Lethargic Jets drop a valuable competition point [22-22]
28 April, 3.00 pm, Henson Park
Newtown Jets RLFC
NSWRL VB Premier League team
Proud to be sponsored by the
Bowlers Club of NSW
The Newtown Jets managed to salvage a competition point when they drew 22-all with Manly-Warringah in Saturday’s VB Premier League match at Henson Park. The Sea Eagles came into this game considerably under-strength and suffered a further setback when they lost their halfback and captain through injury just prior to the match.
Good start turns to bumbling display
Newtown began the first half most impressively with tries to five-eighth Josh Lewis and winger John Williams within the first ten minutes and the Jets looked to be set for a comfortable victory.
The rot set in at around the fifteen minutes mark and Newtown then proceeded to turn on a bumbling, uncoordinated performance for the remainder of the half that must have dismayed coach Paul Young.
There was a succession of spilled passes, sloppy play the balls, undisciplined penalties and generally poor application that allowed Manly back into the game and to take a 12-10 lead into the half-time break.
Manly jump to potential winning lead in second half
Newtown showed little improvement early in the second half as the Sea Eagles added two tries and seemingly had taken a strong grip on the game by extending their lead to 22-10.
Jets pull together at last minute to snatch draw
The Jets finally recovered from their mass torpor midway through the second half when replacement forward Dale Newton barged over to score, thereby restoring the collective hopes of the Henson Park home crowd.
Ten minutes later the Jets laid on the try of the game with a superbly executed passing rush that ended in winger John Williams claiming his second try. Josh Lewis landed a towering conversion from right on the sideline to tie the scores up at 22-all.
The remaining ten minutes were a thrill-a-minute extravaganza with missed field goal shots by both sides and an attempted 40/20 kick by Lewis that just grazed the corner post, preventing Newtown from having a full set of possession right on Manly’s line with four minutes left to play.
- Jets lock forward Nigel Plum was the deserved winner of the players' player award donated by Alberto's Pizzeria Restaurant, 589 King Street, Newtown. Nigel gave an outstanding display of powerhouse defence and determined ball running.
- Former Parramatta winger John Williams is only recently back in action after knee surgery and has really impressed in his two competition appearances.
- Hooker Heath L’Estrange showed admirable courage and team spirit in returning to the field in the second half despite being treated for a badly corked thigh at half-time.
- Halves Jamie Soward and Josh Lewis, centre Mitch Aubusson and second-rower Mickey Paea had their moments in this game that really should have parcelled up the two competition points for the Jets.
Newtown will need to show considerable improvement when they confront the competition leaders Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium next Saturday (5th May), with this replay of the 2006 Premier League grand final timed to start at 5.30pm.