Jets step up the tempo at pre-season training

Newtown head coach Greg Matterson lays down the law to a group of Jets triallists in a hot and sweaty pre-season training session at Henson Park on 16th January. Photo: Wayne Leong Photography

Any rugby league history wonk driving at the southern end of Illawarra Road last Thursday evening might have done a double take. Here was the somewhat bizarre spectacle of a rugby league team wearing the colours of the supposedly-defunct Glebe Dirty Reds playing in a trial match on Mahoney Reserve, South Marrickville.

The explanation was that it was a twenty-five minute trial match staged by the Newtown Jets and the Glebe-Burwood clubs as part of their pre-season program. As Jets head coach Greg Matterson remarked after the trial, “this was a useful short trial which proved to be very helpful to the coaching staff of both clubs in assessing how their pre-season triallists performed under match conditions.” The trial was refereed by Tom Cambourn from the NSW Rugby League referees association.

The first trial games for 2018 are now less than three weeks away. Newtown’s first trial match is against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at historic Wentworth Park on Sunday, 11th February at 5.00pm. The Glebe-Burwood will play in a Ron Massey Cup trial at Wentworth Park on Sunday, 11th February at 3.00pm. This will be the Newtown club’s first appearance at Wentworth Park in 91 years, and the Glebe Dirty Reds last played at Wentworth Park in 1929, 89 years ago.

For the record, here are the two trial squads that played at Mahoney Reserve last Thursday, 18th January. Where the details are known the new triallists have their 2017 club in brackets after their name:

Newtown Jets:

Matt Evans, Charlton Schaafhausen (Western Suburbs), Reubenn Rennie, Kieran Vale, Ozzie Tuwhangai (Waikato Rugby League), Jesse Marschke (Sydney Roosters), Liam Christensen (Victorian Rugby League), Jayden McDonogh, Adrian Hangana (Auburn Warriors), George Tsikrikas (Canterbury-Bankstown), Ben Mathiou (NQ Cowboys under 20’s and Illawarra Collegians), Jackson Garlick (Glebe-Burwood), Royce Tout (Gundagai Tigers and Wests Tigers under 20’s). Bench: Dominic Timoteo (South Sydney under 20’s), Jesse Maxwell-Offen (Wentworthville), Maverick Tweedie (Thirlmere).

Newtown Bluebags:

Tyla Tamou, Latrell Robinson (North Sydney), Ray Lesoa (Penrith and Blacktown Workers), Nei Walters, Jimmy Morgan (UK), Zach Bouzounis (Sydney Roosters under 20’s), Penani Manumalealii, Zachary Faulkner (Cronulla Sharks under 20’s), Malakai Houma,  Ioane Ioaane (New Lynn, Auckland), Isaac Prokopiou (Berkeley Vale, Central Coast), Jordan Bowles (Illawarra Collegians), Matthew Jurd (St George-Illawarra under 20’s and Illawarra ISP NSW). Bench: Louis Meehan (Sydney Roosters), Matt Messan, John-Paul Nakad (Cronulla Sharks under 20’s).

As we get closer to the official start of the 2018 rugby league season, now’s the time to either renew your Newtown Jets membership package or to join the membership base of the nation’s oldest rugby league club. You can find out how to renew or join and take a look at the fine array of membership packages that are available by going to this link:  http://www.newtownjets.com/jets-membership-2018/

You can make your choices of what Newtown Jets clothing and merchandise you would like to acquire by going to this website: www.newtownjetsclothing.com.au or you can call direct on (02) 8488 8211.

Our favourite racehorse Newtown Bluebag won the Highway Handicap at Randwick on Saturday, 13th January. Long-serving Newtown Jets Director and financial benefactor Terry Rowney and lifelong Newtown Jets supporter and former Mayor of Marrickville Barry Cotter are both members of the syndicate that owns this distinctively-named and well-performed horse.

Long term major sponsor Petersham RSL is looking to improve its ongoing service to the local community by upgrading the club facilities. The community has until the 30 January 2018 to comment on the proposed changes. Petersham RSL needs the help of the community to support the proposed changes. Click the below link to read more about the proposed changes and to complete a short form (which only takes 5 minutes) showing your support. Your support of our great sponsor who this season celebrates twenty years of supporting the Newtown Jets is very much appreciated:  https://www.yoursayinnerwest.com.au/planning-proposal-for-three-sites-in-petersham

The Newtown RLFC celebrated its 110th birthday on Monday, 8th January 2018. This article in the current Inside Sport Magazine highlights the historic buildings in Sydney that are all closely associated with the formation of the rugby league code in NSW. Go to this link: https://www.insidesport.com.au/news/sydney-rugby-leagues-town-halls-of-history-481295/page0

Talking of the club’s 110th birthday, the Newtown RLFC received a wonderful gift from the Newtown-based freelance artist, illustrator and graphic designer Jacqui Duncan. Jacqui presented the club with a marvellous illustration of the Newtown Town Hall (where the Newtown RLFC was formed on the evening of the 8th January 1908). Jacqui has a superb range of sketches and illustrated posters of a wide range of Newtown and inner-western buildings and street scenes for sale. Her website is: www.littlecity.net.au  Her work is top-class and provides some excellent gift suggestions.

Mickey Paea was a first-class player with Newtown in his three seasons with the club between 2006 and 2008. He was also a great clubman and was very popular with the Jets supporters. Along with stints at St George-Illawarra, Canterbury-Bankstown, Hull KR, Hull FC and the Newcastle Knights, Mickey also represented Tonga on numerous occasions. He has recently signed again with Hull FC (The Airlie Birds) and is shown here in some amazing footage singing a Christmas carol in front of a packed crowd at the Hull City Hall: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/watch-hull-fcs-mickey-paea-945463