South Coast Group 7
Kiama Knights 44 , Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles 6
KIAMA have moved to outright fourth on the South Coast Group 7 Rugby League first grade ladder after walloping Albion Park-Oak Flats 44-6.
The Knights scored eight tries to one against the defending premiers at Kiama Showground on Sunday.
A three-try blitz within the space of six minutes during the first stanza gave the home side a significant advantage, which they never relinquished, thanks in no small part to a dominant performance from their forwards.
Conversely, some disjointed attack and ill-discipline cruelled the Eagles.
Man-mountain Knights prop Jake McDonald channeled his inner Dave Taylor to open the scoring in the 12th minute.
The front rower put in a grubber from close range, gained a favourable ricochet and re-gathered to score, also converting his own try.
A physical arm-wrestle ensued, despite Kiama being camped in the opposition half to the extent they could have packed tent pegs.
It took two tries in quick succession – both against the run of play – for the home side to surge ahead.
Knights flyer Jay Delaney fielded a Park kick, found himself in space and ran 80 metres to score under the black dot.
Three minutes later, the visitors appeared to be caught napping when Kiama pounced on a loose ball deep inside the opposition half and Peter Rheinburger crossed under the posts.
Consecutive penalties immediately presented the Knights with a golden opportunity at the money end.
They isolated Cameron Whittaker with smaller defenders close to the line and the workaholic prop couldn’t be denied for 24-nil.
The stunned Eagles managed to get on the board via a Chris Daniels converted try, and were narrowly denied another four-pointer on the stroke of half-time after a Sean Jenkins bust.
The visitors lost veteran pivot Gary Breakspear to injury soon after the resumption though.
Ten minutes into the second half, Kiama again reaped the rewards of a penalty, scrappy, yet rapid ball movement putting Oliver Powell over in the corner.
A 12-point turnaround further extended the buffer.
Seconds after the Eagles went with inches of adding further points at the other end, Aaron Grigg blew the lead out to 34-6.
A double to five-eighth Kieran Poole, the latter after a deft short ball from Knights skipper Marc Laird rounded out the scoring.
Given the jockeying for positions on the ladder, the for-and-against boost will stand Kiama in good stead.
McDonald, Whittaker, Luke Muttdon, Jade Lucas and Kieran Poole all performed strongly for Kiama, while Jenkins, Daniels and Dean Gray never stopped trying for the Park.