“The Armidale crowd got us home,” NSW Country Eagles captain and Tamworth local Paddy Ryan said after his side snatched a win from the Canberra Vikings in Armidale.
It was a fitting finish with none other than Glen Innes’ Alex Newsome scoring in the dying stages in front of the vocal crowd at Bellevue Oval.
Down 24-18 and the Eagles attacking after the siren sounded, the Country side swung the ball wide and found Newsome.
In front of a vocal New England crowd, the Glen Innes local crashed his way over for the match-winner.
Tayler Adams made no mistake with the conversion and the Eagles won 25-24, their first for the season.
“It was pretty awesome,” Newsome said of his try.
“It wasn’t the best performance by us, we made a few throughout the game but it’s great to get the win.
“You always dream of those sort of moments but I am just happy to get the win.”
The Eagles opened the scoring through an Adams-penalty but it was the visitors who posted the first five pointer with Folau Fainga’a diving over in the corner.
Sam Ward put the Eagles in front 10-7 when he crashed over but the lead was short-lived as Fainga’a bagged his second just four minutes later.
The Vikings held the lead though half-time.
Much of the second half saw an arm wrestle and it wasn’t until Vikings winger Andrew Robinson surged on to an Eagles’ pass and raced away to score and stretch the lead to 21-15.
“We were confident,” Newsome said about Robinson’s try.
“Those intercepts hurt but we just knew we had to keep fighting and knew we had to clean up our discipline and we got there in the end.”
Alex Gibbon replied with a try to the Eagles in the corner.
Each side posted a penalty to bring the scoreline to 24-18 before Newsome’s try sealed the win for the Eagles.
It’s not the last time the Country side will play in the region with their round eight clash against Perth Spirit in Tamworth on October 14.
“Get around us. We are playing in Tamworth in a couple of weeks so come and have a look,” Newsome said.