A CONTENTIOUS touchdown just seconds before the full-time siren sealed a men's first division grand final spot for Sumans Engineering in a hugely controversial 5-4 win over Real Juice/Bar 188 on Monday.
In a nailbiting preliminary final, Simon Bonetti was awarded the winning try in the dying embers of the match despite wild remonstrations from the Real Juice side, who insisted he was touched well before he went to ground.
It was a fitting ending to a match that was without a dull moment, with Bonetti the centre of a bench-clearing push-and-shove session in the second half that threatened to boil over.
Real Juice's Ross Marando was incensed that the referees did not make good on their threats to send Sumans Engineering players off after repeated claims of high elbows, and took his frustrations out on Bonetti.
It marked the second week in succession that Real Juice nearly came to blows with their opposition after last week's match with Marchioris Development, the side that will face Sumans in next week's grand final.
After a patient, probing opening period, Real Juice's Daniel Quarisa crossed for the game's first touchdown but his side was overrun for the rest of the half.
Following a double to Sumans' Gavin Serafin and one to David Villata the margin was 3-2 at the break, but Real Juice kept fighting after the resumption of play.
In a second-half armwrestle, Real Juice levelled the scores on two separate occasions.
The elusive Vince Restagno went over late to tie things up at 4-4, with the match seemingly destined for extra-time until that controversial ending.
Real Juice/Bar 188..........................4