WARILLA-Lake South Gorillas have retained their unbeaten record in the lead-up to next Saturday’s block-buster against Shellharbour City Sharks with a high-scoring 44-28 over fourth-placed Jamberoo Superoos at Kevin Walsh Oval.
Both teams will have mixed feelings about the margin, with the Gorillas probably disappointed that they didn’t really go on with the job after leading 26-nil after half an hour, while the Superoos will kicking themselves after such a poor start, but happy with the fighting spirit their side showed.
The Gorillas went into the game without captain Andrew Diomei and hooker Beau Sewell, but couldn’t have dreamed of a better start as they exposed frailties in the Jamberoo right-side defence.
The Gorillas opened the scoring with arguably the best try of the game when second-rower Joel Skeates bust straight up the middle and found Jesse Dee backing up and chipped ahead and speedster Chad Lisch scooped up the ball and scored adjacent to the posts.
Nick Lazaraevski converted for a 6-nil lead.
In what seemed to be the blink of an eye the Gorillas had two more tries on the board, scored in almost identical fashion by centre Blake Colgan and Lisch as they found overlaps on the Jamberoo right edge to make the score 16-nil with just 12 minutes on the clock.
That became 22-nil when Country prop Damien Paulissen burst straight up the middle to plunge over under the posts, while the classy Lisch had his hat-trick in the 30th minute and at 26-nil, the home side were looking squarely at their second massive loss of the season on the back of their round five thumping at the hands of Gerringong.
However the Superoos were able to go to ‘lemons’ with their fortunes revived after two fine tries, both scored by captain-coach Matt Coelho in the final five minutes of the half, and at 26-10 at least were some sort of hope.
The second half started in bizarre fashion when Jamberoo half Jono Dallas taken high after a clearing kick in the 42nd minute and Gorillas replacement hooker Dane Corran was sent off for allegedly using his elbow.
Playing against 12, Jamberoo sniffed an upset and when Dallas send second-rower Robbie Noble into a massive hole to score and Coelho converted, and the gap was suddenly back to 10.
However the Gorillas aren’t competition leaders for no reason and they hit back with tries to Keiran Rankmore half Luke Watts, both coming on the back on Jamberoo errors in their own half, before Ben Jones made it 38-22 with a determined run close to the line for Jamberoo.
However the Superoos handed momentum back to Warilla with another mistake and Dee, who was instrumental in most things his side did on the day, scored under the posts.
Robbie Noble rounded out the scoring in the dying minutes when he gathered a clever Dallas chip kick and Coelho’s conversion rounded out an entertaining game.
Jesse Dee, Damien Paulissen, Keiran Rankmore, Aaron Henry and Nick Lazarevski were among the Gorillas best, while Robbie Noble, Jono Dallas, Matt Coelho and Gavin Jarrett had big games for the Superoos.