Saturday 22nd Feb
Henson Park home crowd provides the inspiration for Newtown’s first win of the season
The Newtown Jets survived a prolonged second half onslaught from the North Sydney Bears to hold on for a thrilling 32-30 win at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Jets bounded out of the blocks to run up a 24-0 lead after just twenty-seven minutes, but then faced the inevitable pushback from the Bears once they obtained more ball and field position. Norths scored two converted tries in the ten minutes leading into halftime for Newtown to take a 24-12 lead into the break.
The second half provided an abundance of thrills for the big crowd at Newtown’s first home game of the 2019 Canterbury Cup NSW season. The Jets increased their lead to 30-12 early in the second half, but the Bears dominated for the remaining thirty minutes. Norths turned on a near-flawless display in the second half, with a high completion rate and only one error being made in the entire second forty minutes.
Norths methodically ran Newtown’s lead down, drawing level with the Jets with fourteen minutes still to play. Newtown kicked a penalty goal nine minutes from fulltime to edge ahead by two points. In what must have seemed an eternity for Newtown’s army of supporters, the Jets repelled everything the Bears threw at them in attack in those tense final moments and hung on for their first victory of the season. The win doubtless will be a great morale boost for this young Jets team.
Highlights of the afternoon included:
- Wes Lolo’s clever off-load in the ninth minute that gave young five-eighth Luke Polselli the opportunity to score;
- Siosifa Talakai’s amazing try in the eighteenth minute when he displayed almost Herculean strength to brush aside a posse of Norths defenders to score in the south-western corner. As John Lynch remarked, this try was very like those that used to be scored by the likes of the former Cronulla Sharks and New Zealand Kiwis forward Kurt Sorensen;
- Newtown’s superb try in the forty-ninth minute from a midfield break and an exchange of quick-fire passes involving Braydon Trindall (twice), Cruz Topai-Aveai, Joshua Carr and Luke Polselli (who scored his second try of the day). This was an exceptional display of skills and endeavour from a group of young players who are relatively new to the rigours of open-age rugby league such as the Canterbury Cup NSW;
- Braydon Trindall (man of the match in the 2018 Jersey Flegg Cup grand final) kicked six goals from six attempts on Saturday (five conversions and one penalty goal), with three of his conversions being from the sideline and into the breeze;
- This was all against a very strong North Sydney team that was in second place on the competition table, and one that is clearly showing the benefits of the first year of their extended partnership with the Sydney Roosters;
- Newtown’s better players on the day included Tyla Tamou, Will Kennedy and Luke Polselli in the backs, along with Daniel Vasquez, Jimmy Jolliffe, Wes Lolo and Billy Magoulias in the forwards.
Match details: –
Rusiate (Isaac) Lumelume 2, Luke Polselli 2, Siosifa Talakai tries;
Braydon Trindall 6 goals
North Sydney 30:
Bernard Lewis 2, Jerry Key, Brock Lamb, Ed Murphy tries;
Brock Lamb 5 goals.
Halftime: Newtown led 24-12.
Referee: Martin Jones.
Touch Judges: James Vella and Clayton Wills.
Playing surface: Excellent.
Weather: Fine, light clouds, 25 degrees, light southerly breeze.
Will Kennedy, Tyla Tamou, Matt Evans, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Rusiate (Isaac) Lumelume, Luke Polselli, Braydon Trindall, Wes Lolo, James Segeyaro, Jaimin (Jimmy) Jolliffe, Daniel Vasquez, Siosifa Talakai, Billy Magoulias.
Bench: Teig Wilton, Greg Eastwood, Joshua Carr, Cruz Topai-Aveai.
Coach: Greg Matterson.
Kieran Moss, Asu Kepaoa, Ed Murphy, James Tuitahi, Bernard Lewis, Lachlan Lam, Brock Lamb, John Tuivaiti, Bradley Deitz, Max Bailey, Thomas Freebairn, Drew Hutchinson, Josh Curran.
Bench: Kurtis Preece, Jerry Key, Fletcher Baker, Stefano Hala.
Coach: Jason Taylor.
Details of Newtown’ next game – please make note of the earlier kick-off time:
NSWRL Canterbury Cup NSW – Sixth Round
Sunday, 21st April 2019
Newtown v Penrith
This match will be televised live on Channel Nine.