A brilliantly brave second half comeback has seen the Thunderbolts defeat the Raiders 34-26 at Seiffert Oval.
Trailing by as much as 18 points in the second half, Storm’s Under-20s slowly worked their way back into the contest.
They then secured the win courtesy of two tries in the final six minutes to hand the Under-20s Raiders their first loss in seven games.
The win was also the Thunderbolts second in as many weeks as they continued their good form in the back end of the season.
“I’m very proud of them,” coach Eric Smith said.
“I’ve been very proud of their effort most of the year but tonight to travel down here from the Sunshine Coast where it’s 27 degrees to here where it was minus 3 yesterday.
“We had a big chat about that before the game that we weren’t going to make any soft excuses about where we were playing.
“The boys really showed how gritty they can be tonight, the lead chopped and changed but they were pretty resilient to big their heels in. As a coach that makes you really proud.”
They were slow out of the blocks though and found themselves on the wrong side of a 14-0 score line after just half an hour.
Cory Parker helped stem the tied just before the break when he found a way through the Raiders line.
Trailing 14-4 at half-time the Thunderbolts needed to continue their momentum but it was instead the home side who extended their lead to 18 points.
However that was soon cut to just six when Matt Egan and Jacob Tonge both crossed over and when Lachlan Timm leveled the scores shortly after the game was set up for a grandstand finish with 19 minutes to play.
Canberra responded to re-take the lead but it was Timm again who stood up to score his second of the day as the Thunderbolts took the lead with just six minutes to go.
Both sides gave it their all as the minutes wound down before Jacob Boyce broke through right on full time to seal a famous win for the boys in purple.