Knights prevail in close encounter with Jets

THE Kiama Knights continued their impressive start to the 2014 season with a 36-24 win against the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Nowra Showground on Sunday.

Anyone who played on Saturday would have felt hard done by if they saw the condition of the Showground, which managed to stay almost unaffected by the recent rain.

Nevertheless, ball security was a problem for both sides in the first 10 minutes, with possession turning over a number of times.

The Jets were the first to take advantage of poor ball control when they spread it wide from a scrum to allow winger Mark Brandon to score the first try in the corner after 10 minutes.

Their lead was extended to 6-0 when Ryan James slotted the conversion from the sideline.

It wasn’t long before the Jets doubled their lead after five-eighth Steve Brandon weaved some of his magic to get through the Knights defence.

Brandon then found a support player in Ryan James, who crashed over near the posts, before converting his try to make it 12-0. 

The Jets looked to be in a great position after their red-hot start, but the chances of them racking up a cricket score were out to bed when Kiama scored their first try through Tom Atkins after 18 minutes.

Things were all locked up just two minutes later when Cameron Whittaker found his way through to cross for a simple try.

It was starting to look more like a tennis match when the Jets returned serve a few minutes later when Steve Brandon put his brother Mark over in the corner for his second try.

Another tricky sideline conversion from Ryan James saw the Jets take an 18-12 lead.

Just after his heroics of scoring a second try, Brandon was dumped over the sideline in the first tackle from the kick off to put the Knights back in the box seat.

They managed to take full advantage, with Dean Gentle easily accounting for some fairly soft defence to score the Knights third.

It was all locked up at 18-all when Jack Alexander nailed his third consecutive conversion.

With the half-time break nearing, all the momentum was in favour of the visitors and they hit the lead for the first time when the Jets were caught short on the right edge as Jay Delaney crossed for a try in the corner.

The Knights looked like they might get one more chance for points before half-time, but were called back for a forward pass, leaving the score at 24-18 at the break.

Some stern words from their coach Ben Wellington must have set the Jets on the right track after the break as they became the first to score when Steve Brandon caught the Knights napping near their line, to bring it back to 24-all.

A Steve Brandon bomb 10 minutes into the second half completely bamboozled the Knights players and held up just short of the dead ball line for his brother Mark.

Brandon managed to get a hand on it just before it went dead and thought he had come up with the try to put them back in front, only for it to be called a knock on when the touch judge intervened.

The middle part of the second half was a nice arm wrestle as both sides looked determined not to give the other a sniff.

But just when the thought of another draw for the Jets started to come to mind, the Knights finally broke the deadlock when Marc Laird was too strong for their defenders and put the visitors back in front.

The Knights extended their lead through a penalty a few minutes later to take the score to 26-18 with 10 minutes remaining.

The Jets had a good chance to hit back in the last five minutes, but the Knights managed to hold them out and get some breathing room.

While the Knights got the ball out of their own 20, all the attention stayed back near the try line as a scuffle broke out between several players.

Jets Prop Nick Falzon was the first player to be sent off, but the Knights were soon reduced to 12 as well.

The crowd waited on as Dean Gentle received some medical attention, before he too was given his marching orders.

The Knights managed to put it beyond all doubt as Jacob Dolan scored a late try to blow the score out to 36-24.

Marc Laird, Cameron Whittaker and Jack Alexander all had good games for the Knights, while Steve Brandon, Ryan James and Isaac Mumberson were the best for the Jets.

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