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Bulldogs trash the Jets homecoming party

Newtown's youthful VB NSW Cup team was given a harsh lesson in the realities of modern Rugby League last Saturday.
Bulldogs trash the Jets homecoming party
by NRL

Newtown's youthful VB NSW Cup team was given a harsh lesson in the realities of modern Rugby League last Saturday. On a day that was meant to celebrate the reopening of the Jets' refurbished Henson Park headquarters, defending premiers Canterbury-Bankstown handed out a 54-10 belting to the inexperienced Blues line-up. On a perfect autumn day and with Federal Minister and Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese MP the principal guest, the Jets made a reasonable contest of the first half but were blown away in the game's third quarter.

Canterbury led 22-6 at halftime but a lost scoring opportunity right on the siren might have given Newtown some momentum to take into the second half. The Bulldogs are certainly setting the benchmark for the 2012 VB NSW Cup, having dished out hidings to all of their opponents so far in this year's competition. Jets centre Peni Tagive scored midway through the first half and winger Adam Henry scored early in the second session, after having lost the ball over the line on the stroke of halftime. Front-rower Andrew Pearn was the Jets' standout player on a day when several of this year's youngsters learned some lessons about consistency of performance and personal application.

The Jets coaching staff acknowledged they have plenty of work to do, but pointed out that several players had turned on first-class performances the previous Saturday against the then-unbeaten Cronulla Sharks. Footballers don't lose their natural abilities and learned skills in the space of a week, but their individual attitudes and levels of mental toughness can fluctuate. The Jets had their share of misfortune with injuries to cult front-rower Ryan Verlinden and five-eighth Jack Littlejohn that no doubt disrupted the team's cohesion in the first half. Poor defensive decisions on Newtown's edges had resulted in several runaway tries to the Bulldogs, including one exceptional effort where the ball passed through at least eight pairs of hands. As Jets coach Greg Matterson remarked "there's no doubting the attacking potential of this Canterbury side, but we succeeded in making them look like world beaters".

The Newtown Jets are back at Henson Park again on Saturday, 31st March 2012 when they meet the 2011 beaten grand finalists, the flamboyant Auckland Vulcans. This fifth round VB NSW Cup fixture will commence at 3.00pm.

NSWRL VB NSW Cup - Round 4
Saturday, 24th March 2012
Henson Park
Newtown v Canterbury-Bankstown
Kick-off time was 3.00pm

Canterbury-Bankstown 54: Michael Lett 4, Mitch Brown, Ray Moujalli, Josh Jackson, Luke MacDougall, Brett Lane, Kris Keating tries; Trent Cutler 7 goals
Newtown 10: Peni Tagive, Adam Henry tries; Mark Kheirallah goal

Half-Time: Canterbury led 22-6
Referee: Robert Bowen
Touch Judges: Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski, Richard Daizli
Weather: Sunny, fine, mild
Playing surface: Very good

Newtown Team: 1 Ben Loxley 2 Daniel Tupou, 5 Adam Henry 3 Peni Tagive, 14 TauTau Moga 6 Jack Littlejohn, 7 Mark Kheirallah 13 Ahmad Ellaz 17 Ryan Verlinden, 12 Bosden 23 Mose Masoe, 10 Khalid Deeb 9 Anthony Mitchell. Subs: 8 Isaac Liu, 15 Kurt Kara, 18 Glenn Dumbrell, 21 Andrew Pearn, 22 Sam Latu.

Canterbury-Bankstown Team: Michael Lett, Luke MacDougall, Mitch Brown, Brett Lane, Ratu Tagive, Kris Keating, Trent Cutler, Harlan Alaalatoa, Josh Jackson, Jake Foster, Tim Browne, Shane Pumipi, Martin Taupau. Subs: Jake Finn, Moujalli, Kose Lelei, Junior Roqica, Josh Gill.

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