AS ISIS prop Royce Blair sprinted across the field in the dying seconds of the A-grade preliminary final against Easts at Salter Oval he shouted to the team's captain-coach, Simon Ricciardi, not to give up.

Blair's actions mirrored his words and he crossed the field to score one of the Devils' two tries after the 78th minute to seal the stunning 30-26 win, and progress to the grand final against Wests this Sunday.

Isis led Easts 16-6 at half-time but tries to Easts Kyle Laybutt, Baidon Cooper and Jesse Marschke along with conversions to Hayden Herbert saw the Magpies take the lead 26-20.

With the clock winding down and the Devils needing a miracle they got one - Easts were penalised for time wasting and were marched 10m for backchat, putting them in striking distance.

For the first few tackles of the set Easts defence was solid but Blair raced across the field to score the try to take the score to 26-24. Robert O'Donnell converted Blair's try and the fans were treated to 20 more minutes of football.

After a short break the players ripped into each other again and Matthew Curtis scored in the left corner, Easts couldn't match the heroics of Blair and Curtis and it misses out on the grand final the majority of the crowd thought they deserved.

Blair said the importance of making the grand final was not only for him and his teammates. "I've never played in a grand final before, this is going to be awesome," he said.

"I used to get flogged all the time and I've been playing for Isis since Under-8s.

"I've had people in the town talking to me about footy who never had talked to me about footy and that's what we're saying at training, we're not doing it for ourselves, we're doing it for our community."

HEATED DISCUSSION: Easts Hayden Herbert is confronted by Isis forwards Royce Blair (left) and Alusa Nasio in the dying minutes of the A-grade preliminary final at Salter Oval. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail
HEATED DISCUSSION: Easts Hayden Herbert is confronted by Isis forwards Royce Blair (left) and Alusa Nasio in the dying minutes of the A-grade preliminary final at Salter Oval. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail Ben Turnbull

In the first half O'Donnell had a shot at goal, one linesman's flag went up, one stayed down but Isis was awarded the two points. Without the added extras Easts would have won the game 26-24 in normal time.

Easts captain Rhys Neil was surprisingly diplomatic with his assessment of the game despite the fact a few calls cost him a shot at a grand final. "I haven't got many words to say," Neil said.

"There was a few calls if you watch the replay you'd be able to see what I mean and pick up on it, things that could have changed the game."

Apart from injuries to a few players, the main concern at Isis the report of forward Peter Grant. Isis president Bill Trevor said the club didn't know what charge Grant faced but it would defend whatever was put forward.

IN TROUBLE: Isis prop Peter Grant was placed on report in the dying miutes of the peliminary final win over Easts at Salter Oval. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail
IN TROUBLE: Isis prop Peter Grant was placed on report in the dying miutes of the peliminary final win over Easts at Salter Oval. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail Ben Turnbull

 

Scoreboard

A-grade preliminary final

Isis 30 (M Curtis 2, Z Dann, K Thompson, T Cole, R Blair tries; R O'Donnell 3 goals) d Easts 26 (K Laybutt 2, B Cooper, J Marschke tries; H Herbert 5 goals)

Grand finals - September 21

Women: Gladstone v Brothers, 10am.

U18: Easts v Brothers, 11.15am.

Reserve grade: Easts v Maryborough Brothers, 12.45pm.

A-grade: Wests v Isis, 2.45pm.