Jets show improvement in vital win over Tigers [32-10]
Saturday, 14 April at Leichhardt Oval
The Newtown Jets won their inner-western VB Premier League local derby against Balmain on Saturday 32-10, after what had been a low scoring, hard fought first half.
The Jets made Saturday’s game the occasion to unveil the impressive livery of the foundation club’s new front of jersey sponsor, the Bowlers Club of NSW. The official launch of the new Newtown Jets-Bowlers Club partnership will be formally conducted at Newtown’s next home game at Henson Park against Manly-Warringah on Saturday, April 28th.
Jets grab lead right on forty-minute siren
The Jets led 4-0 after ten minutes and no further points were scored until the Tigers edged ahead 6-4 only five minutes before half-time. Newtown half-back Jamie Soward scored virtually right on the forty-minute siren after he had won the sprint to pounce on the bouncing ball following a well-weighted speculator kick through from Jets five-eighth Josh Lewis.
There were even more “Retro” aspects to Saturday’s match in addition to the trench warfare-like, low scoring first half and the nostalgic atmosphere generated by one of the NSW Rugby League’s oldest remaining local derbies.
Jets captain and hooker Heath L’Estrange showed commendable old-time skills in winning a scrum against the feed and halfback Soward was somewhat perplexed later in the first half when he was penalised by referee Adam Neale for “not retiring” during a scrum feed, very much a rarity in the modern age of streamlined scrummaging.
Jets secure game early in second half
Newtown took a strong grip on this game with tries by lock Mitch Aubusson and interchange player George Ndaira early in the second half, but it was the spectacular 90 metres try by fullback Shaun Foley in the 60th minute that provided both the game’s highlight and match-sealing incident.
Slick halves Soward and Lewis combined cleverly five minutes from fulltime for Lewis to score next to the posts to wrap up both a good result for the Jets and a pointer to the future capabilities of this team as other players return from injury.
Coach pleased with player commitment and effort
Newtown’s coach Paul Young praised his players for their patience, discipline and execution in wearing down such a determined opposition in surprisingly warm playing conditions for mid-April.
Fullback Shaun Foley deservedly won the players’ player award with a solid, all-round display that will do wonders for his confidence.
Halves Lewis and Soward sparked much of Newtown’s attacking thrust and both centres Vince Mellars and Troy Savage turned in strong defensive efforts.
Lock Mitch Aubusson looked to be returning to the form he showed in the latter part of last season and second-rower Nigel Plum terrorised his Balmain opponents with the power and strength of his tackling.
Front-rowers Danny Williams and Charles Tonga and interchange players George Ndaira and Grant Millington were also impressive.
Round 6 BYE provides opportunity for fan day at Henson
The Newtown Jets have a competition bye next weekend but will be the focal point of celebrations at the joint Sydney Roosters-Newtown Jets Fan Day at Henson Park next Sunday, 22nd April from 11.00am to 1.00pm.
There will be loads of fun and giveaways for children, along with a Jets-Roosters veterans touch football challenge match at 12 noon, with former internationals Phil Sigsworth and Brad Fittler captaining their respective teams.