Kiama win second straight WLT title in thriller against Jamberoo

The victorious Kiama Knights Women's League Tag division one side. Photo: SPORTS FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY
The victorious Kiama Knights Women's League Tag division one side. Photo: SPORTS FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY

THE Kiama Knights capped off an unbeaten Group Seven Women’s League Tag division one season, by defeating the Jamberoo Superoos 20-18 in a marathon golden point thriller at the Collegians Sporting Complex.

The Superoos made a perfect start to the game on Sunday, following a Knights knock-on from the kick-off.

On their first attacking raid on the Kiama line, Roos’ Chelsea Tout touched down out wide.

Carly Ryan extraordinarily converted from out wide, as the Roos led 6-nil after three minutes.

That Roos lead was short-lived thought, as the Knights hit straight back – Kathryn Preece broke the line and put her fullback Tyler Finn over to score.

Zoe Dignam made no mistake with her conversion, levelling the scores at 6-all.

The minor premiers then hit the lead in the 13th minute when captain Kristi Pan put Courtney Sullivan over to score.

Dignam couldn’t land her second kick of the match, as her side led by four points.

Staying true to the see-sawing affair of the match, the Roos scored next when Lauren Goodman dived over from close range.

Carly Ryan nailed the conversion, to give the Roos the lead 12-10 with three minutes remaining in the first half.

But after an error by the Roos on their first set of six after scoring points, the Knights regained the lead, when Jaime Emerson scored her side’s third of the match.

Dignam missed the conversion, as Kiama led 14-12 at the break.

Six minutes after half-time, the Knights lead was extended when the slight of hands by Preece saw Talarah Bull stroll over.

Dignam failed to extend her side’s advantage, as Kiama led 18-12.

Just when it appeared that the Knights had the match locked up, Roos skipper Aimee Barnard ran 70 metres and beat five defenders on her way to score under the sticks.

Ryan’s conversion from right in front levelled the scores, making it 18-all and sending the game into extra-time.

In the first period of extra-time, the Knights appeared certain to take the lead, when Tyler Finn broke through and stepped Barnard but a courageous last ditch tag by Emily Burke saved the day for Jamberoo – keeping the scores at 18-all at the end of the first five minutes.

Thirty seconds into the second period of extra-time, Jamberoo were awarded a penalty, after a wrap-around obstruction by the Knights.

Carly Ryan stepped up to take a kick from 30 metres out but pushed her attempt to the left, keeping the scores tied.

Despite the best efforts by both sides in the remaining minutes, neither could break the deadlock, sending the game into golden point.

Kiama had the first real chance of golden point, when Glasson found open space but Barnard made no mistake with her tag at fullback.

Minutes later, Glasson stepped four defenders and appeared certain to win the game for her side but Burke once again saved the day for the Roos.

The Roos then had their chance to win but Ryan’s field goal attempt was short, which was followed by another gallant defensive effort by Jamberoo, somehow preventing Pan from scoring.

Minutes later, Glasson again made a break down the left edge but was again tagged by Barnard just before diving over to score.

In the heart-stopping contest, Ryan then had one of her field goal attempt hit the upright and bounced out to the right.

The next set, Kiama were then awarded a penalty 10 metres out from their try line and Glasson stepped up and nailed the kick for her side – ending 35 minutes of golden point and securing her side back-to-back WLT premierships.

In the spectacular contest, Kiama were led by player of the match Talarah Bull, Kathryn Preece, Alannah Glasson, Tyler Finn and Kristi Pan, while Jamberoo were best served by Chelsea Tout, Aimee Barnard, Carly Ryan, Kaela Thomas and Emily Burke.