THE Kiama Knights have bounced back to the VB South Coast Rugby League winner’s list and at the same time moved a step closer to grabbing a semi-final berth after scoring a resounding 44-8 win over a dispirited looking Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs at Kiama Showground on Sunday.
Despite being out of semi-final reckoning, it was expected that the Dogs would be out to finish their season on a high with just next week’s away game against Shellharbour City Sharks to come, but instead went down virtually without a whimper.
The Knights jumped out of the blocks and rookie fullback Matt Emerson squeezed over in the corner in just the third minute shortly after a Dogs mistake.
Replacement winger Brendan Fittler handed centre James Brown a try on a platter in the 16th minute when he batted back a high kick out wide and just two minutes later co-captain Marc Laird couldn’t believe his luck when he was unchallenged in collecting a speculator in-field kick and cruised over under the posts and Matt Gladman’s conversion have the home side a 14-nil lead after just 18 minutes.
The Dogs were their own worst enemies and bombed a couple of great attacking opportunities and paid the ultimate price just before the halftime break when Fittler scooted over for his second, and with Corey Grigg converting, the Knights looked settled and well in control with a 20-nil lead.
The visitors came out with renewed enthusiasm after the break and Blake Sommerville won the race to a bouncing ball in the Kiama in-goal to open their account, but they blew it all when they let the kick-off bounced and found themselves dropping the ball out from under the posts.
The Knights made them pay when Laird sent Corey Grigg over and shortly afterwards it was replacement Vaughan Thistlewaite sailing over as the score blew out to 32-4.
From here it was ass downhill for the Dogs as their disorganised on-line defence was exposed as Jacob Morrison and Matt Timms both crashed over, before one of the Dogs best, hooker Nick Goodman showed his soccer skills to round out the scoring at 44-8.
In a polished Knights defence, which was minus many of the usual handling errors that have dogged their recent performances, Brent Wake, Marc Laird, Matt Emerson and Aaron Grigg were best, while Goodman, Mitch Simington and Gary Warburton were best for the Bulldogs.