Yamba's super star bids farewell to Waratahs a super champ
THE fairytale finish that Kane Douglas dreamed of has become a reality.
The 25-year-old was key in the NSW Waratahs dramatic, last-gasp 33-32 win over the Crusaders in the Super Rugby final on Saturday night.
Prior to the game Douglas said the Waratahs would need to focus on their discipline in order to win a maiden Super Rugby title.
What he didn't let on was the manner in which the Waratahs would start the decider at ANZ Stadium in front of a record 61,823 fans.
The sky-blue outfit roared out of the gates and led 14-0 after just 15 minutes as the Crusaders struggled to remain in touch.
The Waratahs led 20-13 at half-time and Douglas' dream was close to reality.
The gutsy Crusaders fought back and when Colin Slade kicked a penalty in the 76th minute the New Zealanders led 32-30 and it looked as if they Waratahs were set for defeat.
But with one minute on the clock the home side were awarded a penalty 45m out and Bernard Foley nailed what may be remembered as the most important goal in Australian rugby history.
It is the first time Douglas has played in a grand final since captaining the under-17 Yamba Buccaneers to the 2006 premiership.
After that success he joined the NSW Academy before linking with Southern Districts in 2010, earning the Shute Shield Rookie of the Year award.
He progressed to the Waratahs line-up and cemented his reputation a strong performer.
Douglas' form was rewarded in 2012 when he earned the first of 14 caps for the Wallabies, with much of the Yamba community making the trip to watch his first international at the Gold Coast.
The 202cm lock will likely return to Yamba before he links with Irish rugby club Leinster, but regardless of which way his career goes from here, he will always be Yamba's champion.