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  • Writer's pictureKristie Laird

2 from 3 in grand finals

In a promising sign for the future, the Kiama Junior Knights had three teams take part in the South Coast Group 7 Rugby League Mod grand finals on Saturday.

First up were the Knights’ Under 10-2s who took on Berry Magpies in the season decider.

“The boys had prepared well but unfortunately we didn’t get off to a strong start and were down 6-nil after just a few minutes of play.

“A try to Will Evans which was converted by Max Laird, saw the Knights trail 12-6 at half time.

“Berry continued to shut down numerous attacking raids from the Knights through their strong defence.

“Despite working hard, Berry managed to break our line on a number of occasions and were too good on the day, winning 32-6.

“We are just so impressed with how well all the boys had played throughout the season. They should all be really proud of their efforts. To win the minor premiership and finish the season in second position is a fantastic achievement,” Marc said.

“A big thanks to co-coach Steve Emmett and our support staff, as well as all the parents for their support throughout the season.”

Next, the Under 10s Girls League Tag team took on Stingrays Green, a team which had defeated them in the previous two encounters. The girls had anamazing run of gamesover the last few weeks, with four last minute wins against the top three teams andthey certainlydidn’t disappoint on Saturday.

Despite going into the grand final as underdogs, Coach, Lachlan Payne knew the momentum and confidence was definitely with his side.

“The first half saw a tight tussle, with a few nervous girls on either side. Excellent defence was shown by both teams, something the Knights have prided themselves with over the previous month,” said Lachlan.

“Our game plan was all about our defence as we knew that if we could defend well, we have the strike power to put points on the board.

“We went into half-time 4 – 0 down, but I knew the girls would have the legs to outlast any team. As the game went on a few gaps were opened up and we struck back through Imogen Moore picking up the team’s first try. The Stingrays hit straight back with a converted try,” he added.

“With the clock ticking away, Sage Laird hit top gear breaking away for a try to take the score to 10 – 8. The young Knights stayed calm and composed, unlike their parents in the crowd!”

Ginger Siasat had been looking dangerous all second half shooting out of dummy half, and with one try disallowed, it was time for Ginger to hit back. She took off down the side line in front of the strong Kiama crowd, and placed the ball down with 40 seconds on the clock to take the lead 12 – 10 with a kick to come.

“The hooter then went off and we had won - an unbelievable finish to such a tough game,” said Lachlan.

“All the girls were exceptional all over the park, with great team performance. Katelyn Hoare dominated again in defence and showed aggression and grit tagging the Stingrays out of the game. The young Knights Captain, Claire Vogelaar again showed her class in leading the team around in attack and worked hard in defence, winning the player of the match award.

“Every one of these young girls showed great sportsmanship, determination and had an absolute ball playing in the grand final in their first season.

“These kids are lucky to be playing for such a great club in the Knights who have showed tremendous support over the last week and have given the girls memories for life.

Well done girls,” he added.

In the final game of the day, the Under 12 Girls League Tag took on Milton Ulladulla. According to Coach, Cindy Brookfield, the girls have had a dream season.

“I knew pretty early on that I had a very special group of players. They would give 100% at training and games, the positive energy was infectious and we all just loved spending time together training and playing tag.

“They had a dominant regular season being undefeated and minor premiers.

“The girls came out strong in the grand final and it wasn’t long before they scored off the back of a set play with a try to Mischa McCarthy, who went on to bag a double, and converted by captain Koffi Brookfield.

“Milton Ulladulla had improved every week and we knew it would be a tough game. Both teams moved the ball between players with skill, and tagged extremely well.

“An impressive intercept by Charlotte Payne saw her run 40 metres before she was run down by a determined Milton defender. Sunni Lord and Georgia Veitch also crossed over for tries, with one converted by Montana Carr.

Player of the Match was awarded to Kiama’s pocket rocket Ella Greatz who had an outstanding game.

“Credit to both clubs for the superb sportsmanship displayed on the day, with Kiama winning 20-0. I’m extremely proud of the girls and looking forward to next season,” said Cindy.

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