The Jets finals prospects in jeopardy after loss to Sharks [4-20]
Saturday, 14 July, 3.00 pm
The gruelling Rugby League fare on offer at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon was more than matched by the chilly mid-winter weather, with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks grinding out a dour 20-4 win over Newtown.
The Jets had their chances in this VB Premier League match but their attacking deficiencies and inability to sustain pressure proved to be their undoing. The Sharks had led 12-4 at half-time and kept Newtown scoreless for the entirety of the second half.
Newtown gifted Cronulla two easy tries
Both of Cronulla’s tries were posted early in the first half, with the first coming on the back of a careless Newtown penalty. The Sharks then took advantage of some poor defensive positional play and created an overlap for their right-side winger. Their second try came a mere three minutes later from a somewhat freakish set of circumstances – a Newtown defender had tapped an attempted 40/20 kick back infield, only for the keenly-pursuing Sharks winger to toe the ball ahead, regather a favourable bounce and claim his second try.
A Jets try to raise supporter spirits
Newtown had the first use of a southerly wind but never made best advantage of it. Jets halfback George Ndaira’s kick to the left-hand northern corner was smartly retrieved by winger Troy Savage to register Newtown’s first (and only) try three minutes before halftime. Savage, a product of Napier (NZ), has been one of the most consistent of Newtown’s backline this season.
The Sharks had a low error rate in the first half and had defended well, and it was clear that the Jets would have to show more guile and variety in their attack to win the game.
Victory slipped away in second half
The second half was a grim war of attrition with neither side putting many questions to their opponents. The Sharks were disciplined and methodical but rarely threatened Newtown’s line through any attacking prowess. Their eight second half points came from a penalty goal and a converted long-distance intercept try to their winger Robinson who made it his third for the match. For the Jets’ part, their handling errors, poor completion rate and uninspired kicking game were more than enough to undermine any prospect of a late resurgence.
Newtown’s players’ player award went to backrower Steve Meredith who showed plenty of go-forward with his courageous hit-ups, and he received good support from forwards
Mickey Paea, Anthony Cherrington and Grant Millington.
Adam Schubert and Danny Williams did a power of defensive work in the forwards, while the Jets’ best backs were
George Ndaira, John Williams and Troy Savage.
The Jets travel away next Saturday (21st July) to Newcastle’s Energy Australia Stadium for the second time this season to take on the third-placed Knights. This match kicks off at 5.30pm and will be the main curtain-raiser to the Knights-Roosters NRL fixture at 7.30pm.
Recognition of two great Newtown sponsors & supporters
At Saturday's game, the Newtown RLFC made a presentation to the Managing Director of SGE Credit Union, Ray Clark, in recognition of the tremendous support given by the SCU to the Newtown Club over recent seasons.
The club also made a presentation to another great sponsor and supporter, the Royal Exchange Hotel, Marrickville, and everyone was invited to patronise the Royal Exchange after the game.