Jack Nugent on target for Illawarra Lions

AUSSIE RULES

Jack Nugent kicked four goals for the Illawarra Lions.

Jack Nugent kicked four goals for the Illawarra Lions.

Jack Nugent booted four key goals in his second game back from injury to help the Illawarra Lions to a 17-point victory over Southern Power in Saturday’s Sydney AFL clash at North Dalton Park.

After the Lions led by 23 points at half-time, they were kept pointless in the third term but finished the stronger to win 9.8 (62) to 6.9 (45).

It was only the Lions’ second win in seven games but with a 4-6 win/loss record they remain on the fringe of the top five.

Nugent has been battling a severe cork and was moved out of the midfield into the forward line for the encounter.

‘‘We tried Jack up forward and it paid off ... he played a key role for us,’’ Lions player-coach Dave Nolen said.

‘‘It’s our best team performance of the season. Everyone made a big contribution and to fight back in the fourth quarter after being under intense pressure in the third showed great character.

‘‘The third term no matter what we did they found a spare man and got back into it after we had almost a four-goal lead at half-time. But from the first bounce in the fourth quarter we were hungrier and wanted it more.’’

The Lions are at home the next two rounds against eighth-placed St George (2-8) on Saturday and third-placed UTS Bats (8-2).

Nolen knows two wins will have the club in the top five and give them momentum into the finals.

‘‘We want to get on a bit of a run and the next two games at home are vital to doing that,’’ he said.

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