Callum Frawley Richardson had already seen his club suffer through a 17-year finals drought - and he was not about to let it happen again.
The Uni-Norths Owls have secured their second straight John I Dent Cup finals berth after a resounding 50-27 victory over the Queanbeyan Whites at ANU North Oval on Saturday.
Uni-Norths will finish fourth, with the Gungahlin Eagles and Canberra Royals battling for top spot while the Tuggeranong Vikings can finish either second or third.
A hat-trick from Owls' try-scoring machine Frawley Richardson made the 17-year finals drought, which was washed away last season, a distant memory.
Eighty-minute efforts have been an issue for the Owls this year. After a lightning fast start to the game, three consecutive Queanbeyan tries had them behind on the scoreboard.
Enter Frawley Richardson. The Owls winger crossed the line for two tries in quick succession to give his team a nine-point half-time buffer.
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He sent the crowd wild midway through the second half when he finished off his hat-trick, but he was nearly left to rue a moment of complacency.
"We always do it, we always go hard out and then let off the steam a little bit," Frawley Richardson said.
"Silly errors, knock ons and stuff like that. I think it's good how we came back, because its been a bit of an issue for us this year, not closing out games."
A yellow card to Queanbeyan's Haloti Fonau early in the second half allowed Uni-Norths to extend their lead to 21 points and virtually put the game to bed.
Owls' coach Sam Rolfe applauded his forwards' efforts to turn the momentum of the match.
"We showed a bit of heart with that comeback late in the first half and then came out firing after half time," Rolfe said.
"We've been under a bit of pressure at times with our scrum, but to have that dominant scrum was great."
AT A GLANCE
John I Dent Cup round 15
UNI-NORTHS OWLS 50 bt QUEANBEYAN WHITES 27; GUNGAHLIN EAGLES 47 bt WESTS 12; CANBERRA ROYALS 71 bt EASTS 14
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