Last Sunday at Ron Costello Oval, premiers Milton-Ulladulla under 18s gave another dominating display of open rugby league by scoring 14 tries and nine goals to defeat Shellharbour Sharks 70-14. Classy halfback Tarje Whitford added 30 points to the tally with three destructive free-running tries and nine goals in blustery conditions.
The Dogs quickly took hold of the match when electrifying winger Elijah Humble scored the first of his two first half tries, then centre Josh Bailey showed a clean pair of plates to score twice in 20 minutes. Whitford cut a sheath through the Sharks inside backs to score a 40-metre runaway try before long striding replacement Connor Tytheleigh went over and Bailey and Humble added tries. Fullback Lachlan Self helped himself to the spoils, giving the dewy-fresh Bulldogs a commanding 36-6 lead at the break.
The second stanza was a repeat of the first when Liam Conlon showed plenty of dash straight after the break then the probing Boyd Bradshaw went full throttle, sprinting over twice. Conlon then cleverly outsmarted two opponents and raced in for a 45 metre runaway try which was followed by tries from Bailey, Callahan and Whitford whilst unsung forwards Ben Russell, Charlie Frendo, Joel Blakey, Joshua Thistleton, Gavin Kingsley, Chris Baker and the steam-rolling Lleyton Roach gave plenty of value throughout the contest as did Zane Gallagher, Charlie Brophy, Pierre Maglis and the slippery Jack Reid closing the scoreline at 70-14.
Meantime, with just five rounds remaining in the Group Seven first grade rugby league competition, the outcomes of games played this weekend will be crucial for several clubs.
Kiama Knights (18 points) have skipped clear whilst Warilla Gorillas and Shellharbour Sharks (16) share second place with Gerringong Lions (14) and Jamberoo Superoos (12). Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles (10) are still an outside chance to reach the top five if they can string a few wins together and the Lions and the Roos suffer losses over the next few rounds.
In first grade, Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs welcome Gerringong to Mollymook Oval this Sunday, while Albion Park-Oak Flats face Warilla Gorillas at Centenary Field with Kiama Knights tangling with Nowra-Bomaderry Jets at Kiama Showground and Jamberoo nervously rolling out the mat for Shellharbour Sharks at Kevin Walsh Oval on Saturday.
Reserve grade will be fought out between Kiama, Jamberoo, Shellharbour Sharks (18 points) and Albion Park-Oak Flats (14) and Berry Magpies (13) whilst Shellharbour Stingrays (11) are breathing down the Magpies’ neck.
The under 18s competition still sees Albion Park (22) just in front of the Bulldogs (20) with Berry Magpies (17) and Warilla (15) and Kiama (8) certain to make up the top five.
The WWT competition place-getters took a strange twist last Saturday when Shellharbour Sharks downed Shellharbour Stingrays 14-8 giving Kiama (22) the lead from premiers Jamberoo (18) with the Sharks (15) moving up into third spot with Jamberoo (14) dropping back to fifth leaving the Doggies (13) being pushed back to sixth.
This Sunday at Mollymook Oval, a mammoth crowd is expected to see all the rugby league action with Gerringong Lions (14) Firsts attempt to improve their perilous spot on the ladder against the poorly performed Bulldogs (8) at 2.45pm. The Reserve grade clash between Gerringong (10) and the Bulldogs (6) commences at 1.15pm while the WWT game between the Doggies (13) and Berry Magpies (6) starts at 12.15pm. Maybe the Shellharbour Sharks under 18s will turn up again twice in a week after suffering a 70-14 loss last weekend which is scheduled at 10.45am, but don’t bet on it.