It took two periods of extra time to decide Saturday’s New Era Midwest Cup semi final between the Kandos Waratahs and CSU Mungoes at Diggings Oval.
The two sides went back and forth for 110 minutes until CSU’s Billy Dickinson broke the deadlock, giving the students a 30-26 win in torrential conditions.
It looked as though the red and greens would go on to win after Jake Humphreys crossed in the first period of extra time, giving Kandos a 26-20 lead.
However, when CSU got a scrum on half way with under a minute remaining, Billy Dickinson’s intuition prompted him to boot the ball 50 metres into the in-goal where a barnstorming Joe Heien pounced on it, locking the scores at 26.
The come-from-behind try by the students summed up the afternoon as they were continually chasing down the Tahs on the scoreboard before finally taking the lead at the death.
All three meetings between CSU and Kandos were decided by four points or less in 2018 as the two sides capped off an epic rivalry on Saturday.
“It’s one of the reasons I chose to play for Kandos this year,” former CSU player Jake Humphreys said.
“I knew all of our games against them would be competitive – even if no one else gave us a chance to beat them.
“That’s probably one of the hardest losses I’ve ever had.”
Humphreys only scored two tries throughout the season so he was surprised to cross for a double on Saturday and attributed most of it to luck.
“Right place right time I suppose,” he said.
“I’m glad I crossed for two against my old club, though. I told myself before the game I was just going to run as hard as I could every time I got the ball.
“Luke Hundy had the awareness to pass to me before my first try and Ethan (Parsons) put me through a gap for my second one so credit goes to them too.”
Most of the New Era Cup cognoscenti had Kandos finishing outside finals contention but Humphreys wasn’t surprised his side ended up making the top four.
“Even after we lost badly in our first two games I knew we could still shake up the league,” he said.
“It helps that it’s only a four-team competition but at the same time, we did well to win five of our last eight games.”
“If we weren’t docked two points earlier in the year, we would have been hosting that game. That could have made a massive difference.”
Kandos will now turn its attention to the Tiaratahs who clash with CSU Blue in the major semi final on at Don Bradman Oval in Blackheath on Saturday.
The winner will book a spot in the 2018 grand final.