THE Gerringong Lions have made it two straight victories to start the 20-18 Group Seven season, following a 46-6 win over the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Nowra Showground on Saturday afternoon.
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Played in blustery conditions, the Lions took a 22-nil lead in to the sheds at half-time and never allowed the Jets a real sniff.
Both sides had reshuffled line-ups, with Gerringong losing Kal Collins and Tyran Wishart before kick-off, while Jets captain/coach Dylan Farrell succumbed to an injury early in the first half.
There wasn’t long to wait for the first points of the game, with the Lions crossing inside the first five minutes.
Nathan Ford put Ewen McCarroll into space and the Gerringong utility found Isaac Rusell looming up in support.
Jake Taylor knocked over the conversion for a 6-nil lead.
That lead was out to 10 soon after, when Lions’ centre Toby Gumley-Quine showed the defence a clean pair of heels to cross on the left edge.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Jets as the wind bought them undone.
A Rixon Russell kick swirled in the breeze and was allowed to bounce and Lions’ winger Alec Brooks swooped to score under the posts.
Taylor added another conversion for 16-nil.
With the Jets already under the pump they did little to help themselves as poor discipline stopped them from working their way back into the game.
They were presented with an opportunity to pull the Lions back when Rixon Russell was sin-binned, but the Lions stood firm in defence.
Gerringong on the other hand made the most of their chances and extended the lead through fullback Matt Winchester.
Despite the attention of a number of defenders, the fullback managed to reach out and plant the ball on the right fringe.
Taylor added another conversion for a 22-nil lead that would stand until half-time.
The Lions wasted little time in extending the lead after the break.
They first absorbed some early pressure from the Jets, before Rixon Russell picked up a deflected kick and raced 80 metres to score.
The next set saw the Lions easily march up-field and some quick hands sent centre Danny Wedd over to push the lead to 32-nil.
It was then the Jets’ turn to be down to 12 men when backrower Chaise Sines was given a rest by the officials.
Kristian Jarrett was then the next Lion to get on the score sheet.
The Gerringong winger plucked an intercept and had just enough pace to cross in the corner.
A familiar Lions’ face then put the visitors out to a further lead, when Joel Roberts, in his first game since the 2016 grand final, finished off a break by Winchester.
Taylor knocked over the conversion and the Lions had a 42-nil lead.
The Jets then finally cracked the Lions line when lock Matt Rouen worked his over next to the posts.
Shane Dickenson added the conversion to make it 42-6.
The Lions weren’t done however and finished the game off through replacement winger Harry Phillips after some good lead up work by Winchester and Roberts.
For the Lions, Ford, Winchester and the Russell brothers all had strong games.
For the Jets, Rouen, Nathan Falzon and Zac Blattner did all they could.
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