Huge attendance at Henson Park as the Jets lose narrowly to Penrith

Newtown Jets front-rower Jimmy Jolliffe (Number 14) is about to get the perfect ball away to his fast-supporting team-mate Wes Lolo at Henson Park last Saturday. Photo: Mario Facchini, mafphotography

The Newtown Jets on Saturday drew their biggest crowd to a home game at Henson Park since the early 1980s, but the match result proved to be disappointing. The Jets led the competition leaders, Penrith, 24-10 midway through the second half, but the highly-energised Panthers moved up a gear and staged a come-from-behind 28-24 victory.

The special occasion at Henson Park was the annual Beer, Footy and Food Festival which has attracted big crowds since it was first staged in 2016. Despite the narrow loss, the third-placed Newtown Jets will have learned a lot from this game and will be ready for the Panthers if the two clubs clash again in the finals.

The Panthers opened the scoring when they claimed a try from a quick penalty tap-kick, but Newtown responded with tries to front-rower Kurt Dillon and a brilliant individual effort from halfback Kyle Flanagan. Penrith punished the Jets for a turnover in possession and added another try for Newtown to take a 12-10 lead into the halftime break.

The Jets opened up a useful lead through tries to forwards Jimmy Jolliffe and Wes Lolo early in the second half. As coach Greg Matterson observed, Newtown put themselves under pressure in the final twenty minutes and the Panthers mounted an irresistible surge with three converted tries in the space of eleven minutes. Newtown fought back hard, but Penrith defended their four-point lead into fulltime.

Jimmy Jolliffe and Blayke Brailey were Newtown’s best forwards, while five-eighth Jack Williams was the best back until he was forced from the field through injury.

The Newtown Jets are back at Henson Park next Saturday, 4th August, when they play Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at 3.00pm. There is a Ron Massey Cup curtain-raiser kicking off at 12.45pm, with Glebe-Burwood (aka Glebe Dirty Reds) playing Cabramatta.

NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW – 20th Round
Saturday, 28th July 2018
Henson Park
Newtown v Penrith
Kick-off was at 3.00pm.

Penrith 28:
Adam Keighran 2, Christian Crichton, Siosifa Talakai, Wayde Egan tries;
Adam Keighran 4 goals
defeated
Newtown 24:
Kurt Dillon, Kyle Flanagan, Jimmy Jolliffe, Wes Lolo tries;
Kyle Flanagan 4 goals.

Half-Time: Newtown led 12-10.

Referee: Gavin Reynolds.
Touch Judges: Mitchell Stone and Cameron Mitchell.

Weather: Cloudy, 20 degrees.
Playing surface: Very good.

The Newtown-Penrith match was broadcast by Steele Sports.

Newtown’s team was:
Matt Evans, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Aaron Gray, Reubenn Rennie, Charlton Schaafhausen, Jack A. Williams, Kyle Flanagan, Braden Uele, Blayke Brailey, Kurt Dillon, Briton Nikora, Anthony Moraitis, Billy Magoulias.
Interchange: Jimmy Jolliffe, Wesley Lolo, Tyla Tamou, Ava Seumanufagai.
Coach: Greg Matterson.

Penrith:
Caleb Aekins, Christian Crichton, Tyrone Phillips, Sam Smith, Maika Sivo, Adam Keighran, Dean Blore, Liam Martin, Wayde Egan, Andy Saunders, William Burns, Cory Waddell, Siosifa Talakai.
Interchange: Mitch Kenny, Brad Gaut, Mitch Revell, Ratu Tuisese.
Coach: Guy Missio.

Here is the updated NSWRL ISP NSW competition table and all the scores from the 20th round: http://live.nswrl.com.au/comp/413e134259bc4ebcf

Newtown’s Ron Massey Cup partnership club, the Glebe Dirty Reds (aka Glebe-Burwood RLFC), won their 16th round match against Hills District by 38-10 on Sunday afternoon at Crestwood Oval.

Details of Newtown’s next game:
NSWRL ISP NSW – 21st Round
Saturday, 4th August 2018
Henson Park
Newtown (3rd place, 24 points) versus Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles (9th place, 19 points)
Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Curtain-Raiser:
Saturday, 4th August 2018
NSWRL Ron Massey Cup – 17th Round
Henson Park
Glebe Dirty Reds versus Cabramatta Two Blues
Kick-Off: 12.45pm.