Monday 18 December 2017 / 02:58 AM

MALONEY’S GOAL UP THERE WITH THE GREATS

James Maloney’s conversion with just 20 seconds to play in Monday night’s thriller – snatching a 20-18 victory for the Sharks over the Bulldogs – was as clutch as it gets from a goalkicker.

The NSW five-eighth’s effort added to the annals of brilliant match-winning conversions in regular-season matches.

Here’s some of the best of the modern era:

Allan Kempnich – Gold Coast v Newcastle (1994)

Making just his second first-grade appearance – and his first in four years – fullback Allan Kempnich buried this sideline attempt in the dying minutes to clinch a 12-10 upset for the lowly Seagulls over the Knights. It remains the only shot at goal Kempnich had in a modes five-game premiership career.

Hazem El Masri – Bulldogs v Newcastle (2002)

Perhaps the most famous regular-season conversion of all time. El Masri’s after-the-siren stunner at Newcastle capped a 22-21 triumph for the Bulldogs after they had trailed 19-0.

Andrew Johns – Newcastle v St George Illawarra (2003)

‘Joey’ watched ‘El Magic’s’ conversion sail over in anguish in ’02, but he produced his own post-fulltime match-winner at the Dragons’ expense the following season.

 

Matthew Head – St George Illawarra v Sydney Roosters (2005)

In one of many Anzac Day classics between the Dragons and Roosters, Head laid on a score-levelling try with a chip-and-chase, then grabbed the win for the Saints with this cool-headed 79th-minute conversion.

Denan Kemp – New Zealand Warriors v Manly (2009)

The former Broncos flyer had a troubled stint in Auckland, but he enjoyed one shining moment in Warriors colours – this last-minute conversion from out wide to steal a 26-24 win from defending premiers Manly at Brookvale.

Kurt Gidley – Newcastle v Parramatta (2010)

At the end of a dour struggle between the Knights and the Eels, Gidley piloted this tough conversion over from the touchline in the latter stages to pull off a 6-4 victory.

Matt Moylan – Penrith v Canterbury (2014)

Young Penrith fullback Moylan ignored Jamie Soward’s offer to take an after-the-siren conversion attempt against the Bulldogs early in 2014, stepping up to drill the match-winner in an 18-16 result.

Kurt Gidley – Newcastle v Melbourne (2014)

Confirming his status as one of the great clutch goalkickers the game has seen, Gidley finished off a fairytale comeback for the Knights, who trailed the heavyweight Storm by 10 with two minutes left. The skipper’s goal from the right-hand touchline after the bell brought the house down.

[YouTube – Sports Tube]

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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