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Jets turn on plenty of points for big home crowd

The Newtown Jets needed to win on Saturday to stay in touch with the competition’s top four, and did so in spirited style with their 44-22 win over Wests Tigers at Henson Park.
Jets turn on plenty of points for big home crowd

The Newtown Jets needed to win on Saturday to stay in touch with the competition’s top four, and did so in spirited style with their 44-22 win over Wests Tigers at Henson Park. This was the first time that these two clubs have met at Henson Park and a big crowd took full advantage of Sydney’s Spring-like weather last Saturday. The Jets led 20-10 at half-time and had to ward off a late challenge from the Tigers before pulling away to a substantial lead in the last ten minutes.

Five-eighth Ben Jones was the first to score when he sliced through the Tigers defensive line in the 7th minute. Winger Paul Rokolati scored and then converted his own try in the 11th minute after the Jets had turned on some high speed precision passing. In the 14th minute strongman forward Josh Ailaomai laid on a classy midfield off-load to Ben Jones, who in turn grubber-kicked ahead for the fast supporting Henare Wells. The speedster fullback toed the ball ahead twice before gathering in the high bouncing football and touching down for might well be the try of the VB NSW Cup season. Newtown’s defence fell away badly to allow two tries to the Tigers in quick succession, and it was game on at 16-10 to the Jets after 26 minutes. Newtown’s right-side winger Pierce Sapsford maintained his strong form with a try six minutes prior to half-time. Wests Tigers Kiwi international winger Matt Utai was sin-binned just before the half-time break.

Jets coach Greg Matterson praised his players at half-time for their clever ball-work and attacking initiative in running up a 16-0 lead, but he also rebuked them for undoing much of their good work by letting in two relatively soft tries that brought the Tigers right back into the game.

The Jets took what seemed to be a tight grip on the game with three tries in the third quarter, extending their lead out to 34-10. Giant back-rower Ryan Verlinden powered over early in the second half, while Sapsford and Wells each claimed their second tries after clever lead-up work by their team-mates. The Tigers refused to turn it up and scored two converted tries to get themselves back into the game, trailing by 34-22 with 11 minutes left to play. Hooker Nafe Seluini locked up the result for Newtown when he put Josh Ailaomai over next to the posts with 8 minutes remaining. Wests Tigers captain and fullback Sean Meaney was sin-binned by referee Liam Nicholls in the 74th minute, and big Jets centre Yileen “Buddy” Gordon wrapped up the proceedings with a bulldozing try in the last minute of the game.

The Jets coaching group commended their players for the energy and sharp precision of their attack in scoring nine tries against a team that was equal in points with Newtown on the competition table. The coaching staff indicated that there would be plenty of emphasis on communication in defence in upcoming training sessions to address the shortfalls that were evident on Saturday. Dylan Napa was praised for his personal discipline in not being provoked into a fracas just before half-time. The coaching staff nominated Kurt Kara, Josh Ailaomai, Dylan Napa and Tinirau Arona as being the best forwards, while Pierce Sapsford, Yileen “Buddy” Gordon and Ben Jones were rated as being the best of the backs.

The Newtown Jets are at home to keen rivals Manly-Warringah at Henson Park next Saturday (10th August), with this 22nd round VB NSW Cup match kicking off at 3.00pm.

NSWRL VB NSW Cup 21st Round
Saturday, 3rd August 2013
Henson Park
Newtown Jets v Wests Tigers
Kick-Off: 3.00pm
Referee: Liam Nicholls
Touch Judges: Peter Sciberras and Stephen Ellison

Newtown Jets 44
Tries: Henare Wells 2, Pierce Sapsford 2, Ben Jones, Paul Rokolati, Ryan Verlinden, Josh Ailaomai, Yileen "Buddy" Gordon
Goals: Paul Rokolati 4
Team: Newtown's team was: 1 Henare Wells, 23 Pierce Sapsford, 3 Yileen "Buddy" Gordon, 16 Ivan Penehe, 5 Paul Rokolati, 6 Ben Jones, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Ray Moujalli, 9 Kurt Kara, 10 Andrew Pearn, 11 Dylan Napa, 12 Brad Barrett, 13 Tinirau Arona (Capt). Interchange: 17 Saulala Houma, 18 Nafe Seluini, 20 Josh Ailaomai, 21 Ryan Verlinden. Coach: Greg Matterson.


Wests Tigers 22
Tries: Matt Utai, Sean Meaney, Rory Brien, Adrian Haangana
Goals: Sean Meaney 3
Team: Sean Meaney (Capt), Matt Utai, Moses Pangai, Rory Brien, Jy Hitchcox, Eddie Paea, Jack Madden, Michael Bullock, Matt Groat, Joel Luani, Asipeli Fine, Jarrod Farlow, James Gavet. Interchange: Sitaleki Akoula, Adrian Haangana, Ino Inosesio, Josh Davis. Coach: Paul Fletcher.

Half-Time: Newtown led 20-10

Timeline from the Newtown Jets v Wests Tigers match:

7th minute: Ben Jones try, not converted. Newtown 4-0
11th minute: Paul Rokolati try and conversion. Newtown 10-0
14th minute: Henare Wells try, converted by Paul Rokolati. (This try will be a nominee for the VB NSW Cup try of the season). Newtown 16-0
19th minute: Matt Utai try, not converted. Newtown 16-4
26th minute: Sean Meaney try and conversion. Newtown 16-10
34th minute: Pierce Sapsford try, Paul Rokolati's conversion hits the upright and bounces away. Newtown 20-10
Half-Time: Newtown 20-10
47th minute: Ryan Verlinden try, Paul Rokolati conversion. Newtown 26-10
53rd minute: Pierce Sapsford try, not converted. Newtown 30-10
58th minute: Henare Wells try, not converted. Newtown 34-10
63rd minute: Rory Brien try, converted by Sean Meaney from the sideline. Newtown 34-16
69th minute: Adrian Haangana try, converted by Sean Meaney. Newtown 34-22
72nd minute: Josh Ailaomai try, converted by Paul Rokolati. Newtown 40-22
79th minute: Yileen "Buddy" Gordon try, not converted by Dylan Napa. Newtown 44-22
Full-Time: Newtown 44-22

Playing surface: Very good
Weather: Fine, mild, sunny, 19 degrees

Newtown's next match is:
NSWRL VB NSW Cup 22nd Round
Saturday, 10th August 2013
Henson Park
Newtown v Manly-Warringah
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Results of the other 21st Round VB NSW Cup matches played on Saturday:

Auckland Vulcans 44 defeated Wentworthville 10; North Sydney 30 defeated Mounties 26; Cronulla Sharks 24 defeated Wyong 0; Illawarra Cutters 26 defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 22; Newcastle Knights 38 defeated Windsor Wolves 36. Manly-Warringah bye.


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