THE Nowra-Bomaderry Jets woman’s league tag team will be out to defend their premiership title in the 2013 Group 7 grand final next weekend after a thrilling win against arch rivals Kiama Knights last Sunday at Michael Cronin Oval.
Coming off the back of a gutsy win against Warilla last weekend, the Jets women entered the major semi-final as underdogs against Kiama.
Kiama had beaten the Jets in the two round games throughout the year and had dominated the other teams as well as capturing the minor premiership.
But the Jets, who were relaxed during their warm up, came out just as calm from the kick-off.
From the start the Jets looked on-song with their attacking plays finding space and metres up field, and their defence remaining tight, shutting the Knights down.
It was not long before Jets were pressuring the Knights line and got the scoreboard ticking.
The Jets moved the Knights’ defence to one side and some quick hands back through the backline saw Hayley Hobbs score 15 metres in from the sideline.
The conversion was unsuccessful and the Jets led 4-nil.
From the restart, both sides tried to attack each other with some great ball work and set plays to gain some field advantage, but both defences were strong and physical with many players hitting the deck in an attempt to get through.
It was the Jets though that looked the most dangerous, with the marker defence of Talia Atfield, Belinda Chittleborough and Aroha Winikerei making it hard for the Knights to complete and get to a good kick.
This allowed the Jets attack to gain momentum through the hard running of Ash and Megan McPherson, Sian Silk, Kel Watters and Kel Grossetti out of dummy half finding good yards.
An Atfield kick caught the Knights in goal, giving the Jets a repeat set.
From the dropout the Jets went straight back on the attack and again some quick hands from Watters to Ash saw her get through three defenders to score in the same spot as the first try, taking the Jets out to a 8-nil lead.
Both sides continued to show flair in attack and the Jets continuously looked dangerous on the left flank with Silk, Karla Horlyck, Bec Stanley and Ruby Nicholson finding the overlaps only to be stopped by some desperate defence.
The right looked even more likely to score with Hobbs, Megan, Kimmy Ardler, Tina Dickson and Denae Fiez unable to find that last pass to get over the line again.
It was a Jets error and lapse in concentration in their own half gave that the Knights possession that allowed a quick role ball and break down the left wing to score in the corner, closing the gap to 8-4 at the break.
The second half started a lot quicker than the first and again both sides attacked hard and their defences withstood the tests.
Both sides tried different tactics in an attempt to find a break.
Atfield almost got through with a little double kick and chase only to be beaten to the ball by a diving Kiama defence.
Kiama tried their own kicking tactics which nearly paid off with a regather, only to be tagged by Stanley with a one hand swipe.
With 12 minutes to go, it was another Atfield kick, off the back of a strong Jets attacking set towards the Kiama line.
A quick roll ball and a switch with Grosetti saw Atfield put through a little grubber kick to regather and get the ball down to extend the Jets lead to 12-4. The remainder game saw the Knights try desperate measures to close the gap, shutting down the Jets attack and keeping them contained in their half.
But it was the Jets defence that proved too strong, repelling several late Kiama raids.
The scored remained 12-4 at the final siren.
The Jets now advance through to their third straight grand final and have the opportunity to become the first WLT team to win back-to-back titles.
They will meet the winner of the Eagles and Knights in the grand final at Nowra Showground on Sunday, September 22.
The Jets women will be looking forward to some vocal support next Sunday morning, so all supporters get up to the showground and cheer them on.
Go the Jets!