CLOSE but no cigar seems to be the story of the season so far for the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets, who are still without a win in 2014.
A draw in their first game against Jamberoo is the closest they have been and they came agonisingly close to sharing the points with Shellharbour in their clash at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday.
The Jets had fought back to all square with the Sharks at 22-all in the final minute, before a last ditch effort saw the Sharks snatch a 26-22 victory.
Rather than being bitter about losing, Jets coach Ben Wellington was upbeat the game and thought it was their best performance this season.
“I believe we outplayed them on the day and won the game everywhere except on the scoreboard,” Wellington said.
“We were in the last 30 seconds and it was really the last throw of the dice for them and they got a miracle ball.
“What can you say? It’s just what happens sometimes and there’s not much you can do about it.”
Despite the loss, Wellington feels they have turned a corner and their ability to be so competitive against one of the top sides in the competition has been a big confidence booster.
Wellington is now hoping they can take that mentality into their clash against defending premiers Gerringong at Nowra Showground on Saturday.
In Wellington’s words, they won one and got toweled up in the other in their two clashes with the Lions last season, so they know they are capable of beating them on their day.
The Lions take plenty of good form into the clash, after handing Jamberoo a 70-10 shellacking last week, so Wellington knows it will be a tough game.
“They’ve been the best side for a while and it’s always a really good challenge.
“They’re coming off a pretty comfortable win.
“That’s a huge score in first grade and you’ve got to be playing good footy to be able to score that many points, but we tend to not worry too much about them and try to focus on our own game.”
Wellington is confident if they can do the basic things right, then they can give it a good shake and hopefully pick up their first win for 2014.
“The boys are all pretty pumped up after the Sharks game and dying to break the duck,” he said.
“Once we get the first one out of the way we can start aiming at stringing a few together and playing consistent footy.
“I know we’re in good stead, so hopefully this is it.”
The Jets are expected to be at full-strength for this weekend’s clash, with veteran halfback Geoff Johnson making a successful return from a rib injury against the Sharks.