Jets architect their own destruction against Eels [10-31]
The Parramatta Eels maintained their dominance over Newtown in the VB Premier League in recent seasons with their 31-10 win at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Jets brought themselves undone through their own errors and impetuosity, and yet they remained an outside chance in this game until late into the second half.
The match plan was right - execution failed
Newtown needed to maintain a low error rate and disciplined approach to be much hope of upsetting the competition leaders on their home ground but the Jets ineffective opening fifteen minutes was very much to the contrary.
A certain Jets try was "bombed" in the fourth minute and followed up with a dropped pass after the forwards had worked hard to mount pressure.
This was all topped off by conceding penalties, another "pushed" pass plus the sin-binning of front-rower Frank-Paul Nuuausala in the 14th minute.
Parramatta took advantage of Newtown's short-handedness to post two converted tries within the next ten minutes, after which the Jets rallied and took the game right up to the Eels.
The Jets botched a great chance to apply pressure when there were too few chasers to trap a Parramatta player in his in-goal area following a superbly-weighted kick from halfback Jamie Soward.
Parramatta opted for a field goal almost on halftime after a Jets forward had turned over possession in his team's twenty-metre zone.
One step forward, two back
The Jets have played with a deficit of possession in most of their games this year and this trend was repeated on Saturday evening.
Newtown made a promising start to the second half when stylish winger and ex-Eel John Williams, playing on his former home ground, made a long midfield break that culminated in a try to winger Aaron Lai in the right-hand northern corner.
The Eels increased their lead through two converted tries within the next five minutes, both through poor positional play on Newtown's right-side defence.
Fullback Shaun Foley, one of Newtown's best on the night, showed great determination and initiative with an individual chip and chase try midway through the second half.
Five-eighth Josh Lewis converted for the Jets to trail 23-10.
Match may have turned on one decision
Newtown chose to take a tap-kick rather than take the two points from a penalty in front of Parramatta's posts with twelve minutes left to play.
Perhaps the Eels might have really felt the heat of the blow-torch had they been forced to defend a lead of 11 points rather than 13 with the Jets starting to play with renewed confidence.
Parra extended its lead by adding a penalty goal seven minutes from time and a converted intercept try in the 38th minute.
The Jets' completion rate had improved in the second half but their own basic errors cost them dearly in the end.
The Newtown Jets' best forwards were George Ndaira, Heath L'Estrange, Mickey Paea and Danny Williams and they were best served in the backs by Shaun Foley, John Williams and Troy Savage.
Centre Vince Mellars incurred a knee injury that may keep him sidelined for several weeks and replacement forward James Shillington may have broken a bone in his foot.
Injuries in the Roosters NRL squad will further test the Jets' reserves depth as the season enters into a crucial stage.
Half-Time score: Parramatta 13-0.
Referee: Gerard Sutton.
Weather: Fine and mild. Playing surface: Perfect.