JAMBEROO have kept their Group Seven premiership defence alive with a hard fought 14-10 win over Gerringong at Michael Cronin Oval on Saturday.
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The Superoos bounced back from their loss to the Lions in the last round of the regular season to grind out the win in the wet and muddy conditions, and set up a clash with Warilla-Lake South next week.
For the Lions, the loss ends their season and spoilt the party for the home side who were marking 150 and 100 first grade games for Nathan Ford and Kal Collins respectively.
Defence dominated the opening part of the game, as the two sides defended grimly, realising that points would be at a premium in the conditions.
Despite the wet, both sides were still willing to use the ball, with some entertaining football provided for the small, but committed crowd who braved the rain.
It was the visitors who found away over the line first, making the most of a string of penalties that saw them camped on the Lions’ line.
After Simon Maslanka and Jayde Tooth came close to cracking the Lions, Joe Rokoqo barrelled his way over from dummy-half to score.
Dean Watling added the conversion and the Superoos lead 6-nil after 20 minutes.
Things were made worse for the Lions as well, with Rixon Russell leaving the field with a back injury following Rokoqo’s try.
After the Jamberoo try, both sides turned their minds back to defence and the arm wrestle continued, with the ball spending plenty of time in the middle of the field, with neither side willing to give the other an inch.
The Lions had their best chance to score just prior to half-time abut backrower Jordan Chandler was held up over the line and the 6-nil score would stand at the break.
The home side made the most of their chances when play resumed though, with Gerringong opening their account inside the first 10 minutes of the half.
Fullback Matt Winchester plucked a bouncing ball from a Brad Davidson grubber and crossed to the right of the posts.
Jake Taylor’s conversion attempt was waved away and Jamberoo led 6-4.
Unfortunately for the Lions that would be close to Davidson’s last involvement, after a head knock ruled him out the game minutes later.
Jamberoo then wasted little time extending their lead, this time through Corey Grigg.
The Jamberoo backrower grabbed a spilt cross-field kick and dived over on the left fringe.
Watling’s conversion attempt was pushed wide and Jamberoo led 10-4.
That lead was then pushed out to eight points when Watling knocked over a penalty goal to make it 12-4.
Watling added another penalty in the final 10 minutes and Jamberoo looked safe with a 14-4 lead.
To their credit, Gerringong kept fighting and try to Toby Gumley-Quine gave them some hope.
Joel Roberts converted, but that would be a as close as Gerringong got as Jamberoo held on to win.
For Jamberoo, Grigg, Jack Loveday and Kieran Pearce had strong games, while Ford, Collins and Danny Wedd did all they could for the Lions.
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