THE Kiama Knights have had a dream start to their centenary season after producing one of their best defensive efforts in several seasons to down Jamberoo Superoos 24-16 at Kevin Walsh Oval on Saturday.
One of the quiet achievers in the pre-season, the Knights jumped to an early lead and despite a mini-comeback by the home side during the first half, the Knights managed to grab a two point lead at halftime and hold their opposition scoreless in the second half.
The Knights took advantage of their first set in attack and fullback Tom Atkins scored out wide and almost from the kick-off they went to the right again and front-rower Jacob Morrison backed up great work from Marc Laird and Kieran Poole to sprint over and give his side a great 8-nil lead inside the first 10 minutes.
Jamberoo eventually regained their mojo and opened their account when they attacked down the left and second-rower Robbie Noble showed great strength to crash over and just minutes later five-eighth Mark Asquith cleverly weaved his way over near the posts and Simon Maslanka’s conversion put the Superoos in front 10-8.
The see-sawing nature of the game continued and the Knights were determined not to fold and Atkins notched his second and Jack Alexander landed the conversion before Asquith powered his way over again and Maslanka converted for the home side to lead 16-14.
The Knights then produced probably the best try of the game when, with time almost up in the half, Cameron Whittaker somehow managed to offload, despite the attention of three Jamberoo defenders, to send block-busting winger Jacob Dolan racing over to give the Knights an 18-16 lead at the break.
The second half went from end to end and Kiama was forced to defend for long periods, but considering there were seven tries in the first half, it was a surprise that there was only one in the second and that came 15 minutes from the end when Dolan finished superbly to score in the corner. Alexander’s super conversion gave the Knights a vital eight-point lead.
The Superoos set up camp in the Kiama line for most of the last 10 minutes, however could not crack some superb Knights defence.
The Superoos suffered a massive blow in the final stages when last year’s Players of the Year, hooker James Asquith, suffered a broken left arm and joined Luke Gilmore, who pulled a hamstring during the first half, on the sideline.
In a superb Knights performance, Cameron Whittaker, Jacob Dolan, Glenn Roberts and Kieran Poole had big games, while Robbie Noblde Adam Vanzanten and Mark Asquith were best for the Superoos.