Gerringong Lions ruin Kiama Knights' finals campaign

Kiama Knights utility player Jacob Morrison finds room out wide during his side's 34-16 loss against the Gerringong Lions on Saturday. Picture: DAVID HALL

Kiama Knights utility player Jacob Morrison finds room out wide during his side's 34-16 loss against the Gerringong Lions on Saturday. Picture: DAVID HALL

GERRINGONG Lions' Group 7 Rugby League title defence is still alive after ending Kiama's 2014 campaign on Saturday.

A three-try blitz early in the second stanza ensured the Lions downed the Knights 34-16, amid inclement conditions at Centenary Field.

Gerringong led the elimination semi-final 16-6 at the break, eventually grabbing six tries to three and scoring 34 unanswered points.

The Knights, buoyed by the late inclusions of returning stars Tom Atkins and Jack Alexander, opened their account after 10 minutes.

Following a Lions' error inside their own half, Kieran Poole sliced through sub-par defence.

It was the only time Kiama would enjoy the lead, with Gerringong punishing their opponents for a mistake of their own when halfback Rixon Russell wrong-footed the defence, stepping and weaving his way through heavy traffic to get across the stripe.

Joel Roberts' conversion squared the ledger.

A penalty afforded the Lions some momentum, and a Peter Cronin four-pointer increased the scoreboard advantage.

The Knights spent several minutes camped at the money end of the field, but were left to rue numerous missed opportunities due to errors and mistimed passes.

Gerringong made no such mistake, a dummy half ball finding Lloyd Bowen, who crashed over for a simple try.

The match-up was effectively settled by the 50th minute, the clinical Lions attack laying on three rapid-fire tries finished off by skipper Brad Davidson, Simon Hoare and Bowen's second.

Late tries to Alexander and Daniel Martin added some respectability to the final score-line.

It was a disappointing finish to what appeared a promising season for Kiama, while Gerringong will have another sudden-death encounter against Nowra-Bomaderry this Saturday at Nowra Showground.

Sunday's qualifying semi-final turned into a low-scoring affair between Shellharbour City Sharks and Nowra-Bomaderry Jets as the Sharks moved into the major semi-final against Warilla-Lake South Gorillas with a 16-12 victory.

In an often mistake-ridden first half, both sides failed to capitalise. The stalemate was broken soon after the resumption when Steve Brandon stepped through for the opening try and a 6-0 Jets lead.

His brother Mark soon had a penalty and spectacular try in the corner. The visitors were flying at 12-0.

Sharks hit back after a Jets mistake, prop Harold Snell charging over under the posts.

Bronx Goodwin converted and then took a spectacular mark off a cross-field bomb and converted to tie. Veteran winger Jamie Manukonga put the icing on the cake when he barged three defenders to cross in the corner.

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