies at Barlow Park on Saturday night.
The Pride, who lost their first game of the season at Ipswich last week, looked comfortable winners with just two minutes left on the clock as they led 24-16.
However, the Magpies hit back through Leon Panapa to reduce the score to 24-22 and with the very last play of the game, Souths Logan winger Ramon Filipine looked to have crossed for the match-winning try in the left corner.
However, the touch judge ruled Filipine to have put his foot into touch while grounding the ball under pressure from a brave last ditch tackle by Pride halfback Sam Obst, and Pride held on for two vital points.
There was little evidence of the drama that was to occur later in the game during an error-ridden first half from both sides.
The hosts deservedly took the lead on nine minutes when the North Queensland Cowboys connection of Robert Lui and Javid Bowen combined to send the latter in under the posts.
But the Magpies eventually found their rhythm and took the lead with two quick tries on the half hour mark.
First, halfback Rhys Jacks finished off a Mitch Cronin linebreak, and then prop Andrew Edwards crashed over from close range, with Jordan Rapana converting both scores to give the visitors a 12-6 half-time lead.
Pride came out a different side in the second stanza and just six minutes after the restart levelled the game as hooker Cameron King made a break, with Lui in support to finish off a fine move.
And five minutes later Pride surged into the lead as a superb Lui short pass sent Bowen racing away once again and the flyer showed a fine turn of pace to cross for his second try of the match.
Souths Logan halfback Jack Ahearn gave the visitors some hope on the hour mark when he darted over from close range to bring the visitors back to within two points.
But Pride looked to have sealed the game on 75 minutes when Kyle Feldt leapt like a salmon to take an Obst crossfield kick, and then converted to make the score 24-16.
Panapa soon crossed to set up a grandstand finish, and it took Obst’s fine tackle on Filipine and a matter of centimetres to deny the Magpies a memorable win as the Pride clung on.
NORTHERN PRIDE 24 (Javid Bowen 2, Kyle Feldt, Robert Lui tries; Kyle Feldt 4 goals) defSOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 22 (Jack Ahearn, Rhys Jacks, Andrew Edwards, Leon Panapa tries; Jordan Rapana 3 goals) at Barlow Park.
Northern Pride: 1. Jordon Biondi-Odo 22. Kyle Feldt 18. Semi Tadulua 4. Davin Crampton 5. Javid Bowen 19. Robert Lui 7. Sam Obst 20. Ricky Thorby 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Alex Starmer 21. Latu Fifita 12. Tyrone McCarthy 13. Ben Spina 14. Cameron King 15. Blake Leary 16. Jack Svendsen 17. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Luke Archer 2. Ramon Filipine 3. Max Dudley 4. Grant Cooke 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Ahearn 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Zac Lemberg 9. Kurt Baptiste 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Daniel Tamou 12. Darcy Wright 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Mitch Cronin 15. Leon Panapa 16. Rez Phillips 17. Johnny Vuetibau 18. Steve Liki