Sydney University Lions scored a touchdown in the final minute of play to win a 14th consecutive Gridiron NSW Division title in the grand final played a Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
The Lions defeated West Sydney Pirates 20-19 on the bell to claim the Waratah Bowl.
It was the third successive grand final loss for the Pirates, who led 19-13 with two minutes on the clock.
Sydney Uni won their way through to the decider with a 39-21 win over Northern Sydney Rebels in a semi-final at Neptune Park, while West Sydney Pirates won their semi-final against UNSW Raiders 29-26.
Sydney Uni made the grand final in 2000, 2001 and 2002 before their run started with a win over UWS Outlaws in the 2003 decider. They’ve won every Waratah Bowl since, including the 2014 and 2015 titles over West Sydney Pirates.
The Pirates, who play their home games at Craik Park in Austral, have now lost six Waratah Bowls to the Lions since 2004. But this was the one that got away.
“It hurts. It’s still very raw,” Pirates quarterback David Ward told the Liverpool City Champion’s Chris Boulous.
“It’s devastating to lose. We had a chance with less than two minutes to go but we couldn’t score. That’s three years in a row we have lost in the final. It’s frustrating.”