NOWRA-BOMADERRY Jets continued their strong form on Sunday, defeating third-placed Kiama 32-12 at Kiama Showground to provide one of the highlights of the 13th round of the VB South Coast Group 7 Rugby League.
The Jets led 22-0 at halftime and were never headed, despite a much stronger second half showing from the Knights.
It was Kiama who had all the ball and field position in the early stages, however they failed to capitalise as the Jets' goal-line defence held strong time and again.
As they worked the ball off their own line, a break from winger Kieran Brandon gave the Jets their first chance - one they finished on the next play, as they shifted the ball to the left for Nathan Falzon to open the scoring. Mark Brandon converted to give the Jets a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Back-to-back penalties gave the Jets their next opportunity, with a Michael Blattner offload allowing Zac Kershaw to cross out wide and extend the lead.
Some swift counter attacking play from Kieran Brandon led to the Jets' third try and Kershaw's second as the centre raced away and crossed under the posts. Mark Brandon converted to take the score to 16-0.
Three minutes later the Jets were in for their fourth try as fullback Isaac Mumberson pushed off multiple defenders and raced 30 metres to score next to the posts, Mark Brandon again added the extras to take the half time score to 22-0.
A penalty put the Jets on the attack early in the second half and this time it was Geoff Johnson crossing, the evergreen halfback showing some strength to muscle his way over the line from close range. Mark Brandon's conversion took the lead to 28-0.
Midway through the second half Kiama broke the Jets defence with winger Oliver Powell crossing in the corner to take the score to 28-4.
The Knights struck again five minutes later as the Jets looked to be tiring, with Brent Wake diving over from dummy-half cutting the lead to 28-8.
Kiama kept the pressure on and a scrum 30 metres out from the Jets' line gave them a chance to add more points. They did just that as Corey Grigg raced away off the scrum win for Kiama's third try, another unsuccessful conversion attempt left the score at 28-12.
Although Kiama were looking strong, it would be their last try of the afternoon, as the Jets wrestled back control in the last 10 minutes and Mark Brandon crossed for his 21st try this season after the Knights spilt a spiralling bomb 20 metres out from their own line. He converted his own try for a fulltime score of 32-12.
Johnson, Ben Wellington and Ryan James were the Jets best, while for the Knights Wake, Cameron Whittaker and Kieran Poole tried hard for the Knights
In other weekend games, Gerringong Lions stayed in the running for a semi-final spot with a 38-10 win over Milton-Ulladulla, Shellharbour City Sharks maintained second spot with a big 42-16 win over Albion Park-Oak Flats, while Berry Magpies produced a point-a-minute second half to thump Port Kembla 58-22.