For the second time in three weeks the Jets have gone very close to beating one of the competition’s top two teams

A heart-warming all-Australian image as the Newtown Jets of 2017 line up with children from St Michael’s School, Stanmore prior to a pre-Anzac Day ceremony at Henson Park on Saturday, 22nd April 2017. Photo: Michael Magee Photography

Jets get close to toppling Wyong but their own errors prove to be their undoing.

NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – 8th Round

Saturday, 22nd April 2017

Henson Park

Newtown v Wyong

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Referee: Chris Treneman

Touch Judges: Matt Treneman and John Woods.

Playing surface at Henson Park: Excellent.

Weather: Fine, cloudy, 24 degrees Celsius, 80% humidity.

Wyong 19:

Chris Smith, Jayden Nikorima, Matthew Ikavalu tries;

Jayden Nikorima 2 conversions, 1 penalty goal, 1 field goal

defeated

Newtown 16:

Jack Williams, Leigh Higgins, Jayden Walker tries;

Fa’amanu Brown 2 conversions.

Half-Time: Wyong led 13-12.

Newtown’s team:

Leigh Higgins, Edrick Lee, Jordan Drew, Matt Evans, James Tuitahi, Daniel Mortimer, Fa’amanu Brown, Jayden McDonogh, Jayden Walker, Jack Williams, Jaimin Jolliffe, Kurt Kara, Kurt Dillon.

Bench: Penani Manumalealii, Tepatasi Fuiavailili, Manaia Cherrington, Khalid Deeb.

Coach: Greg Matterson.

Wyong:

Luke Sharpe, John Tuivasa-Sheck, Paul Momirovski, Latrell Mitchell, Chris Centrone, Jayden Nikorima, Mitch Williams, Liam Knight, Brock Gray, Chris Smith, Jake Lewis, Grant Garvey, Eloni Vunakece.

Bench: Brendan Santi, Poasa Faamausili, Brendan Frei, Matthew Ikavulu.

Coach: Rip Taylor.

This was Newtown’s first home game for 2017 and the occasion had a slightly madcap touch to it. Former Sharks prop Jason Stevens was a member of a film production crew that used the game for crowd footage to accompany the feature film they were shooting. First time visitors to the ground would have been bemused by the film crew and extras activity while the Jets-Wyong game was in progress.

Match timeline:

First half:

Wyong kicked off to the southern end of the ground.

3rd min: Penalty to Newtown

4th min: Scrum-feed to Newtown 10m out from Wyong’s line

Tepatasi Fuiavailili gets across the line but is held up

Repeat set for Newtown

Clever grubber kick by Fa’amanu (Nu) Brown into the in-goal is safely grounded by Jack Williams midway between the posts and the north-west corner

Converted by Nu Brown

Newtown 6-0 after 7 mins

8th min: Jets lose the ball on their own line

Good defence to repel Wyong attack

11th min: Jets turn the ball over on the half-way line

Wyong look dangerous spreading the ball, testing Jets defence on the edges

High, spiralling kick towards Newtown’s tryline but knocked forward by Wyong chasers

Jack Williams puts a tremendous hit on Nikorima

18th min: Jayden McDonogh and Matt Evans combine to send Leigh Higgins clear to score next to the posts

Converted by Nu Brown

Newtown 12-0.

Another swirling high kick from Wyong puts Jets under pressure

Relieving penalty to Newtown in 19th min 20m out from their own line

Jordan Drew pushed across the sideline 10 m out from Wyong’s line (21st min)

Nu Brown seeks treatment for what might have been a knee in the back

Penalty to Wyong 30m out from Newtown’s line

Wyong forward barges over for a try to the right of the goal-posts

Try converted Newtown 12-6 (26th min)

Nu Brown penalised for being involved in shepherding ten metres out from Wyong’s line (28th min)

Wyong knocks on, quickly followed by Newtown. Some very ragged handling by both teams at this juncture.

The heat is most certainly a contributing factor to fatigue

Still very humid for this late in April

Nikorima steps his way through the Newtown defence to score under the posts

Converts his own try

12-all after 33 mins

Nikorima is causing the Newtown defence all sorts of problems

His grubber kick close to the Newtown line is knocked on

McDonogh defuses the situation by snapping up a Wyong short kick

Newtown again under pressure on their own line but a penalty in the 38th min brings relief

Crowd alleging that Wyong are taking liberties with respect to keeping back the required distance at the play the ball

Wyong secure a repeat set at Newtown’s end in the 39th min and Nikorima snaps a field goal

Half-Time: Wyong leads 13-12.

Coach Matterson didn’t hold back in his half-time remarks:

He pointed out that there had been too much dropped ball (there had been 6 dropped balls in one sequence of 7 sets)

Too many passes being made under pressure

Need to get more structure back into defence, exactly as practised at training

Jets had let Wyong back into this game in the last 15 minutes.

Second half:

Jets kicking off to the southern end.

44th min: Wyong scores in the north-east corner but there was some doubt about whether there had been some off-side play by Wyong in the lead-up to this try

Touch judge did not intervene; a lesson in playing to the whistle

Try not converted

Wyong leads 17-12 in 45th min.

Repeat penalties to Newtown in midfield in 47th min

Veteran front-rower Khalid Deeb is back on Henson Park in Newtown colours after having retired as a player four years earlier (50th min)!

Jets continue to have problems with getting the best results from their end of set options.

Too many times the Jets get to Wyong’s end but at the end of that set of possession they come away with nothing.

Both Newtown and Wyong continue to make handling errors. (56th min).

Nu Brown’s grubber kick goes dead in 57th min.

Steele Sports claim that “Wyong are all over Daniel Mortimer like a cheap suit” in reference to their eagerness to shut down his renowned play-making skills

Daniel was back in action for Newtown on Saturday after being injured in the second round.

Newtown’s continued error rate was of great assistance to Wyong

Nikorima kicks a penalty goal in 60th min; Wyong leads 19-12

Wyong lose the ball bringing it out from their own line.

This was the chance Newtown needed.

64th min: Great short pass from Daniel Mortimer sends Jayden Walker racing free over 30 metres to score midway between the posts and the south-west corner

Not converted; Wyong 19-16.

Penani Manumalealii comes on in the 70th minute

Jets lose the ball 20 m out from their own line

Wyong go on the attack to sew up the game

Wyong pass is intercepted but Jets player then loses the ball while in full flight towards the line in 72nd minute.

Daniel Mortimer injured and goes off for concussion test

Nikorima’s grubber kick is knocked dead by Wyong chaser, 20 m restart for Newtown

Jets apply plenty of pressure but Wyong’s defence hang on

Scuffle breaks out 20 m out from the Wyong line

Full-Time: Wyong hold on for 19-16 win.

Mario Facchini’s photos from Saturday:  http://mafphotography.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/intrust-super-premiership-2017-round-8.html

Gary Sutherland’s photos:  http://www.pbase.com/gsphotography/newtown_vs_wyong_220417&page=all