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Jets hit hard by mid-winter blues

A series of late team changes disrupted Newtown’s preparations for the tough away fixture to Mounties last Saturday.
Jets hit hard by mid-winter blues

A series of late team changes disrupted Newtown’s preparations for the tough away fixture to Mounties last Saturday. The Canberra Raiders partnership club had named a strong side with plenty of NRL experience and it was clear that the Jets line-up would lack the firepower and brute strength of previous weeks. Newtown turned in a very competent first 35 minutes and established a 10-0 lead, but conceded two tries just prior to halftime that enabled Mounties to draw level. The home team had all the momentum and a surplus of possession in the second half and ran out winners by 34-16.

Newtown kept Mounties at bay in the game’s first quarter but didn’t post any points until the 21st minute when fullback Henare Wells scored, with Chris Taripo converting the try. Five minutes later the Jets turned on a well-crafted try considering the slippery playing conditions. The movement started midfield and involved a passing interchange between Saulala Houma, Ryley Jacks and Kurt Kara, and was finished off by Michael Oldfield. Just to compound Newtown’s manpower woes, the stylish centre and Tongan international suffered a hamstring injury as he dashed to the line and was finished for the game. Newtown’s concentration lapsed just before halftime, allowing two tries to Mounties in quick succession.

The Raiders partnership club maintained its ascendancy immediately after halftime with another two tries, taking a 20-10 lead five minutes into the second half. Mounties dominated possession, employed a strong kicking game and took advantage of a run of penalties to set up a commanding 30-10 lead with twenty minutes left to play. Henare Wells scored his second try through a long distance effort, and Mounties completed the scoring with their seventh try at the 35th minute mark.

Mounties had an impressive 95% completion rate in the second half, which given the state of the ground after days of unceasing rain was quite an achievement. Their strong complement of Raiders players took control of the match in the second half and never let the Jets back into the contest. Mounties had around 48 more plays with the ball than Newtown did in the second half and they made proper use of this surplus of possession.

Kurt Kara was again one of Newtown’s best players and he defended strongly in the difficult playing conditions. Ray Moujalli, Brad Barrett and Josh Ailaomai all battled gamely on a losing side. The Auckland Vulcans victory on the weekend over the previously unbeaten Cronulla Sharks indicated that both the Jets and Sharks teams might have been below par, following their titanic struggle in the pouring rain at Henson Park on the previous Saturday. Most certainly the impact of player transfers and injuries also affected Newtown’s playing strength for the Mounties match.

It’s Family Day 2 at Henson Park next Saturday (6th July) when the Jets host Wentworthville in the main game at 3.00pm. The Cronulla Sharks take on the Windsor Wolves in the VB NSW Cup top four curtain-raiser at 1.00pm.
NSWRL VB NSW Cup 16th Round
Saturday, 29th June 2013
Mounties Sports Complex
Mounties v Newtown Jets
Kick-Off: 3.00pm

(Mounties RLFC are the VB NSW Cup partnership club of the Canberra Raiders NRL franchise).

Mounties 34
Tries: Francis Vaiotu 2, Louis Vaiotu 2, Ryan Carr 2, Jordan Rapana
Goals: Sam Williams 3
Team: Jack Ahearn, Louis Vaiotu, Francis Vaiotu, Matt Allwood, Jordan Rapana, Ryan Carr, Sam Williams, Matt McIlwrick, Jarrod Kennedy, Jake Foster, Mitch Cahalane, Shaun Berrigan, Shane Shackleton. Interchange: Shannon Boyd, Clay Priest, Scott Jones, Reece Goldsmith. Coach: Steve Antonelli.


Newtown Jets 16
Tries: Henare Wells 2, Michael Oldfield
Goals: Chris Taripo 2
Team: 1 Henare Wells, 2 Paul Rokolati, 15 James Trotter, 4 Michael Oldfield, 5 Chris Taripo, 6 Adam Henry, 7 Ryley Jacks, 12 Brad Barrett, 11 Tinirau Arona (Capt), 3 Yileen "Buddy" Gordon, 8 Ray Moujalli, 9 Kurt Kara, 17 Saulala Houma. Interchange: 14 Andrew Pearn, 16 Josh Ailaomai, 21 Ryan Verlinden, 26 Trent Trotter. Coach: Greg Matterson.

Half-Time: 10-all
Referee: Matt Noyen
Touch Judges: Jason Higgins and Matthew Damaso
Weather: Grey, overcast, light rain occasionally fell, 15 degrees
Playing surface: Some surface water, very slippery and heavy underfoot.

Results of the other VB NSW Cup matches played this weekend: Windsor 20 defeated Manly-Warringah 6; Newcastle Knights 38 defeated Wests Tigers 18; the Auckland Vulcans ended the Cronulla Sharks unbeaten run with an 18-16 win at Mt Smart Stadium, shown live on Fox Sports and SkySport NZ; Wyong 26 defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 24; North Sydney v Illawarra Cutters was postponed. Wentworthville had the bye.

Here is the NSWRL VB NSW Cup competition table after 16 rounds:

Newtown's next match details:

NSWRL VB NSW Cup 17th Round
Saturday, 6th July 2013
Henson Park
Newtown v Wentworthville
Kick-Off: 3.00pm


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