HORRENDOUS conditions at Kevin Walsh Oval didn't stop fierce rivals Jamberoo Superoos and Kiama Knights battling out a wet-weather slug-fest on Saturday, with the home side continuing their superb start to the season with a 26-6 win.
After heavy mid-week rain and continuing rain right up to the first grade kick-off, the ground resembled a mud-bath as the Knights tried to win in an attempt to stay in touch with the top five, however in the end it was probably the power and superior mobility of the Superoos pack that won the day in former Knights prop James Gilmore's 100th game for the Superoos.
Kiama looked likely early on the back of a couple of penalties, however, they relieved the pressure when they failed to find touch after one of the penalties and in the seventh minute, Mark Asquith was able to break the defence and sent a superb pass to his brother Luke who crashed over beside the posts.
Daniel Burke converted for a 6-nil lead.
Burke added his second conversion and the home side was starting to look comfortable with a 12-nil advantage.
The remainder of the first half was a real arm-wrestle, with most of the play in centre field as the Knights tried valiantly to stay in the game and went to the long break still 12 points adrift.
Kiama coach Marc Laird would have impressed the importance of a strong start to the second half, however, that failed to come to fruition.
In just the fourth minute, a poor kick from a goal-line dropout by Dylan Morris floated back towards his own goal-line and Superoo centre Simon Maslanka gathered the ball and crashed over.
Three minutes later, a 40-20 kick by Dallas put his side on the attack and a sharp grubber-kick by Burke saw another former Knight, Corey Grigg win the race to the ball to score.
Burke then landed the clutch conversion from out wide and suddenly it was 22-nil.
To their credit, the Knights knuckled down and defended well, although getting out of their own territory from the heavier northern end of the ground and frustration boiled over in the 62nd minute when Jamberoo was penalised, but Matt Morris shared his frustration with the touch judge and was sent to the sin-bin, despite Kiama receiving the penalty.
Jamberoo wasn't able to capitalise on the numerical advantage, in fact with Matt Morris about to return, a piece of Dylan Morris magic got the Knights on the board when he followed a clearing kick and stripped the ball from a Jamberoo player and raced 60 metres to score under the posts.
Brad Killmore converted for 22-6.
With time almost up and Jamberoo again on the attack, a long pass from Dallas found a flying Jake Clarke on the burst and he raced over in the corner to round out a 26-6 win.
In another tough performance from their pack, Jayden Morgan, Corey Grigg and 100-gamer Gilmore were among their best, while Dean Watling and Jake Clarke were prominent in the backs.
Tyler Clarke, captain Kieran Poole, Ethan Ford and Dan Martin tried to lift the Knights, who will face Milton-Ulladullla at Mollymook next Saturday, while Jamberoo travel over the hill to face Albion Park-Oak Flats in a big test on Sunday.
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