Calliope hangs on to win despite injuries
CALLIOPE has overcome having only 12 men on the park for 47 minutes to defeat Wallabys 36-32 and keep the dream of a grand final win alive.
The Roosters had Anthony Flores sent off in the 34th minute of the match and fell behind 28-10, but still managed to find a way to win.
Sparked by a 40/20 kick from captain-coach Luke Dyer, the Roosters rallied and scored five tries in a row to surprise the Wallabys, who seemed to have the game in the bag.
"I knew all season the boys can produce a game like that," Dyer said.
"Injuries have crippled us all year, but we are fit now."
Wallabys jumped out of the blocks early and were first on the board through a try to captain Shad Royston.
The deficit was answered by a long-range effort which put Mitch Hallinen in for the Roosters.
The Wallabys then seemed to grab hold of the match with three straight tries and the sending-off of Flores, and held a 28-10 advantage which threatened to blow out.
The Roosters captain then took charge of the match, leading Calliope to five consecutive tries.
When Christian Wentzel scored, Calliope still looked very unlikely to win, but the match changed quickly the next set when Dyer kicked a 40/20, sprinted downfield and put Chad Gilmour over an open try line.
Calliope continued the march with four pointers to Levilli Leliva, who crashed over from close range, Gavin Nicholas and Isaac Gordon, who crossed untouched after a dummy.
The Roosters looked untouchable for a 15-minute period and it was Wallabys who looked like they were at a numerical disadvantage.
Wallabys nearly found a way to win the match, scoring late in the match to draw closer, but could not pull off a miraculous play to win.
Calliope will play Valleys next week in another do-or-die contest, while Wallabys will need to wait until 2015 to chase another premiership.