A BIG second half gave the Shellharbour Sharks a 28-16 victory over Kiama Knights in an entertaining game at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday.
In the windy conditions Kiama dominated possession in the first half aided by 9-3 penalty count and the Sharks found it difficult to get into the game.
The second half was a different story when possession and the penalty count changed and in the final 20 minutes the Sharks were superior but the Knights who were without their co-captain Marc Laird were far from disgraced.
Shellharbour did well to only trail by four points at half-time but will need to watch the number of penalties for high tackles while Kiama would be disappointed by their number of errors.
In the 10th minute Sharks fullback Ian Catania crossed but was recalled for a forward pass and five minutes later Kieran Poole sent a long pass and centre Corey Grigg scored to give the Knights a 4-nil lead.
Fullback Catania made a long run and five-eighth Jai Dormer dived over from dummy half to score and Bronx Goodwin converted.
Jack Alexander, Cmaeron Whittaker and Tom Atkins combined for Atkins to score a great Knights try for Alexander to convert and the Knights were back in front 10-6.
Kieran Poole then caught the defence napping to score a soft try after a Sharks mistake from the restart and when Alexander converted the Knights were well placed at 16-6 with half time coming up before a great break from Sharks five-eighth Jai Dormer sent Catania away under the posts for Goodwin to convert Kiama 16-12 at the break.
The weight of possession changed in the second half with the Sharks receiving four early penalties and Harold Snell scored a good try for Goodwin to goal and the Sharks regained the lead 18-16 after five minutes.
In the 20th minute Catania made another great break and the ever vigilant Hans Schuster scored for a Goodwin goal and the Sharks led 24-16 and after a Sharks 40-20 Dormer sent Stratton over with ten minutes to play 28-16.
Hans Schuster, Ian Catania, Harold Snell and Mat Docker were best for the Sharks and Jack Alexander, Cameron Whittaker and Dean Gentle played well for Kiama.