WITH only eight games remaining and a possible 16 points on offer before the final round approaches, all competitors in the senior Group Seven first grade rugby league competition had better be prepared for a turbulent finish which starts this weekend when the outright lead will be decided between the Warilla Gorillas and Shellharbour City Sharks.
And if boxing fans thought Jeff Horn had a torrid time after running into the Freddie Dawson of southpaws last weekend, the Sharks can expect to face the equivalent of 13-like players dressed in blue and gold jumpers on Sunday at Shellharbour.
Both teams have won seven from eight games with Gerringong Lions inflecting Warilla’s 14-12 loss this season, while the Gorillas downed the Sharks narrowly 16-14 in their opening game. The Lions, coached by the redoubtable Mick Cronin, sit in the box-seat with five wins from eight starts, and the lightweight Kiama Knights has steadily moved up into fourth spot after stringing together three consecutive wins, whilst it now appears the injury burdens of both the Albion Park Eagles and the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs has brought both teams to their knees which only leaves the likes of Nowra-Bomaderry Jets and Berry Shoalhaven-Magpies to provide moderate hurdles for the leading contenders to jump as the season deepens.
The Reserve grade competition still provides its usual traffic jam at this time of the season, with Kiama Knights, Shellharbour Sharks and Albion Park Eagles on 14 points with Jamberoo poised on 12 points whilst Robertson and Berry (9) sit together, while Warilla and Stingrays (7), Gerringong (6) and Milton-Ulladulla and Nowra Jets (2) squabble over the wooden-spoon.
The under 18s men’s competition has a new leader with Albion Park Eagles (16) narrowly out in front of Milton-Ulladulla (14), who sit out with a forfeit this week. Berry Magpies and Warilla (11) are neatly positioned to pounce later in the season as Kiama Knights, Shellharbour Sharks and Gerringong Lions sit on six points apiece ahead of Nowra-Bomaderry Jets (2) who bring up the rear.
In Ladies League Tag, premiers Kiama Nighties (16) lead the competition from Jamberoo Super Roos (14), Milton-Ulladulla Doggies and Shellharbour Sharkies (11), Nowra-Bomaderry Jets (6) and Berry Magpies (2).
This Sunday, the Milton-Ulladulla first grade Bulldogs take on Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Bomaderry Sports Complex at 2.45pm with the LLT Doggies team performing against Nowra-Bomaderry at 1.45pm and the gutsy Reserve grade Doggies taking on the Jets at 12.15pm.