THE Jamberoo Superoos have booked their spot in the 2019 Group Seven first grade final with thanks to a hard fought 20-10 victory over a tough and highly competitive Shellharbour Sharks side in the qualifying final at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday.
The victory sees Jamberoo qualify for their second grand final appearance in three years while the minor premiers will now battle it out against the red hot Kiama Knights for a position in the grand final at Cec Glenhomes Oval next Sunday.
Before kick-off, a minute silence was held in memory of former dummy half Sandy McLachlan who played for Shellharbour during the 1960s.
Both sides struggled to find their rhythm in attack during the opening stages of the match due to a high error count turning the first half into a classic arm-wrestle.
#Jamberoo#Superoos captain/coach Jono Dallas discusses his side’s 20-10 #GroupSeven qualifying final win against the #Shellharbour#Sharks at Ron Costello Oval - seeing his side book their spot in the 2019 decider. #Group7#rugbyleague@CountryRL@SCRegister@mercury_sportspic.twitter.com/t86b3CncnO— Courtney Rhys Ward (@CortRhysWard) September 1, 2019
The Sharks had a very direct attacking strategy which paved the way for an excellent 50 metre line break from Juvilee Samiu.
On the following play the ball, the Sharks cracked the Superoos left edge defence with an excellent passing game as Jye Brooker secured a try on the eastern touchline.
Matt Carroll missed his sideline conversion as the Sharks led 4-nil after 22 minutes.
The Superoos had better field position for majority of the first half and enjoyed a significant amount of possession.
After Ben Barnard was denied a try due to a forward pass, the Superoos were rewarded for their efforts and finally cracked a strong Sharks defensive outfit.
Luke Asquith barged over as he dragged across a number of Sharks defenders for his effort.
Kurt Field landed an important conversion as Jamberoo held a handy 6-4 lead at the break.
Shellharbour began the second period on better terms as they forced numerous handling errors in enemy territory.
#Shellharbour#Sharks coach Abed Atallah breaks down his side’s 20-10 #GroupSeven qualifying final loss to the #Jamberoo#Superoos. They will now play #Kiama in next Sunday’s preliminary final at Cec Glenholmes Oval. #Group7#rugbyleague@CountryRL@SCRegister@mercury_sportspic.twitter.com/4ly1r3fac4— Courtney Rhys Ward (@CortRhysWard) September 1, 2019
This laid the perfect platform for Tam Ulakita's try with assistance from Matt Carroll who threw a top notch cut out ball.
Carroll added the extras as Shellharbour led 10-6.
Jamberoo finally regained momentum in attack after Sharks forward Jack Kavangh was sin-binned and took full advantage of a 12-man Shellharbour side.
The dynamic Brock Skelly benefited from a well crafted attacking play for his effort.
Field landed the conversion as Jamberoo were leaders again at 12-10.
The visitors got better as the thrilling contest kicked along, as Brock Skelly conjured up a cross field kick to Ben Barnard.
The winger then fooled a couple of defenders on the western touchline and just managed to stay in the field of play for his effort.
Kurt Field slotted a terrific sideline conversion under pressure which gave his side a 18-10 lead with 10 minutes left.
The Sharks earned a few penalties and had one last opportunity inside the Superoos 20 metre zone but couldn't capitalise.
Jamberoo worked their way into opposition territory and sealed a 20-10 victory with a penalty goal to Kurt Field.
Jake Clarke, Brock Skelly, Luke Asquith, Simon Maslanka and Kurt Field were outstanding for Jamberoo while Kiran Tranter, Tam Ulukita, Sam Clune, Wayde Aitken and Jye Brooker were the standouts for the Shellharbour Sharks.
The Sharks were one of six minor premiers to lose at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday, with the lower grade results being as follows; Shellharbour defeated Jamberoo 20-7 (WLT two), Kiama downed Jamberoo 24-10 (WLT one), Mount Warrigal edged Wreck Bay 18-16 (third grade), Warilla-Lake South ousted Albion Park-Oak Flats 26-12 (under 18s) and Albion Park-Oak Flats stormed back to overcome Kiama 20-16 (reserve grade).