Young Jets gain redemption through second half resurgence


Newtown’s 2007 VB Premier League trials program finished at the Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford on Saturday evening when the Jets went down 36-16 to last year's premiers Parramatta.

Hit out for youngsters before season starts

Newtown fielded another very young team made up of Jersey Flegg players and Premier League triallists.

Several of these youngsters had played in the Roosters SG Ball team last year so they have actually played in three full Premier League trials before they have ever stepped onto the field in a Jersey Flegg fixture.

Highs and lows of first half

The Jets trailed 12-0 after ten minutes in this match but then regrouped to put in a very solid 25 minutes in which they really aimed up against the near full-strength Parramatta side.

Newtown pulled back to 12-6 following an exceptional try where the ball was moved through several pairs of hands, first to the left side and then a sweeping movement to the right which saw Jets lock Joseph Cahill crash over in the northern right-side corner.

Hooker Anthony Watts obliged by converting the try from the touchline. A disastrous five minutes late in the first half, with some indecisiveness in the Newtown right-side defence, saw Parramatta pile on three converted tries to go in at the break with a 30-6 lead.

Half-time 'coaching' saw Jets win second half honours

Coach Paul Young emphasised in his half-time address that this trial wasn't about the scoreboard, but about how each player could cope with the pressure of playing against strong Premier League opposition, and how much each man would ensure there were no cheap penalties, no undisciplined plays through frustration and no soft missed tackles.

The team responded in turn with a solid second half which the Jets "won" by 10-6, with Parramatta’s only try coming very late in the second half.

Front-rowers Stanley Waqa and Dale Newton led the way in this match with their determined charges and high work-rate while second-rower Danny Williams turned in yet another wholehearted effort in attack and defence.

Anthony Watts looked to be in good touch as a major playmaker and five-eighth Rory Kostjasyn tackled anything wearing blue and gold colours.

Fullback Aaron Lai returned the ball confidently and looks to have recovered well from the bad off-field head injuries he suffered last year.

Summing up

This was a more than useful trial match played in humid and oppressive conditions that really sorted out those players who are determined to gain Premier League selection.

In the next two weeks there will be a large infusion of players who have been turning out with distinction in the Roosters successful NRL trials campaign so Newtown will certainly be fielding a very strong side in the opening round of the Jets' 100th season in Rugby League football, when we take on last year's Preliminary Finalists, St George-Illawarra, at Henson Park on Saturday, March 17th (St Patrick's Day) with this match kicking off at 4.30pm.

Who played?

1Aaron Lai
2Pierce Sapsford
3Troy Savage
4Luke Roberts
5Hemani Moala
6A J Taumata
7Rory Kostjasyn
8Stanley Waqa [T1]
9Anthony Watts [G2]
10Dale Newton
11James Shillington
12Danny Williams
13Joseph Cahill [T1]
14Nim Ngata [T1]
17Frank Hei Hei
In the second half, a number of the Roosters Jersey Flegg team donned the Royal Blue to contribute to the second half turn around.

© Newtown Jets RLFC 2006