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Jets return empty-handed from their western odyssey

Newtown's visit to central-western NSW proved to be a success in terms of the attendance at Pioneer Oval, Parkes and the high level of regional media interest.
Jets return empty-handed from their western odyssey
by NRL

Newtown's visit to central-western NSW proved to be a success in terms of the attendance at Pioneer Oval, Parkes and the high level of regional media interest.

The Windsor Wolves, Newtown's opponents, spoiled the Jets' party by travelling home with the two competition points and a 34-20 win. The match was a showdown between the teams running second and third on the VB NSW Cup competition table. As a result of this loss the Jets drop to fourth place and there are now several teams close behind them on the ladder.

The Jets began nervously and two fumbled kicks paved the way for Windsor's first try in the fifth minute. The Wolves nearly scored again soon after the restart but a desperation ankle-tap by Jets halfback Mark Kheirallah saved what would have been a runaway try. Newtown captain Khalid Deeb claimed the Jets first try in the tenth minute after the Wolves fullback made a howler of an error behind his own tryline. The Jets then had to defend grimly at their end but quick hands through the Windsor backline created an overlap for their second try and a 10-6 lead. This was to be the halftime score. Windsor had a couple of near misses in the game's second quarter and the Jets bombed a try right on halftime. The Wolves looked dangerous when in possession and were causing problems for Newtown's defence on both flanks.

Newtown nearly scored immediately after halftime when a slick offload by lock Ahmad Ellaz was ruled to be marginally forward. It was Windsor though who had the perfect start to the second half, as they rattled on two quick tries to take a commanding 22-6 lead. Some brittle defence and a foolish penalty were contributing factors to the Wolves' scoring burst. The situation worsened for Newtown when tough-tackling second-rower Jack Bosden was taken from the field after a bad head knock. The Jets gained some repeat possession and advanced into Windsor's quarter, where centre Tom Symonds laid on a beautiful pass to send Blake Lazarus over unopposed. In what was Newtown's best period of the game, Alofa Alofa went agonisingly close to crossing next to the posts and Kurt Kara scored from the next play the ball. Newtown had fought their way back into the game, trailing 22-16 with 20 minutes left to play.

The Wolves regained the ascendancy and gave themselves a 12-point buffer when they scored after acquiring some extended possession at Newtown's end. The north-westerners ensured their win with another converted try at the 70th minute mark. Jets winger Daniel Tupou completed Newtown's scoring after pouncing on a well-angled cross-field kick late in the game.

The Jets had made a brave rally midway through the second half but Windsor's strike-power in their backline proved a bit much for Newtown on the day. Hooker Anthony Mitchell worked hard for the Jets and tried to create attacking opportunities. Jack Bosden, Kurt Kara and Ahmad Ellaz were the best of the other forwards while Mark Kheirallah and Tom Symonds had been the best of the backs.

The Newtown Jets return to Henson Park next Saturday (16th June), when they meet Cronulla-Sutherland in round 16 of the VB NSW Cup, kicking off at 3.00pm.


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