THE Jamberoo Superoos have moved back into second spot on the Group Seven first grade competition table after a tough 32-14 win over the vastly improved Stingrays of Shellharbour at Flinders Field on Sunday.
Despite the seemingly comfortable six-tries-to-three, the win was much tighter than the scoreline indicates, with the Superoos scoring two converted tries in the final seven minutes to wrap up the win, amid a mounting injury toll.
It was obvious from the outset that the Stingrays were determined to upset the visitors and the opening exchanges were tough and despite some good early chances, it took the home side until the 16th minute to open the scoring when a poor defensive read out wide saw back-rower Shaun Baulch crash over.
Fullback Hamish McLaurin was wide with the conversion for the Stingrays led 4-nil.
Jamberoo eventually settled and in the 27th minute replied when five-eighth Mark Asquith took on the defence out wide and crashed over.
Kurt Field was wide with his conversion attempt and the scores remained at 4-all.
The Stingrays lifted again and just five minutes later, they had their second try when Anthony Nabbe added his name to the scoresheet when he powered his way over out wide and again McLaurin missed the conversion - however the home side were looking good with an 8-4 lead.
The game was opening up considerably and it was Jamberoo who was able to grab two late first half tries when Mark Asquith sent centre Jarryd Smith over, for Field to grab a 10-8 lead with his conversion.
Right on half-time, second-rower Simon Maslanka showed his power when he crashed over, off another Asquith pass for the Superoos to take a handy 14-8 lead at the break.
Both sides were clearly up for the challenge after the break and it took until the 57th minute for the visitors to strike again when Maslanka strode into a yawning gap out wide and sprinted away to cross out wide.
Despite kicking into a solid breeze, Field slotted the conversion and Jamberoo were starting to pull away at 20-8.
But this is a new Stingrays side, full of resolve and determined not to give up without a fight.
They launched a string of good attacking raids and eventually, massive Stingrays prop Jake Kamire used his bulk to steamroll a couple of defenders to score under the posts.
McLaurin converted to close the gap to six, with 20 minutes remaining.
A serious head injury to Superoo forward Jake Fitzgerald, which led to Kamire being penalised, weakened Jamberoo's bench but they managed to lift and with seven minutes remaining, a sharp 40-metre burst from prop Jaden Morgan led to a speculator long ball from Daniel Burke, which was beautifully half-volleyed by winger Ben Barnard.
The latter crossed and improved his position to score beside the posts for Field to convert.
This was followed in the shadows of full-time by a try to Corey Grigg off a Jono Dallas pass and Field landed the conversion from close to touch and round out the scoring.
Unfortunately in scoring the try, Grigg injured his hamstring, which could rule him out for several weeks.
In a solid team performance, Mark Asquith, Simon Maslanka, Jarryd Smith and Burke were the Superoos best, while Kamire, Chanse Perham, James Scott and Kaden Towle never stopped trying for the Stingrays.
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