GERRINGONG picked up their third win in a row with a 50-20 victory over the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Nowra Showground on Saturday.
Despite the score-line, the Jets showed they too have plenty of attacking football in them this year and remained determined until the final hooter in blustery conditions.
The Lions were gifted the perfect start with a penalty in their first set of six putting them on the attack and allowing hooker Nathan Ford to score next to the posts, Joel Roberts converted for a 6-nil lead.
However, two penalties in quick succession from the Lions gave the Jets an attacking chance soon after and they capatilised as Matt Rouen slipped a nice pass to winger Mark Brandon to cross. Second-rower Ryan James added the extras to even it up at 6-all.
Ill discipline from the Jets again gave Gerringong strong field position and from a tap 15 metres out, Lions front-rower Tim Moore dummied and strolled over for a converted try to take the lead 12-6.
Deciding the run the ball on the last tackle the Lions pushed the score to 16-6 when Pat Cronin found his brother Peter with a lovely cut-out pass for the centre to finish out wide.
Off the ensuing kick-off Ford and Pat Cronin combined to open up the Jets through the middle leading to replacement forward Shaun Baulch crossing, Roberts’ converted to take the score to 22-6.
Ford found himself in the thick of the action again soon after, forcing a goal-line dropout with a well placed grubber kick and crossing for his second try of the game in the ensuing set of six, the conversion extending the lead to 28-6.
A scrum on halfway gave the Jets a much needed attacking opportunity, which they didn’t pass up. Five-eighth Steve Brandon showed plenty of class to find his brother Mark in space down the left sideline, the winger streaking away for his second try of the match and cutting the Lions lead to 28-10 at half-time.
Gerringong regained momentum early in the second half when a spilt bomb put them on the attack and Pat Cronin found himself in space to cross for a converted try.
As was the case in the first half, penalties again gave the Lions strong field position and a clever pass from Ford close to the try line put Roberts over, who converted his own try.
Gerringong winger Joel Doosey then made it 44-10, as he took an intercept off a Jets scrum win and raced 60 metres to score in the corner.
Only minutes later it was the Lions turn to mis-field a bomb though and from their next set of six, Jets front-rower Michael Blattner barged over from close range for his side’s third try of the game. James’ conversion moved the score to 44-16.
Gerringong hit straight back following Blattner’s try as Taylor Hudson broke through the line and found Roberts in support for his second converted try of the afternoon.
Not to be deterred, it was the Jets who scored the final try of the match as some sharp work putting the ball through the hands saw James run 30 metres to finish well in the corner. James missed the conversion, leaving the full-time score at 50-20.
For the Lions Ford, Pat Cronin and Roberts stood out, while Rouen and the Brandon brothers were shining lights for the Jets.