FLASHBACK: Gladiators claim third straight premiership
GLADIATORS halfback Tom Jameson scored four tries in a thrilling 26–32 extra time victory in the Central Burnett Rugby League Grand Final.
The Mundubbera Tigers’ heartbreaking defeat, which came after they went unbeaten during the regular season, brought to and end the illustrious career of captain Cameron MacDonald.
Tyler West played a key role in drawing first blood, breaking straight down middle to allow Daniel West-Pes to set Vaiola Kivalu up in the corner with a precision kick.
Jameson then scored his first following a Liam Dooden Break, as he used his rugby union experience to burrow his considerable body mass to almost subterranean levels, forcing his way over the line.
The teams traded blows before half time, but the game broke the Tigers’ way after MacDonald drew Callan Trott and set Kivalu up for his second, to go into the break 16–12 up.
After the resumption, West-Pes used his superior speed to capitalise on some shoddy Gladiators’ defence.
At 22–12, the game was slipping away from the Gladiators, but Jameson scored from dummy half to narrow the gap to 22–16, before Zac Dann locked it up at 22–22 after beating two defenders.
But a costly fumble gave the tigers great field position, which West-Pes pounced on for his hat trick.
Gladiators looked to have left the Frank Clancy Trophy slip through their fingers after fluffing a certain try with five minutes on the clock, but a Trott break set up Shane Morgan in the corner, levelling the scores and setting up extra time, where the tigers were their own worst enemies.
A pair of silly penalties frogmarched the Gladiators deep within the Tigers’ territory, before a Ballin run set up Jameson again down the right side, making the score 26–32.
There would be no more twists as the Gladiators held firm for the remainder of extra time,