THE Jamberoo Superoos have rekindled their semi-final hopes after a convincing 44-24 win over Albion Park-Oak Flats at Kevin Walsh Oval on Saturday.
With the home side going into the match minus three regular starting forwards, but welcoming back Simon Maslanka after suspension and James Asquith after breaking his arm in round one, the Eagles may have seen it as an opportunity to celebrate long-serving utility player Sean Jenkins’ 200th match in first grade in style.
However with their season on the line, it was the Superoos who started best and fullback Jarrod Schodder crashed over in the fifth minute and converted from the right touchline for the home side to lead 6-nil.
The Eagles rallied briefly, but a spectacular two-minute spell from the 15th minute when Ben Barnard finished superbly off a Josh Saunders bust and Schodder converted from the left touchline before Simon Maslanka backed up superbly to score under the posts, gave the Jamberoo side the perfect opening 17 minutes, and an 18-nil lead.
But the Eagles had a few tricks up their sleeves and in the 24th minute won a scrum against the feed 20 metres from the Jamberoo line and half Matt Carroll caught the defence unawares to stroll over and just four minutes late skipper Dean Gray stole the ball from the grasps of Schodder after a Carroll bomb to score and with both converted by Carroll, the Jamberoo lead had been trimmed to just six.
With the game now up for grabs, the home side’s Country rep Jono Dallas delivered a bodyblow to the Eagles just four points before the break with a 40-20 kick. From the restart the Superoos spread the ball wide and Saunders crashed over to send his side to a 22-12 half-time lead.
If the visitors were going to get back into the contest they had to be the first to score in the second half, but it was Jamberoo who again took control with captain Matt Coelho showing his trademark determination to go over in the 45th minute.
Almost from the kickoff a great ball from James Gilmore sent Saunders into open spaces and Barnard loomed up to race away and with both tries converted and the score at 32-12, it looked like a long afternoon for the Eagles.
Mark Asquith added Jamberoo’s seventh try in the 60th minute and Coelho gathered Asquith’s clever chip-kick in the 66th to take his season’s try tally to 17, before the Eagles finished with consolation tries to Carroll and Jenkins to round out the scoring.
In a polished performance from the home side, Mark Asquith, Keiran Kellaway, Michal Maslanka, Dallas and Coelho all shone, while Matt Carroll, Dean Gray, Jenkins and youngster Josh Sainsbury never stopped trying for the Eagles.