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Wed 30th September
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2019 NRL State Championship

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Newtown Jets front-rower Saulala Houma gets his pass away to Daniel Abou-Sleiman at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday. Photo: Mario Facchini Photography.
Newtown Jets front-rower Saulala Houma gets his pass away to Daniel Abou-Sleiman at Leichhardt Oval last Saturday. Photo: Mario Facchini Photography.

Draw keeps the Jets finals hopes alive … but only just

Report on the 22nd Round VB NSW Cup match between Newtown and Wests Tigers, played at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday, 8th August 2015 by Glen ‘Bumper’ Dwyer.

All the tension of finals football came early to Leichhardt Oval last Saturday, as the Newtown Jets and Wests Tigers fought out a 22-all draw in the 22nd round of the NSW Cup. Wests Tigers led 12-6 at the break and 16-10 ten minutes into the second half, and then the Jets took a 22-16 lead with fifteen minutes left to play. The Tigers drew level at 22-all with two minutes remaining, and they added to the drama with a last-minute long-range field goal attempt that drifted wide.

This televised match was played in perfect weather and with the Leichhardt Oval playing surface in pristine condition. The Jets had to weather some early pressure and then scored first when Sami Sauiluma sent Nathan Gardner over in the north-western corner, with Todd Murphy converting from the sideline. The Tigers scored twice on the back of Newtown errors at their own end to lead 12-6 after 18 minutes. The Jets then had to withstand an extended period of pressure with Wests Tigers having several sets inside Newtown’s twenty metres. The Tigers missed a couple of scoring opportunities in this period and Newtown then had some attacking chances closer to halftime.

Both teams went close to scoring early in the second half but Newtown turned on a classic try in the 50th minute that could feature in any club’s season highlights. Myles Taueli, Saulala Houma, Blake Ayshford and Sami Sauiluma were all involved in a high speed, precision passing movement that saw Nathan Gardner collect his second try. Wests Tigers responded quickly through a booming 40/20 kick that led to the Tigers scoring a try and extending their lead to 16-10.

The Jets best period of the game was midway through the second half, with well-taken tries to Daniel Abou-Sleiman and Tarek Elmasri that were both converted by Todd Murphy. The pendulum swung back to the Tigers late in the game when there were critical incidents that allowed them attacking momentum. Repeat sets gave Wests Tigers the edge that saw them post a converted try two minutes from fulltime. Both sides had to settle for the one competition point but one Jets official noted that as he watched the last-minute field goal attempt soar towards the posts, “he was thinking the unthinkable”.

Newtown coach Greg Matterson observed that this was yet another tight finish for the Jets where they did not come away with the two competition points. There had been plenty of effort right across the team but Newtown’s errors at critical moments late in the game gave the Tigers that belated window of opportunity. Younger Jets players like Malakai Houma, Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Tarek Elmasri and Myles Taueli deserved mention for their strong performances in such a high pressure game.

The Newtown Jets return home to Henson Park this Saturday (15th August) for what is a must-win assignment against the third-placed Penrith Panthers. This 23rd round NSW Cup match will kick off at 3.00pm.

Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

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Newtown Jets man of the match fullback Will Kennedy gets into full stride on his way to scoring the match-winning try in last season’s stirring Canterbury Cup NSW grand final victory. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.

Virtual Match Report: Jets nail the Canterbury Cup NSW premiership title in extra-time thriller

Daniel Vasquez is pictured leading the renowned Newtown Jets Victory Chorus at the Mayoral Civic Reception held at the Petersham RSL Club on the evening of Wednesday, 9th October 2019. Daniel makes his NRL playing debut with the Cronulla Sharks against the Canberra Raiders this Saturday evening (26th September). The entire Newtown Jets rugby league community sends hearty congratulations to Daniel and wishes him well on this big occasion. Photo: Michael Magee Photography.

This Sunday is a huge day in the history of the Glebe Dirty Reds, plus other pertinent rugby league news items

Image: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Members Badge Draw Thursday 24th September 2020

Group 16 and Cronulla Sharks product Teig Wilton (with the ball) played strongly for the Newtown Jets throughout the 2019 Canterbury Cup finals series. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

Virtual Season 2020 – The Newtown Jets head into their fifth grand final since entering the flagship NSW Rugby League competition in 2000

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