RUGBY LEAGUE - GROUP SEVEN
Kiama will rely on their workmanlike defence to ground the Nowra-Bomaderry Jets on Sunday at Kiama Showground.
The third-placed Knights have emerged as one of the competition's top defensive sides, conceding 17.4 points per game.
Warilla (17.2) are marginally better, while Shellharbour (14.5) boast the best record.
Defence hasn't been a strength for Nowra-Bomaderry (26.5), but the Jets are the leading attacking team with a 32.6 points average.
The Knights were superb in defence in last week's gut-wrenching 13-12 loss to unbeaten leaders Warilla, denying the Gorillas several times when they seemed certain to score.
They might have to raise the defensive bar even higher against the high-octane Jets.
"They can certainly play footy, and they will play footy given the opportunity, so we have to try our best to take those opportunities away and just stick solid with what we've been working on," Kiama coach Simon Foster said.
"The defence was outstanding last week, in the second half particularly, because they had about 80 per cent of the footy. To defend for that amount of time was very good.
"We're not the flashiest side but we can certainly hold our own."
Sunday's match could have an impact on third spot.
"If we can take away the Jets' opportunities to play footy, I'm confident we can win, but if we give too much possession to them, they've got plenty of attack and points in them," Foster said.
"Gerringong's still got a game in hand, but if we can just worry about our backyard and win this weekend, it certainly goes a long way to helping us get third spot.
"You never know, if we can pull another few wins, maybe we can get to second."
Shellharbour will be confident of beating Albion Park-Oak Flats in Sunday's other game at Ron Costello Oval.
Last-placed Port Kembla's hopes of avoiding the wooden spoon could hinge on Saturday's home clash with Berry-Shoalhaven Heads.
Berry have won their last three games, including last week's defeat of reigning premiers Gerringong. Milton-Ulladulla can virtually kiss their finals hopes goodbye if they lose at home to Gerringong on Saturday night.