The guts and determination of the Canberra Raiders last-ditch defence would have made Peter Mulholland proud.
It was typified by a Connor Williams try-saving tackle in the final seconds to help the Raiders to their third SG Ball under-19 premiership with an 18-14 victory over the Illawarra Steelers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
Raiders coach Ashley Barnes paid tribute to Mulholland, who's in hospital following chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in his ongoing battle against blood cancer.
Canberra lock Trey Mooney was named man of the match for his 80-minute effort - despite carrying a shoulder injury - while fellow middle Caleb Esera scored a try in a dominant display and fullback Jack Sandford crossed for what proved to be the winner.
Raiders halfback Sione Moala was the other try scorer for the victors, who added their names in the history books alongside the 1995 and 2005 SG Ball premiership teams.
Brandon Morkos, Joshua Coric and Alexander Lobb were the Steelers' try scorers.
"The boys really put in a good effort for Pete. We wish he could've been here, but he's someone who's put a lot of time and effort into these young men and he can take a lot of credit for the result," Barnes said.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA RAIDERS 18 (Caleb Esera, Sione Moala, Jack Sandford tries; Mitchell Spencer 3 goals) bt ILLAWARRA STEELERS 14 (Brandon Morkos, Joshua Coric, Alexander Lobb; Lobb goal)