THE Nowra-Bomaderry Jets are on the board in 2020, after holding on to defeat the Stingrays of Shellharbour 34-22 at the Bomaderry Sports Complex.
The hosts jumped out of the gate thanks to tries from five-eighth Tyson Simpson and recruit Mase Harrison within the first five minutes.
That eight-point lead was extended in the 15th minute when Josh Coulter crashed over, following sharp work by Ryan James and Jason Gillard.
The visitors responded in the 18th minute when rampaging prop Jake Kamire powered across, with five-eighth Hamish McLaurin converting for 12-6.
Four minutes later, the Rays equalised thanks to an Adam Hadaya try, which was once again converted by McLaurin.
The latter's boot handed the Rays their first lead of the match in the 20th minute, thanks to a penalty against the Jets.
But the dangerous hosts responded with two tries in quick succession through Coulter and Simpson, which were both converted by Paul Roberts - giving the Jets a 24-14 lead at the break.
The Jets' lead was extended four minutes after the resumption when centre Saxon Onur crashed over in his club debut.
An Eze Harper try - converted by McLaurin - was quickly cancelled out by front-rower Matt Scott for the Jets, which Roberts again adding the extras.
That made it 34-20 with 25 minutes to play.
Just when is appeared the Jets would run away with the game, the Rays scored two tries in seven minutes through Ward and Harper made it 34-32 with 10 to play, thanks to MaLaurin's accurate kicking.
In the dying stages, McLaurin had a chance to level the scores but missed his penalty kick, sealing the Jets' 34-32 win.
"Considering the hype around the team heading into our season opener and new signings we have, I was disappointed with our effort against Stingrays," Jets injured captain/coach Dylan Farrell said.
"Those first couple of tries came from pure excitement and individual brilliance and probably gave us a false sense of security where we were at.
"We let the Stingrays back in the game on numerous occasions because we lacked direction and composure on offence while also not turning up for one another on defence, especially on our own goal line.
"Considering the last time we played at West Wyalong, we didn't concede any points until the final, the performance we turned up on Sunday wasn't good enough and the players know they need to have a good, hard look at themselves.
"Realistically, the only good thing to come from Sunday was the two points, as the rest was extremely frustrating."
Farrell, who was also disappointed with his team's goalkicking (landing 3/7), knows his team will need to vastly improve this week if they are going to defeat neighbours Berry-Shoalhaven Heads on Sunday.
"It's up to us to aim up in defence and not leak points - it's not too often you concede 32 and still win.
"We all know Sunday wasn't good enough and will learn from it.
"I'm confident the boys will be better against Berry."