Looking back on the remarkable year that was, NSWRL.com.au counts down the 10 best games from the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership NSW season. At No.6 we have a see-sawing Qualifying Final.
With a Preliminary Final spot on the line, the Jets and the Dragons went down to the wire at Pepper Stadium.
The match was a purely exciting 54-point blockbuster that finished with a hint of controversy to add to the drama.
Trailing by eight points with less than 15 minutes to play, the Dragons overturned the deficit courtesy of tries to Adam Clune and Herbert – both on the back of the influence and kicking nous of experienced halfback, Darren Nicholls.
Herbert’s try sent the Dragons to the Preliminary Final, but a potential knock on in the frantic final try-scoring play was missed in a decision that could have gone either way.
While they finished fast, the Dragons certainly took their time out of the blocks.
Matt Evans completed a swift back-line movement to opening the scoring, before the Jets scored two of the next three tries – Evans completing his double in this time - to take a 16-6 leads.
Clune then turned on his magic for the Dragons when he threw two perfect passes – one short and one long – to lock the scores up at half-time.
A penalty goal to the Dragons nudged them in front just after the break, but the Jets went back-to-back through Reubenn Rennie and Will Kennedy to take that healthy eight point lead that was mentioned earlier.
With under 10 minutes to play, up stepped the experiences Nicholls.
The veteran No.7 sent a last tackle bomb spiralling towards the wing of Rennie, who spilled the ball to hand the Dragons gift possession.
Clune – having had a hand in two of his team's tries – took the ball on the first play off the scrum and did it all himself to score. Nicholls converted, cutting the Jets' lead to just two with 5 minutes to play.
Back in 'good ball' areas, the Dragons looked to their marquee signing – Nicholls threw up another floating kick towards Rennie's wing, who again dropped the Steeden.
Trailing through off the kick, Herbert scooped up the ball in one motion and planted down to score the match-winner.