1.00 pm, Sunday, 9 September 2012
WIN Jubilee Kogarah (Kogarah Oval)
Browse the 2012 Newtown Jets players & staff gallery
Browse moment-by-moment game action and game highlights in the galleries of our wonderful Newtown photographers, Gary Sutherland and Jason McCauley.
Quick summary of match
The Newtown Jets won a thrilling VB NSW Cup elimination semi-final against the Illawarra Cutters on Sunday by 36-30.
The win enables Newtown to progress to Week Two of the 2012 finals series and they will be playing old foes North Sydney at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, in a repeat of the game and venue when the Jets bowed out of last year's finals race.
Sunday's match at WIN Jubilee Oval was as exciting as the final round competition match between the Jets and Cutters at Henson Park.
Newtown led 12-0 early on Sunday but Illawarra fought back to equalise at 12-all, which remained the half-time score.
The Cutters dominated in the third quarter and led by 22-12 and 24-18 at different stages.
The Jets rallied in the final twenty minutes and posted three converted tries to lead by 36-24, with the Cutters claiming a belated converted try right on full-time.
How do ye feel? I feel we are winning!
Terry Rowney and Wayne Leong experience the Bluebags winning feeling!
Photos courtesy Jason McCauley
Sparkling first half from Jets
The first half was notable for some remarkable individual efforts by several Newtown players.
Halfback and captain, Daniel Mortimer, scored in the fourth minute after front-rower Mose Masoe made valuable metres.
Masoe and fullback Alofa Alofa then combined to take play deep into Illawarra territory, and centre Peni Tagive slashed through to score after the Jets had a scrum feed in the Cutters' quarter.
Tagive later saved a certain try when he held up a big Cutters forward over the try-line in what was an amazing display of physical strength and determination.
Another critical moment was when centre Justin Carney, back from an extended lay-off due to injury, cannoned fearlessly into an Illawarra winger at the corner-post and prevented what by rights should have been another try to the Cutters.
Coach's half-time encouragement
Newtown coach Greg Matterson emphasised to his players at half-time that this game was really for keeps - whichever team lost could start preparing for 2013. He noted that Illawarra's resurgence in the first half had come on the back of Newtown's errors and penalties.
Cutters seized the lead but could not hold out resurgent Jets
Illawarra had much the better of the early stages of the second half and the Jets looked to be in dire trouble when they trailed by 22-12 after 13 minutes.
Five-eighth Adam Henry then made good ground into Cutters territory and hooker Nafe Seluini drove in from dummy-half to score next to the posts a minute later.
The Cutters extended their lead to six points with a penalty goal with 17 minutes left to play, but from that point onwards the Jets lifted their tempo and went on to save the match.
Second-rower, Jack Bosden, was one of Newtown's best and he barged over for a vital try after the Jets had the Cutters under siege on their own line.
Daniel Mortimer had packed his kicking boots and converted Newtown's fourth try to draw the scores level at 24-all.
Mortimer then put Newtown back in the lead with his second try, after Bosden and Tagive were both involved in some top-class lead-up work.
Front-rower Saulala Houma sealed the game for the Jets three minutes prior to full-time with another of his rampaging charges.
A good reason to be pleased
There was considerable character in this win, given the white-hot finals pressure, the warmer spring weather and a heavy penalty count in favour of the Illawarra boys [9-2].
The Cutters totalled more time in possession during the match than Newtown but it was yet again a case of which team did most with the ball. Newtown's high completion rate in the second half was also an indicator of their fourth quarter fightback.
The Jets coaching staff were justifiably proud of their team's second half comeback and named Nafe Seluini, Jack Bosden and Peni Tagive as being among Newtown's best on the day.
Coach Matterson was particularly pleased that the team "didn't lose the plot" when they were under extreme pressure in the second half", and that they "fought back to live another day".
And you can read another wonderful summary of the game on the NMG Media group website.
Next game: Finals Week 2
The Jets meet North Sydney in another elimination semi-final at Leichhardt Oval next Sunday, 16th September, at 3.00pm.
The early match in this NSWRL double-header is another sudden-death VB NSW Cup semi-final between Balmain and Wentworthville at 1.00pm.