Missed chance leaves a draw

By DARRYN NUFER

A MISSED touchline conversion from Cory Niwa with just minutes left on the clock left the Queensland Country Heelers with a 28-all draw with New South Wales at Narrabri on Saturday.

The visitors turned around a 21-8 deficit in the closest game of the 2005 Australian Rugby Shield to date.

"We didn't know whether to be elated or deflated,'' Heelers manager Martin Gilhan said after the match.

"It (draw) still leaves us in third place so we'll probably be relying on Perth to beat New South Wales and us getting bonus points in our final two games to make the final.''

The top two teams play off in the final.

Queensland travels to Townsville on Saturday to play Melbourne before the final round showdown with Adelaide in Rockhampton.

"They're two of the lower ranked teams so we'll be out to get maximum points,'' Gilhan said.

Hard-running Rockhampton breakaway Sean Kearns and fellow Rockhampton player Joel Johnston saw game time at Narrabri but Jamie Blyton missed out off the reserves bench.

The Heelers made a charge late in the first half to go in 2116 down at halftime.

They also scored first in the second half before setting up a thrilling finish with a try just before fulltime.

Niwa's conversion attempt missed by about a metre.



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