The Jamberoo Superoos have opened their 2022 Group 7 first grade account after scoring a thrilling 14-12 win over Stingrays of Shellharbour at Kevin Walsh Oval on Sunday.
The game was played in heavy conditions, with the Superoos scoring a late try through centre Kurt Field to clinch the win.
The home side dominated the first half and created several good chances with the Stingrays finding it difficult to get out of their own territory due to the heavy conditions and it wasn't surprising when, in the 10 th minute, second-rower Kyle Stone crashed over just wide of the posts. Field converted to give his side a 6-0 lead.
Jamberoo continued to mount pressure and a clever blindside dart from replacement hooker James Asquith just before halftime gave winger Nathan Gallestugui room to touch down in the corner to send the home side to the break with a handy 10-0 advantage.
Judging by how hard it was to get out of the heavy northern end of the ground by the Stingrays, it was always going to be a task for the Superoos in the second half and that's exactly what happened.
The Stingrays comeback was sparked by the surprise late injection of boom youngster Jack Bostock, who will link up with Wayne Bennett's Redcliff Dolphins next season, when, after only just coming into the game, he spotted tired defenders on the line and dashed over from dummy-half.
Toby Peters converted to close the gap to just four.
This sparked the visitors into action and just minutes later centre Jack Walsh was on hand to plunge over and Peters again added the extras and suddenly it was the Stingrays who not only had a 12-10 lead, but also all the momentum.
They had a chance to go further ahead soon afterwards, but Peters was unable to add two points from close range.
Try as they did, the Jamberoo couldn't get into their own half and with time almost up, a clever kick trapped Jamberoo in-goal, but the dropout was somehow regathered by the Superoos, and then a penalty put the home side into their own half for only the second time after the break.
With three minutes remaining and attacking the Stingrays line, Superoo captain-coach Jono Dallas cleverly took the ball to the line and kicked a low across-field kick and centre Kurt field was on hand to dive on the ball for the winning try.
There was further drama when the Stingrays regained possession from the short restart and with the fulltime siren ringing in the background, they launched a clever cross-field kick of their own but Superoo winger Ben Barnard defused the kick and the home side breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a day of celebration for the Superoos, welcoming a fourth Asquith brother Paul to their squad, while local junior Jayden Foye also made an impressive debut off the bench.
Paul Asquith, James Gilmore, Nathan Gallestegui and Foye were among the best for the winners, while Matt Delbanco, Tom Warner and skipper Keiran Rankmore played strongly for the Stingrays.
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