The Jets turn on a business-like display at Toyota Park [38-8]
26 May, 5.30 pm, Toyota Park
The Newtown Jets recorded a convincing 38-8 win against Cronulla-Sutherland in the VB Premier League match played at Toyota Park on Saturday evening, a ground where the Jets had only won once in the past seven years.
Mitchell Pearce sets up early tries
Newtown's first points came in the 27th minute when five-eighth Rory Kostjasyn retrieved halfback Mitchell Pearce's precision kick and scored next to the posts, while Pearce's kicking game was again instrumental in the Jets' second try, scored by centre Troy Savage in the 35th minute.
Newtown's 10-0 halftime lead had been built on top of an excellent completion rate of 85% plus a disciplined and unyielding defensive display. Coach Paul Young was convinced more points would come if the team displayed patience and stayed with their predetermined game plan.
Second half kicking and forward strength bring more rewards
The Jets took command through the forwards in the second half and laid the basis for three more tries in the first fifteen minutes after halftime. Pearce put winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall in at the northern left-hand corner with a superbly-directed cut-out pass, and then served up a second try minutes later to the big New Zealand A representative with a well-executed kick to the same corner.
When the strongman forward Mickey Paea carried three Sharks defenders with him across the tryline in the 55th minute, the game had been cracked right open. Kiwi international centre Iosia Soliola and frontrower Willie Brown added further tries in the 65th and 70th minutes respectively.
The Sharks claimed two unconverted tries in the last fifteen minutes but the result was beyond doubt by then.
Last minute changes to lineup did not unsettle team
This was an impressive performance given the late changes to team selections with the return of several Roosters players from State of Origin representative commitments.
The Sharks were in seventh position on the table and had lost to the competition leaders, the Bulldogs, on the stroke of fulltime on the previous weekend.
Forward performances complement backs' try-scoring spree
Halfback Mitchell Pearce was the dominant player and received best support in the backline from Rory Kostjasyn, Troy Savage, Iosia Soliola and Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Fullback Shaun Foley showcased his goal-kicking skills on the night including one soaring conversion from right on the left-side touchline.
On a night when the forwards laid the foundations for the win, the list of best performers reads like a roll-call from the team sheet.
The tireless Danny Williams was once again a standout player, and received strong support from Grant Millington, Dale Newton, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Mickey Paea and Adam Schubert. Both hookers Heath L'Estrange and George Ndaira read and directed the play well.
The number of quality players in this forward pack is going to be a key factor as to how far this team goes in this year's competition.
The Newtown Jets are back home at Henson Park this coming Saturday, June 2nd, against another of the competition's early front-runners, the Newcastle Knights. This match is timed to start at 3.00pm.