Illawarra make the most of their second half chances as they defeat the Newtown Jets in wet conditions

Newtown Jets forwards Jason Schirnack (left) and Manaia Cherrington tackle an Illawarra opponent at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday. The Newtown Jets players in the background are (from left): Jack Williams, Saulala Houma, Jaimin Jolliffe, Matt Evans and Penani Manumalealii. Photo: Gary Sutherland Photography

Newtown scored the first try at WIN Stadium on Saturday, but Illawarra scored four tries over a twenty-minute time span that gave them a tight grip on the eventual result.

NSWRL Intrust Super Premiership NSW (ISP NSW) – Third Round

Saturday, 18th March 2017

WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Illawarra v Newtown Jets

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.

Illawarra 22:

Josh Kerr 2, Jai Field, Chris Lewis tries;

Shaun Nona 3 goals

defeated

Newtown Jets 12:

Matt Evans, Leigh Higgins tries;

Fa’amanu Brown 2 goals.

Half-Time: 6-all.

Referee: Adam Cassidy.

Touch Judges: Matt Treneman and Chris Treneman.

Playing surface: In first class condition, in spite of virtually six days incessant rain and two curtain-raisers being played on Saturday before the ISP NSW match.

Weather: Overcast, grey, showers.

Temperature: 23 degrees C, southerly breeze.

The match was broadcast by Steele Sports.

Newtown’s team on Saturday was:

Luke Towers, Leigh Higgins, Jordan Drew, Matt Evans, Ben Fritz, Penani Manumalealii, Fa’amanu Brown, Jack Williams, Tony Williams, Jayden Walker, Kurt Dillon, Manaia Cherrington, Sam Tagataese.

Bench: Jaimin Jolliffe, Kurt Kara, Jason Schirnack, Saulala Houma.

Coach: Greg Matterson.

Illawarra RLFC:

Matthew Dufty, Kalifa Fai Fai Loa, Patrick Herbert, Taane Milne, Levi Dodd, Jai Field, Shaun Nona, Blake Lawrie, Tyrone McCarthy, Luciano Leilua, Mose Masoe, Siliva Havili, Hame Sele.

Bench: Jake Marketo, Josh Kerr, Chris Lewis, Rhys Kennedy.

Coach: Mat Head.

NB: The Illawarra RLFC is no longer sponsored by Illawarra Coal so the use of the nickname Cutters has been discontinued.

Match timeline:

Illawarra kicked off running to the northern end.

3rd min: Matt Evans try, on the back of two consecutive penalties.

Not converted by Fa’amanu (Nu) Brown – his kick struck the left upright.

Try was scored about 15 metres in from the south-west corner.

There was a lot of dropped ball by Illawarra in the first twenty minutes.

Illawarra had a big forward pack, with giants like Mose Masoe and Luciano Leilua.

26th min: Newtown nearly scored. Matt Evans centre-kicked and Manaia Cherrington nearly won the race to the ball in the Illawarra in-goal.

28th min: Illawarra defence holds on against prolonged Newtown pressure.

29th min: Spear tackle by Jake Marketo on Jaimin Jolliffe, penalty to Newtown.

The next set ended in another penalty to Newtown, this time in front of the southern posts.

30th min: Nu Brown pen goal. Newtown 6-0.

33rd min: Forward pass by centre Levi Dodd denies Illawarra a try.

Penalties 7-3 to Newtown after 33 mins.

34th min: Newtown forces Illawarra into two consecutive goal-line drop-outs.

Jets unable to turn this territorial advantage into more points on the board.

37th min: Jets turn the ball over and Illawarra five-eighth Jai Field sprints 85 metres to score. Converted by Nona. 6-all.

Newtown have had a lot of opportunities and time in possession in Illawarra’s twenty-metre zone for only one try.

Half-Time: 6-all.

The start to the second half that Newtown certainly did not want.

42nd min: Josh Kerr barges over to the left of the southern goal-posts. Nona converts. Illawarra 12-6.

Illawarra looking re-energised early in the second half, more purposeful and the forwards are running with great vigour.

47th min: Opportunity for Newtown as Illawarra lose the ball 20 metres out from their own line, but Newtown lose the ball almost immediately.

51st min: Josh Kerr scored his second try as he powers through several defenders. Converted by Nona.

Illawarra leads 18-6 after 53 minutes.

An average set of six by the Jets as they try to get out of their own end. The second half isn’t going well for them.

55th min: Illawarra goes close to scoring in the south-east corner.

Newtown’s error count starting to mount up, Illawarra’s big men dominating the midfield.

57th min: Illawarra shift the ball left, Nona sends Lewis in to score near the south-east corner.

Nona does not convert from wide out. Illawarra 22-6.

61st min: Newtown is trapped again in their own in-goal.

Nona is controlling play with confidence.

Big Mose Masoe knocks on the goal-line drop-kick!

63rd min: Elusive run by Manumalealii. He gets to within 10 metres of the Illawarra try-line, and then Newtown gets a penalty.

A repeat penalty to the Jets but they put the ball down.

65th min: Illawarra turn the ball over; Nu Brown’s well-weighted kick into the in-goal forces another goal-line drop-out.

68th min: Another penalty to Newtown for a ruck infringement.

69th min: Jordan Drew goes hard for the north-west corner, but he tackled  out in the corner by determined Illawarra defence.

72nd min: More good defence by Illawarra in their own 20 metre zone. Newtown’s grubber kick into the in-goal is defused.

75th min: A great midfield burst by Newtown’s Samoan international prop Sam Tagataese, but as he is tackled his out the back pass is intercepted by Illawarra.

76th min: The game is gone for Newtown.

Two consecutive penalties to Illawarra; Illawarra players held up over the tryline twice in two minutes.

78th min: Manumalealii kicks in behind the Illawarra defensive line.

Illawarra fail to clean up the bouncing ball and it is seized by winger Leigh Higgins, who runs in to score to the left of the northern-end posts.

Nu Brown converts.

Illawarra lead 22-12.

Full-time: Illawarra wins 22-12.

How Ryan Selvage from the NSWRL reported on this game: http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2017/03/18/illawarra_out_gun_je.html

Newtown Jets halfback Nu Brown was interviewed by the NSWRL media:  http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2017/03/19/brown_unsettled_jets.html

ISP NSW third round results and the updated competition table:  http://live.nswrl.com.au/comp/3ec60a38ee446fb80

Newtown is in 8th position on the competition table after three rounds.

The New Zealand Warriors, Wyong, North Sydney and Mounties are all undefeated; Canterbury-Bankstown, Newcastle Knights, Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers are all winless after three rounds.

Mario Facchini took these photos at WIN Stadium on Saturday:  http://mafphotography.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/intrust-super-premiership-2017-round-3.html

And Gary Sutherland was also on the job down in Wollongong:  http://www.pbase.com/gsphotography/newtown_vs_steelers_180317&page=all

Details of Newtown’s next match:

NSWRL ISP NSW – Fourth Round

Saturday, 25th March 2017

Campbelltown Stadium

Wests Tigers v Newtown

Kick-Off: 3.00pm.