Melbourne Unicorns have taken out a thrilling Dewar Shield, ending Harlequin’s chances for a fourth straight title.
Competition favourites Harlequin came into the match fresh after a week off and led for 75 minutes, before a try knocked them off the top perch.
The win is Melbourne’s first title in five years, though they are the most-decorated side in Dewar Shield history with 18 wins, including Saturday’s victory.
The finalists had played out three close matches through the season, with Harlequins taking out two, including the major semi-final, and the third being a draw.
Saturday’s title fight was no different to those, bar the final result, with Harlequin looking the goods for much of the day.
The favourites took a 19-6 lead into the break but failed to add to that tally in a memorable second half.
As the Unicorns narrowed the gap, the reigning champions dug their heels in but that final score in the 75th minute tipped the scales in Melbourne’s favour.
The Unicorns had one Rebels player in their side, in Mick Snowden.
Harlequin had another defeat in the women’s grand final earlier in the day, going down to the Uni Panthers 34-17.