Kiama knock over Jamberoo to kick off season

RUGBY LEAGUE

Kiama kicked off their premiership campaign with a bang, coming from behind to beat neighbours Jamberoo 24-16 on Saturday at Kevin Walsh Oval.

Fullback Tom Atkins and winger Jacob Dolan scored two tries apiece for the Knights, while five-eighth Mark Asquith crossed twice for Jamberoo.

Kiama jumped to an early 8-0 lead before the Superoos forged ahead 10-8.

The Knights were next to score, but the Roos replied with a try to get their noses back in front.

Kiama didn't blink, notching their fourth try to take an 18-16 lead into half-time.

They added a fifth try in a dour second half, relying on strong defence to keep their own line intact.

"I was really happy with the guys. That sort of defence, you can't coach that. They just dug deep and wanted it more," Kiama coach Simon Foster said.

"The last 20 minutes, we got a lot penalties against us and we had James Brown sin binned, so it really tested our defence and we didn't break.

"A win like that does wonders for your team. We've got a lot of young guys in the side and if they'd come away playing as well as they did and losing, they might think that's the way it's going to happen this year.

"But when you come away beating a side that spent a bit of money and has heaps of good players, guys start to believe in themselves, and you can really build on that."

The Knights know they can't sit back feeling too good about themselves.

"Next week doesn't get any easier against Warilla. They're going to be a classy side," Foster said.

"Everyone pulled up all right. We'll get back into it this week and work hard for a big game on Friday night. It'll be a huge game. Warilla always bring a big crowd and we've got a couple of ex-Warilla players. We're looking forward to the challenge."

Albion Park-Oak Flats got their season off to a positive start with Saturday's 38-26 home win over Port Kembla.

Warilla hosted Shellharbour in Sunday's only clash, prevailing 24-18 to ruin the Sharks' first Group Seven game in five years in a tight, exciting game.

Two games - Gerringong versus Berry and Milton against Nowra - were postponed because of rain.

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