Knights' Group Seven title credentials to be tested
Kiama coach Simon Foster expects to have a much clearer picture of the Knights' place in the Group Seven pecking order when they lock horns with Shellharbour on Sunday at Ron Costello Oval.
The Knights have turned heads with their hot start, winning four of five games to be sharing second spot with Shellharbour.
If not for a two-point loss to competition leaders Warilla in round two - the Gorillas won with a penalty goal after the full-time siren - Kiama would be undefeated.
The Knights are braced for a down-to-the-wire battle with the Sharks.
"We've had a good start, but Shellharbour are a quality side and this will help us see where we're at," Foster said.
"The boys are all looking forward to the challenge. We're probably still a long way from playing our best footy, but we're certainly heading in the right direction.
"If we can just iron out a few little flaws, which we're working on, then I'm confident that we'll be in the mix at the right end of the year."
Kiama have endured a long premiership drought. Their most recent grand final victory was in 1985.
Warilla, Gerringong and Shellharbour are seen as the big three, but the Knights believe they are title contenders.
"It's the same core group of kids I started with four years ago that came out of the under 18s, and they're all that much stronger and more experienced, they're all very familiar with each other and they know the structure we want to play to," Foster said.
"The majority of the group is about 21 or 22, and they believe in themselves and trust each other.
"It's helped our crowds because they're all Kiama kids, so they've got friends and relatives coming to watch."
In Sunday's other games, Albion Park-Oak Flats host Milton-Ulladulla and Port Kembla are on the road against Jamberoo.
Nowra-Bomaderry are at home against Gerringong on Saturday, while Berry-Shoalhaven Heads host Warilla.