A FIVE-STAR performance from Kiama Knights five-eighth Kieran Poole has helped his side maintain their superb start to the VB South Coast Group 7 Rugby League season with a big 44-10 win over Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles at Kiama Showground on Sunday.
In blustery conditions, the Knights always seemed in control against a plucky Eagles team, with Poole’s hat-trick of tries and hand in almost everything his side did, helping his side establish a commanding 24-6 lead at half-time and score nine tries to two in the process.
In fact it was Poole who was able to open the scoring early when he skipped through before winger Jacob Dolan finished well top give their side an 8-0 lead.
They already looked in control, however went to sleep momentarily and allowed youngster Kyle Zimmerman to run a great angle to score adjacent to the posts and with Chris Daniels landing the conversion, the Knights led just 8-6.
But in the twinkling of an eye, will-o-the-whisp fullback-cum-halfback Tommy Atkins swooped on an adventurous pass to grab the intercept and race 70 metres to score out wide before a super one-handed pass from lock Marc Laird put Matt Gladman over and with Gladman converting the Knights were well in control at 18-6.
The Eagles were giving the Knights plenty of ball in their own half through dropped ball and penalties and it was Poole who put the finishing touches to a dominant first half with a show-and-go to score out wide and Gladman again converted for an 18-point half-time lead.
The Eagles came out better in the second half an had the first points of the half on the board when Sean Jenkins followed a kick to score, but two tries in quick succession to Dean Gentle and Corey Grigg, with Poole prominent in both, put the Knights back in the driver’s seat.
Dolan was able to grab his second midway through the second half before rookie fullback Matt Emerson, who had a fine top-grade debut, split the deference and sent Poole flying over for a well-deserved hat-trick with four minutes remaining to wrap up the scoring.
In a very settled performance from the Knights, Poole, Emerson, Laird and Brent Wake had big games, while Dean Gray, Simon Harris and Zimmerman were best for the Eagles.