THE Jamberoo Superoos won their first Group 7 premiership in the top grade in 43 years on Sunday, when they defeated the Kiama Knights 18-14 at the Collegians Sporting Complex.
The Knights, who were in their first grand final in the top grade since 1990, jumped out of the blocks in the decider, as Jamberoo knocked-on in first tackle of match after a loose carry by Ben Barnard.
Two tackles later, off the scrum, the Knights didn’t let the chance go to waste and opened the scoring for the afternoon – Oliver Powell got a flick pass away to his winger Jay Delaney to score on right edge.
Cameron Vazzoler hit the upright in his conversion attempt from the right sideline, keeping it at 4-nil.
Five minutes in, Superoos hooker James Asquith was carried from field with leg injury.
Knights extended their lead in seventh minute, when Cameron Cornell out jumped Dean Whating to collect a bomb from Vazzoler.
Vazzoler’s kick from left touchline fell just short, as Knights led 8-nil after as many minutes.
In the 13th minute, the minor premiers hit back through centre Trent Ryan.
The Roos didn’t have to wait long for their second try though, as Kent sliced through the line and brushed off a number of defenders in the 21st minute to score.
In the 27th minute, a Vazzoler 40-20 kick swung the momentum back to the Knights and put them on the attack, deep inside Roo territory.
On their second straight set on the Roo line, Kiama captain Keiran Poole scored, but one minute later, he was controversially denied his team’s fourth, running onto a Vazzoler pass, which was adjudged to be forward by referee William Drury.
Through the first 25 minutes of the second half, both teams had numerous chances to score but poor execution prevented anyone registering points.
Following a Ryan 50m break, off a smart Josh Kent pass, Superoos’ Brendan Smith was held up over the line by three Kiama defenders – with 13 minutes to go.
The Knights resilient defence was finally broken with nine minutes remaining – as Ryan stepped his way through the defenders, for his second of the afternoon.
Best for Jamberoo, in their first premiership win since 1974, were man of the match Josh Kent, Grigg brothers, Corey and Aaron and two-try hero Ryan.
Kiama’s best were Poole, Vazzoler, Cameron Whittaker and Josh Toohey.
Following the loss, Kiama’s coach Matt O’Brien said he couldn’t be more proud.
“Our boys played their absolute hearts out and it’s a tough loss to cop,” O’Brien said.
“In saying that, Jamberoo played amazing and absolutely deserve the win.
“Despite our loss, it’s been a great day for the day - there’s no one more happy than me to see the women and reserves win, as I’ve seen first hand all the hard work they’ve put in.
“By the same token, there’s no one more shattered in our loss, because these boys left it all out there on the field.”