A last-round blockbuster Shellharbour derby could decide the winner of the Group Seven rugby league minor premiership following results in round 16 action on the weekend.
Shellharbour Sharks and the Stingrays of Shellharbour recorded impressive wins on Sunday to have them on track to finish first past the post in the regular season, with just two rounds left before the finals start.
The Sharks had little trouble securing their 10th win on the trot, beating Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs 40-16 at Bill Andriske Oval.
The Stingrays though had a tougher time of things at Flinders Field against the high-flying Nowra-Bomaderry Jets.
Tom Warner's men prevailed 28-14 in the end but the visiting Jets were always within striking distance of downing the Stingrays for a second time this season.
Read more: Watch as brawl erupts in Group Seven clash
Nowra were trailing 10-6 late in the first half and had all the momentum when the game turned the Stingrays way.
After the home side failed to find touch from a penalty, Jets winger Braydon Rumble Walsh did well to knock the ball back in play but unfortunately straight into the grateful arms of Stingrays centre James Scott, who ran 30 metres to score unopposed and see the home -side go to the halftime break 16-6 up.
Stingrays player-coach Warner, who scored one of his team's five tries, was happy to come away with a scrappy win.
"They kept coming as I knew they would. They have a lot of strike power. We sort of fell asleep a bit there in the second half, which is a bit disappointing," he said.
"I thought we had a strong first half and then went back to our old ways, poor discipline, didn't complete well, tried to shift the ball too early without earning the right.
"But I must give our boys some credit for sticking to our game plan despite being down to 12 men for the last 15 minutes."
Stingrays played a man down after their prop Jake Kamire was sent off in the 65th for a head butt.
This opened the door for the Jets to mount a comeback. But while Nowra tried and scored two very good tries to reduce the deficit at one stage to 22-14, the visitors made a few crucial errors late in the piece to deny them an upset victory.
Jets player-coach Adam Quinlan though was reasonably happy with his team's performance.
"We were definitely in the game, we just didn't start the way we would have liked," he said.
"We spoke about being up for a good start. We knew they were going to come out hard through the middle and we needed to be up defensively. Unfortunately they scored a couple of tries early which was disappointing.
"But then we managed to get one and just before halftime that try against the run of play hurt us.
"I was happy with the second half. We came out and started well and got two tries there to completely be back in the game.
"Unfortunately we just couldn't get the job done."
Meantime the finals dream is still alive for reigning premiers Warilla-Lake South Gorillas after the Troy Grant-coached outfit came from 16-0 down to beat Jamberoo Superoos 26-24 at Cec Glenholmes Oval on Sunday.
Round 16 kicked off on Saturday with Gerringong Lions downing Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles 42-8 and Kiama Knights beating Berry-Shoalhaven Heads 38-16. A brawl erupted in the dying minutes of this clash at Berry Showground, which marked the Magpies of Old (MOO) reunion.
The first grade side wore special heritage jerseys from the 1940's to celebrate the occasion.
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