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Sharks bring the Jets season to a shuddering halt

The Newtown Jets dreams of a second successive VB NSW Cup premiership were blown apart by the Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.
Sharks bring the Jets season to a shuddering halt

The Newtown Jets dreams of a second successive VB NSW Cup premiership were blown apart by the Cronulla Sharks at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. The Sharks were well in control when they led 28-12 at half-time, and they maintained their domination throughout the second half as the men from the Shire raced away to a 54-18 victory.

The Jets opened the scoring with a smartly-taken try to five-eighth Adam Henry in the third minute, when he seized upon a high kick from Ryley Jacks and scored beneath the posts. The Sharks hit back with two slick tries to lock forward Tyrone Peachey, nephew of former Cronulla great David Peachey, and led 12-6 after 17 minutes. Newtown stayed with the pace of the game and the hero of the 2012 Grand Final, Nafe Seluini, scored from dummy-half and the scores were 12-all at the twentieth minute mark. That was as close as the Jets would get to Cronulla for the rest of the match. Penalties, pushed passes, handling errors and possession turnovers gave the Sharks the possession and territory that they used to take control in the game’s second quarter. The Sharks scored three more tries, including one in the 39th minute, to lead 28-12 at half-time.

Whatever slim hopes the Jets retained of staging a comeback were crushed by two converted tries to the Sharks early in the second half. Trailing 40-12 and with Cronulla dominating possession, there was to be no way back for the defending premiers. Nafe Seluini scored his second try with a sizzling individual effort midway through the second half, but the Sharks added another three tries before full-time to stamp their authority on the game.

Newtown’s long list of injured players who were needled up to get them through this match, plus playing in the warmest conditions since March, certainly didn’t assist the Jets cause. Big Kane Evans bravely returned to play after an eleven week layoff with injury and was probably a bit underdone for a match of this nature. Centre Buddy Gordon left the field with a leg injury which led to a destabilising backline reshuffle. The Sharks pinpointed every area of Newtown’s perceived weaknesses and the Cronulla boys were fired up after their surprise loss to Windsor in week one of the finals. Cronulla’s dominance of possession in the second half and Newtown’s disorganisation as they tried to claw their way back from the 28-12 half-time deficit led to the second half hammering. Newtown’s season had its highlights with some exceptional wins such as the away win against North Sydney in late May when the Frank Hyde Shield was regained, the stirring victory against Windsor at Parkes and the disciplined win against Wests Tigers at Henson Park in early August.

Newtown’s season had all the highs and lows of most reserve grade teams, where you don’t necessarily get or retain the players you would most like to. In the words of the old Rolling Stones classic, “you can’t always get what you want”. On Sunday Nafe Seluini and Kurt Kara were Newtown’s best, along with the veteran Ray Moujalli who kept on battling right to the final siren.

Jets players Henare Wells and Kane Evans have had the honour of being named in the VB NSW Cup Team of the Year. The Jets annual presentation dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, 2nd October at the Petersham RSL Club, with the evening getting underway at 7.30pm. Further details and booking arrangements are listed on the Newtown Jets website.

NSWRL VB NSW Cup Finals Week 2
Elimination Semi-Final
Sunday, 22nd September 2013
Leichhardt Oval
Cronulla Sharks v Newtown Jets
Kick-Off: 1.00pm
Referee: Zbigniew Przeklasa-Adamski
Touch Judges: Jay Farlow and Nathan Smith

Cronulla Sharks 54
Tries: Tyrone Peachey 2, Tim Robinson, Nathan Gardner, Kirisome Auva'a, Young Tunumaipea, Penani Manumalealii, Pat Politoni, Mark Taufua, David Fifita
Goals: Nathan Stapleton 7
Team: 1 Henare Wells, 2 Paul Rokolati, 3 Yileen "Buddy" Gordon, 4 Michael Oldfield, 5 Chris Taripo, 6 Adam Henry, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Ray Moujalli, 9 Kurt Kara, 10 Khalid Deeb, 11 Ryan Verlinden, 12 Brad Barrett, 13 Tinirau Arona. Interchange: 14 Andrew Pearn, 17 Saulala Houma, 18 Nafe Seluini, 20 Kane Evans, 16 Josh Ailaomai (did not play). Coach: Greg Matterson.


Newtown Jets 18
Tries: Nafe Seluini 2, Adam Henry
Goals: Chris Taripo 3
Team: Nathan Gardner, Nathan Stapleton, Kirisome Auva'a, Stewart Mills, Young Tonumaipea, Penani Manumalealii, Matthew Wright, Siosaia Vave, Mark Taufua, Pat Politoni, Junior Moors, Tupou Sopoaga, Tyrone Peachey. Interchange: Junior Ropica, Michael Lichaa, Tim Robinson, David Fifita, Rodney Coates, Daniel Moroko. Coach: Tony Herman.

Half-Time: Cronulla Sharks led 28-12
Playing surface: Excellent
Weather: Fine, sunny, very warm, no breeze in the first half, 26 degrees.

The Newtown Jets have been eliminated from the 2013 NSWRL VB NSW Cup finals series.

The Newcastle Knights 38 defeated Wests Tigers 10 in the other elimination semi-final played at Leichhardt Oval yesterday.

The Newcastle Knights will play Windsor and North Sydney plays the Cronulla Sharks next Sunday at Leichhardt Oval in the two Preliminary Finals.

Commiserations to the Sydney Roosters Holden Cup (Under 20's) team which was eliminated from the 2013 Holden Cup finals series on Friday night.

Newtown RLFC 2013 Presentation Dinner
Thursday, 3rd October
Petersham RSL Club, 7 Regent Street, Petersham
Time: 7.00pm; Cost: $65
Bookings: Stuart McCarthy 0447 046 516 or

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