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Coates' Olympic dream fuelled Storm miracle try: Geyer

Jumping Melbourne winger Xavier Coates dreamed of being an Olympian when a teenager and his schoolboy mentor Matt Geyer says his miracle try in the NRL last week was the ultimate reward for that aspiration.

Coates scored with what many pundits regard as the best finishes of all-time when, seven metres from the tryline, he leapt almost two metres into the air over Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to score in the corner despite being buffeted by his opposite number. The try secured a remarkable 30-26 win in the dying seconds.

It showcased the athletic prowess Coates has possessed since he attended Marymount College and played juniors at Currumbin Eagles, where he was coached by Geyer.

In 2020 Coates recalled how he loved sprint training, which helped with his long jump and triple jump.

"Coming out of high school. I wanted to try and go to the World Juniors," Coates said.

"I definitely had goals of becoming an Olympic athlete and to represent PNG."

Geyer, a Storm legend who won the 1999 grand final at the club, had a flashback when he saw Coates' try.

"His athletics career came flooding straight back to me," Geyer told AAP.

"It is a pretty tough life those Olympic athletes lead. You have to make lots of sacrifices and Xavier was making them at 14 and 15.

"Obviously he can jump and has God-given abilities, but what held him in good stead was his remarkable self-discipline."

Coates expected a career in athletics but was also more than a handy rugby league player who ended up being signed by Brisbane.

"When I was coaching Xavier he wasn't making many of the rep teams on the Gold Coast and he was a bit frustrated with rugby league," Geyer said.

"He said he might forgo a career in league and go with athletics because he was winning the regional triple jump and long jump and held regional records.

"I was also speaking to the Storm about him, obviously.

"Right about the same time the Broncos got wind of him. Melbourne was obviously so far away for a young kid.

"The Broncos can't be forgotten in all this. Xavier was able to stay home and get financial security that comes with our profession.

"Once that part of his career was over he was able to go to the Storm and play Origin for Queensland. He has good influences and he's happy. All the pieces have fallen into place."

Xavier Coates.
Xavier Coates plants the ball down for one of the game's greatest tries. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

His natural born athleticism aside, Geyer said Coates had another key quality.

"In the coach's huddle - where some players would be pulling each other's hair or punching each other - without fail Xavier was looking right down the barrel at me and nodding," Geyer said.

"He had an insatiable thirst to learn."

Geyer was on a bus with his Currumbin players when Coates scored his cracker.

"The boys had their phones out. They showed me his try and we can't print what I said but it started with 'Holy'. It was epic," Geyer grinned.

"I talked to my son (Nash) and he said he thought his neighbours might ring the ambos or the police because he was yahooing and whooping in our lounge room.

"Xavier could revolutionise the game. There will be kids replicating that try in their backyards now for sure."