Heavy grounds impact on games

SHELLHARBOUR City has scored back-to-back Group 7 Rugby League victories, coming from behind to defeat Albion Park-Oak Flats 28-14 on Sunday.

Recent heavy rain resulted in two games being played in heavy conditions on Saturday and two on drier grounds on Sunday, with Gerringong Lions, Berry Magpies and Kiama Knights also round three winners.

The Park, minus halfback Matt Carroll, led 14-6 at the break, before a resurgent Sharks forward pack spearheaded their side to a win at Centenary Field.

The visitors racked up 22 unanswered points during the second stanza.

Shellharbour registered first points in just the fifth minute when back-rower Ryan Schuster barged over for 6-0.

Park veteran Sean Jenkins squared the ledger, before a speculator flick pass was plucked out of the air by Eagles winger Blake Jones, who ran 60 metres for an intercept four-pointer.

The Park's failure to find touch from a penalty kick proved to be a major momentum-shifter.

The Sharks forced a goal-line drop-out from the ensuing set, and the opposition's inability to wrap up the ball enabled Justin Rodrigues to storm across the stripe.

As Shellharbour's forwards repeatedly bent the back of the defensive line, Rodrigues and Ben Stratton both touched down in short order, Sharks halfback Hans Schuster's four-pointer capping off his team's dominant second 40 minutes.

Kiama continued their impressive start to the season with a 36-24 win against the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Nowra Showground on Sunday.

The Knights led 24-18 at the break, before Berry's Steve Brandon caught the Knights' defence out, levelling the scores.

Kiama broke the deadlock via Marc Laird's try, and extended their buffer through a penalty with 10 minutes remaining.

A scuffle meant Jets prop Nick Falzon was sent off, Kiama back-rower Dean Gentle also being given his marching orders.

The Knights sealed the result when Jacob Dolan touched down late.

In other games, Berry opened their 2014 account with a convincing 30-4 victory against the Port Kembla Blacks at Berry Showground on Saturday.

Even before kick-off, the surface was a muddy mess from the heavy rain, and by the full-time siren it looked more like a battlefield on the Western Front than a football field.

The Magpies crossed after just two minutes when Bryce Rutherford split through the Blacks' defensive line, finding support from Lloyd Sharpe.

The score remained at 4-0 until the break, slippery conditions ensuring completed sets were rare.

Blake Dryden caught the Blacks' defenders napping just one minute after the oranges to score their second four-pointer.

Dryden scooted out of dummy half and ran 50 metres to score under the posts for a 10-0 buffer.

Although Blacks player Josh Windisch went over in the corner 10 minutes into the second period, the floodgates opened for the Magpies.

Tries to Rory McCall and Coulter extended the lead, and the final insult for the Blacks came when they were reduced to 12 men after Ben Dove was sent to the sin-bin.

Defending premiers Gerringong disposed of Milton-Ulladulla 38-10 in atrocious conditions at Michael Cronin Oval on Saturday.

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