GERRINGONG has bounced back into the Group 7 winner’s circle with a comprehensive 54-18 win over Nowra-Bomaderry at Michael Cronin Oval on Sunday.
Smarting after their loss to Jamberoo in the previous round, the Lions turned their form around to produce some stretches of quality to football to ground the Jets, which have been one of the form sides in recent weeks.
From the opening stages it looked like it would be Gerringong’s day, the Lions out to a 10-nil lead inside the first five minutes after tries to Peter Cronin and Nathan Ford, the second converted by Joel Roberts.
It was soon 14-nil, Ford doing what he did only minutes before when he crashed over from dummy-half to grab an early double.
Just as it looked like Gerringong had the game firmly in their grasp, they allowed the ensuing kick-off to bounce and the Jets regained possession.
The visitors made the most of the opportunity and spread the ball to the right where Ben Wellington found some space to cross, Mark Brandon converted for 14-6.
Not wanting to let their early lead count for nothing Gerringong soon made it a 14-point buffer once again.
A run of penalties helped their cause and Patrick Cronin pirouetted close to the line and reached out to score under the posts, Roberts’ conversion made it 20-6.
Conversely, the Jets did not want the lead to blow out too far and penalty in their favour, followed by a nice string of second-phase play sent Keiran Brandon sprinting to score in the corner, his brother Mark slotting the conversion for 20-12.
The tit-for-tat stretch of the game continued, Gerringong soon replying when Patrick Cronin burst through.
The play-maker found Brad Davidson in support, who then linked up with Rixon Russell, whose foot-work had the cover defenders on their heels and the half-back crossed out wide for 24-12.
The Lions took the 12-point lead into half-time, but did not take long to extend the lead when play resumed, Corey Mulhall crossing in the second minute of the half for 28-12.
Gerringong then blew the game wide open, running in another three straight tries, aided by the Jets’ Mick Blattner being sin-binned.
Simon Hoare’s bust sent Ford in for his third, converted by Roberts, before Joel Doosey and Mulhall went back-to-back to make it 42-12.
The Jets managed to put some respectability in to the score line, Nathan Deaves jinked across field and sent Zac Kershaw crashing over, Mark Brandon’s conversion made it 42-18.
The Lions were not finished yet though, replacement Reed Heagney danced his way over for a try and Doosey grabbed his second just before full-time, Roberts converting both to round out the score at 54-18.
For Gerringong Ford, Patrick Cronin and Roberts had fine games, while Wellington, Geoff Johnson and Deaves did all they could for the Jets.