MACKSVILLE has caused the upset of the season with a surprise 18-16 win over a previously undefeated Woolgoolga side at Alan Gillet Oval.
The win was the Sea Eagles first of the season and what better way to notch it than by toppling the completion front runners.
With the field more closely resembling a swamp than a football ground, Macksville neutralized the prolific Seahorse's attack with a tough blue collar effort in defence.
Covered in blood, sweat and mud it was obvious Macksville captain-coach Shayne Cantrill and his side had given everything they had to get the win.
"I always knew we had it in us and today everything just all came together," Cantrill said.
"To knock off the top team like we did today goes to show what we can do when we are at our best.
"We played as a unit with everyone on the field working to get the result."
Showing plenty of character, Macksville had to come from behind twice in the match to get the win.
Scoring a try in the opening minute and then holding a six point lead with nine minutes to go, Woolgoolga will be ruing the defeat as an opportunity lost.
Seahorses coach Greg Shuttleworth felt his side's late mistakes helped give Macksville the win.
"It was a tough game and both sides really worked hard to get a result," Shuttleworth said.
"We made too many errors at crucial times and had a few tough calls go against us which really swung the momentum."
Shuttleworth felt the decision to send off centre Mitch Dockery and then sin bin Grant Stevens a few plays later put his side on the back foot.
"There were some controversial decisions today that had us down to only 11 men for part of the second half," he said.
"It certainly changed the flow of the match however as a side we need to be able to negate that and maintain our shape on the field.
"It comes down to the fact we committed too many errors and let Macksville back into the game."
With the rain pouring down, time running out and the Sea Eagles staring down the barrel of defeat, the home side rallied to score a crucial try courtesy of Micheal Tyerman to level the scores at 16-16.
The following set the Sea Eagles would take the lead for the final time in the match when Tyler Doolan kicked the winning penalty goal from 35 metres out to give the home side an 18-16 win.
Cantrill was confident the result was the confidence booster his team needed to turn its season around.
"That result is just a demonstration of what we can do as a side," the Macksville captain-coach said.
"We are still missing a number of quality players to injury and have yet to field a full strength side this year.
"When we finally manage to play our best 13 on the paddock all I can say is watch out."
MACKSVILLE SEA EAGLES 18 (M Tyerman 2, L Buchanna tries T Doolan 3 goals) bt WOOLGOOLGA SEAHORSES 16 (M Pledger, L Munro, T McManus tries W Fernando 2 goals)
Scrums: Woolgoolga 5-4
Errors: Woolgoolga 11-8
Penalties: Macksville 9-5
At Allan Gillet Oval, Macksville
Reserve Grade: Macksville bt Woolgoolga 32-24
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